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  1. 28 Feb '13 14:00
    http://www.interest.com/auto/news/car/prices-outpace-median-income/

    A new study shows that the average cost of a new car now is $30,000 or more. It also studied the median income of families in the top 25 cities in the US to see who could afford a new car these days. The result was that only the average family in Washington DC can now afford a new car.

    At least our tax dollars are going to good use as the rest of the country falls into economic oblivion.
  2. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    28 Feb '13 14:10 / 1 edit
    I had always assumed that the U.S. was similar to the U.K. where less well off people buy second hand cars or own old cars (i.e. keep their cars roadwortht for years and years and rarely buy "new" ones). That's the way it has been in the U.K. since as long as I can remember. Was there a time when poor people in the U.S. generally bought new cars?
  3. 28 Feb '13 14:21 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by whodey
    http://www.interest.com/auto/news/car/prices-outpace-median-income/

    A new study shows that the average cost of a new car now is $30,000 or more. It also studied the median income of families in the top 25 cities in the US to see who could afford a new car these days. The result was that only the average family in Washington DC can now afford a new car.
    ...[text shortened]... t our tax dollars are going to good use as the rest of the country falls into economic oblivion.
    Further to FMF's point, living in big cities means less sprawl, more efficient public transportation and less need for a car, let alone a new car. I live in Toronto and have only owned one car (used) the past ten years. I take public transit to work everyday and walk or cycle for most of my daily chores. My car comes in handy for running chores/doing things in a rush with a young child or for excursions out of the city. I would never buy a new car just to do those things.
  4. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    28 Feb '13 14:22
    Originally posted by whodey
    http://www.interest.com/auto/news/car/prices-outpace-median-income/

    A new study shows that the average cost of a new car now is $30,000 or more. It also studied the median income of families in the top 25 cities in the US to see who could afford a new car these days. The result was that only the average family in Washington DC can now afford a new car.
    ...[text shortened]... t our tax dollars are going to good use as the rest of the country falls into economic oblivion.
    That's the average cost, sure, when you factor in the $75k Escalades and Lexuses.

    You can still get a perfectly good brand new Focus or Cruze or Corolla or Elantra for well under $20k and you can get an Accord or a Camry or a Fusion for a little more than $20k.

    Leasing prices, in my memory, have never been cheaper (adjusted for inflation, of course). I see ads to lease midsized cars for $200/mo with nothing down. Even assuming that the real price is $250, that's still not bad. There are also low interest long term financing options if you'd rather buy. For $400/month you can probably buy a midsized car.

    In 1952, a run of the mill Chevy cost close to $3,000, which is over $25,000 in inflation adjusted dollars and they didn't have these leases or financing options. You either saved a huge wad of cash or got a big loan or you didn't get a new car.

    New cars are probably more accessible to more Americans than they've ever been.
  5. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    28 Feb '13 14:30
    Originally posted by sh76
    That's the average cost, sure, when you factor in the $75k Escalades and Lexuses.

    You can still get a perfectly good brand new Focus or Cruze or Corolla or Elantra for well under $20k and you can get an Accord or a Camry or a Fusion for a little more than $20k.

    Leasing prices, in my memory, have never been cheaper (adjusted for inflation, of course). I se ...[text shortened]... ew car.

    New cars are probably more accessible to more Americans than they've ever been.
    So, does the slant of whodey's OP rather ring false to you like it does to me?
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    28 Feb '13 14:31 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by FMF
    I had always assumed that the U.S. was similar to the U.K. where less well off people buy second hand cars or own old cars (i.e. keep their cars roadwortht for years and years and rarely buy "new" ones). That's the way it has been in the U.K. since as long as I can remember. Was there a time when poor people in the U.S. generally bought new cars?
    It still is. Not in the big cities, perhaps. In big cities like Manhattan, most people probably don't own cars because they're so hard to park and traffic is terrible and public transit is good.

    But go out into the burbs and everybody has a car. Furthermore, it's quite routine for working class and unemployed welfare recipients to drive new cars. While many people (including myself) choose to buy used because they'd rather save the money (especially if they don't really use the car that much), most people can afford to lease or finance a new car if they really want to.

