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Buying a newer car

I currently drive a Chrysler PT Cruiser Touring Edition. I came to own this car from my parents (I’m 21 years old). My parents had bought the car new and let me finish the payments on it and now the car is paid off with less than 100k miles on it. I don’t have any major issues with it but I was thinking about upgrading to a newer model Dodge Charger. I make a little less than $35,000 a year and drive 30 minutes to work daily. I also spend approximately $40 a week on gas for the PT. Any advice on whether or not to purchase or anything would be appreciated. Thanks.

Perhaps you should enjoy the lack of a car payment for awhile. Put $400 a month in a “car account” savings account. When you have about $10-15K in the account then you can consider a new car. Or, perhaps you’d rather use the money for a down payment on a home and keep driving the Cruiser.

I agree with Uncle Turbo. Drive the PT and save your money.

Unless you live with mom and dad rent-free and expense-free (and all people involved enjoy this arrangement) you cannot afford this car. Period.

Been there, done that, wished I saved my money for a house instead. Check with your insurance company first. If you’re in your 20’s and male, insurance will be prohibitively expensive.

Ed B.

With a salary in that range, my vote is that you need to get your money’s worth out of your current car, so keep it and properly maintain it.

As others have said, take the money that you would have spent on a newer car and put it into a dedicated account. When the time does come that you need another car, you’ll be in a much better position to get one. (If you find yourself not able to put the money into the account, that would show that you couldn’t have afforded the newer car.)

I agree with the others. Keep this vehicle and drive it. You will be saving money at every mile. You are in a fairly unique position here because it’s a decent vehicle and you own it outright. It should go another 100k or so with the proper maintenance. I know the Charger is the vehicle you would rather be driving but listen to experience and do the smart thing. It will be money in the bank.

If you sell the PT Cruiser, you might get around $4000 if you sell it yourself or around $3200 if you trade it. This is based on a 2003 model. A 2008 Charger will cost you abut $15,200 from a dealer. If you trade the PT and buy the base Charger, you will have a loan of $12,000. Can you handle it? You will almost certainly bet better off keeping the PT Cruiser. You will have to give up a lot of tings for the Charger. If you understand that and still want to do it, have fun with your new car.