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Good Cheap Used Cars Are A Thing Of The Past

  • 3 min read

Affordability Shift in Popular Models
It used to be that there were always some popular cars that were affordable in the last five to ten years. Two such cars were the Toyota RAV4 and the Toyota Prius. Good little cars were very reliable, efficient, and good on gas, and they were relatively inexpensive. A lot of times you could get one in and around the twenty to twenty-five thousand dollar range for a decent one.

Rising Costs and Financing Challenges
But the increase in new cars and interest rates have put these cars at a pretty high monthly payment for financing. And most people finance their cars. You know, a RAV4 or Prius is going to be something that’s going to be thirty thousand dollars—you know, over thirty thousand for a nice one. And that’s even assuming that you’re going to buy a used one. Used car prices have gone up 50% on a lot of these vehicles, close to the price of what they were when they were new. So, if you buy a car that’s 30 to 35,000, even if you put down a couple thousand to cover taxes, maybe a little bit towards a vehicle, at today’s rate, you’re going to be spending six to seven hundred dollars a month for that Toyota RAV4 or Prius. That’s what some people pay for rent.

Reevaluating Affordability
So, are popular, cheap cars a thing of the past? Do you have to buy an old sled to get a low payment or pay cash for a car? If a RAV4 and a Prius are now 700 a month vehicles, what does that say about the affordability of popular, reliable cars? Or do you just have to buy, you know, a junky car that nobody likes? Buying a used car and spending six or seven hundred dollars a month really isn’t what most people are looking to do. Most people are looking to get a cheap payment—you know, three or four hundred bucks—or maybe, you know, one week’s paycheck—and pay that in insurance. But if you’re at six or seven hundred, that’s a whole different ball game for a lot of people.

Changing Attitudes Towards Car Payments
What are your thoughts on a used car? What are your payments if you have a report on what your car payments are? Put it in the comments so we can get a sense of what people are paying for cars these days. And maybe 700 isn’t that much; maybe people are willing to pay that much to get a good used car or an entry-level new car. And if that’s the case, maybe times have changed and people’s attitudes towards car payments have changed. It’ll be interesting to see what the vast majority of comments say about the price of used cars.

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