    Many Europeans probably wouldn't be able to relate, but the US is a car crazy place. Unless you live in a big city, you own a car. If you're a family in the suburbs, you probably own two. When your kid commutes to college, s/he gets a car too. Huge weekly circulars hawking all sorts of cars and car deals appear in the local weekly. Car dealerships are all over the place and. of course, car commercials are either the most common type of commercial or are approximately tied with beer.

    In the old days, when GM was king, they used to say that there were 5 types of Americans:
    - Chevy people (working class and poor)
    - Pontiac people (doing a little better)
    - Oldsmobile people (middle class)
    - Buick people (upper middle class)
    - Cadillac people (the rich)

    Which GM is no longer the king it once was, the mentality has not really changed. If you want all of your friends to know that you had a really good year, you go out and buy a Lexus and drive around town.

    It may be unfortunate, but it's as much as part of our culture as apple pie, guns, baseball and criticizing the federal government.
  7. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    28 Feb '13 14:31
    Originally posted by FMF
    So, does the slant of whodey's OP rather ring false to you like it does to me?
    Yes, it does.
  8. 28 Feb '13 14:32
    The point here is not the price of a new car. In fact, with the devaluing of the dollar and increased regulations to make fuel efficient cars, I would expect the cost of new cars to go up.

    The point here is the median income of families across the nation. Those in Washington are living high on the hog, courtesy of the US tax payer.
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    28 Feb '13 14:34
    Originally posted by whodey
    The point here is not the price of a new car. In fact, with the devaluing of the dollar and increased regulations to make fuel efficient cars, I would expect the cost of new cars to go up.

    The point here is the median income of families across the nation. Those in Washington are living high on the hog, courtesy of the US tax payer.
    No, the point here is that the proliferation of luxury models has drawn the median price so high that this misleading claim can be made.

    Come on, whodey. You know perfectly well that you could walk into your local dealership today and walk out with a perfectly good new car for $16,000. It might not be an Acura or a Cadillac, but it will be perfectly good.

    What's all this stuff about $30,000?
  10. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    28 Feb '13 14:35
    Originally posted by whodey
    The point here is not the price of a new car. In fact, with the devaluing of the dollar and increased regulations to make fuel efficient cars, I would expect the cost of new cars to go up.

    The point here is the median income of families across the nation. Those in Washington are living high on the hog, courtesy of the US tax payer.
    So what exactly are you claiming has changed with regard to the average cost of new cars and below average earners in the U.S.?
  11. 28 Feb '13 14:39
    I don't doubt that a cheaper car can be bought.

    When I read the article the thing that made my blood boil was that the median income of those in Washington DC were so much higher than the rest of the nation.

    Of course, that was not the intent of the article, but that is what I got from it.
  12. 28 Feb '13 14:44
    Originally posted by whodey
    I don't doubt that a cheaper car can be bought.

    When I read the article the thing that made my blood boil was that the median income of those in Washington DC were so much higher than the rest of the nation.

    Of course, that was not the intent of the article, but that is what I got from it.
    Why does the fact that median income in Washington DC is relatively high upset you? And why did you open a thread about the price of cars when you wanted to discuss the median income in Washington DC?
  13. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    28 Feb '13 14:48
    Originally posted by whodey
    I don't doubt that a cheaper car can be bought.

    When I read the article the thing that made my blood boil was that the median income of those in Washington DC were so much higher than the rest of the nation.

    Of course, that was not the intent of the article, but that is what I got from it.
    So, once again, what exactly are you claiming has changed with regard to the average cost of new cars and below average earners in the U.S.? You mentioned "the average cost of a new car" and "the median income of families in the top 25 cities in the US". What makes your "blood boil" is not a topic in and of itself, and certainly isn't if the reason is incoherent or involves some sort of deception.
  14. 28 Feb '13 16:25 / 1 edit
    I couldn't find the link from the OP so I found this one.

    http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0512/how-inflation-has-affected-the-price-of-cars.aspx#axzz2MDACfD8O

    Last year the least expensive new car sold in the United States was the Nissan Versa. The sedan model (the Versa also comes in hatchback) starts at $10,990
  15. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    28 Feb '13 16:52
    Originally posted by whodey
    When I read the article the thing that made my blood boil was that the median income of those in Washington DC were so much higher than the rest of the nation.
    The cost of living and the "median income" has been the highest in the capital city of every single country I have ever lived in, worked in, visited, or - for that matter - read about. Every single one. It makes your 'blood boil" that the same is true for the U.S.?