Dave Ramsey Shares the Best Way to Buy a Car
From real estate to car buying, insurance, and investing, the best-selling author and TV personality Dave Ramsey comes in hot with opinions. When it comes to car buying, his creed is simple: “The very best way to buy a car is to save up and buy a reliable, slightly used car (with cash).”
While this is a big bummer to folks poring over new car build options, it’s sound advice. Whether you’re looking to become a debt-free millionaire or just want to keep your household afloat in the raging sea of expenses, cars are generally considered a terrible investment. In fact, they’re probably the most depreciating expense in your household.
According to Ramsey Solutions, a brand-new car instantly drops between 9-11% in value the moment you drive off the lot. And after five years, the average new car loses 60% of its value.
You could put that money elsewhere instead of saddling yourself with monthly car payments. Ramsey’s team explains that you might split an imaginary car payment in half and save toward your next car, plus inject funds into your retirement plan.
Another dope slap to new car buyers comes from insurance costs. New cars are expensive to repair in the event of an accident. Depending on your age, gender, and driving record, your insurance costs could skyrocket.
How much should you spend on used cars? Ramsey Solutions advises that generally, “The total value of your vehicles (anything with a motor in it) should never be more than half of your annual household income.” So, if you make $50,000 a year, try to keep your cars under the $25k mark. If you don’t have $25k in cash on hand, you might adjust your wants to needs.
What are the most reliable slightly used cars?
In my 15+ years of writing service, the cars we saw at the shop the least for sudden mechanical repairs were Toyotas. This includes the Toyota Camry, Corolla, RAV4, 4Runner, and Tacoma. After Toyota, the Honda Accord, CR-V, and Pilot were both popular and reliable. Hyundais were also mostly in for maintenance and not unexpected repairs. If you’re into luxury vehicles, you might go for a Lexus, Acura, or Genesis.
If you do have millionaire madness, Dave Ramsey wants you to remember that “the average millionaire drives a four-year-old car with 41,000 miles on it. And eight out of 10 millionaire car buyers drive it away debt-free without a car payment.”