4 Reasons You Should Never, Ever Own A Car
Thinking of Buying a Car? Consider Hitting Yourself on the Head With a Hammer Instead.
There’s a simple reason that subscription services like Spotify and Netflix are popular even during the COVID-19 crisis: Owning stuff sucks.
Okay, so some things are nice to own. A rare piece of art maybe. Or a house that triples in value in five years and is walkable to a killer Thai food place.
But, by and large, owning something means it’s generally waiting for the glow of the initial purchase to wear off before it starts tying you down, taking up too much space, breaking when you really need it, and boring you long before it should.
And among the almost endless list of things that suck to own, one item sits above them all: a car.
Here are just some of the reasons why.
The Massive Depreciation
The term “buyer’s remorse” could have been coined exclusively for a new car for one reason alone: it could lose about 10% of its value the second you drive it off the lot—and that baby is just… getting… started.
It will likely lose another 20% to 30% of its value in just the first year. And by year three, your formerly new car will generally be worth only half of what you paid. Overall, depreciation on a new car costs owners over $3,000 a year.
Other Costs Add Up
Of course, when you buy a car, it’s not just the actual price of the car you’re paying for. After all, ownership requires upkeep, maintenance, and constantly being on guard for the inevitable repair bill—the average cost of which AAA estimates at between $500 and $600.
Sure, you can spring for the extended warranty at the dealership, but chances are you’ll likely be paying way over a grand for something you may never even use.
You’re Literally Paying For Money
The problem is particularly bad if your credit score is “less than great,” with subprime borrowers often saddled with payments in the 14.5% to 20% range. That means $100 of a $500 monthly payment could just end up going toward paying for the borrowed cash.
Want a better way to blow money? Hit up the nearest roulette table and bet it all on Secretariat.
You Get Stuck With Outdated Wheels
With the average car loan now drawn out to over half a decade, one of the truly suckiest parts of buying a car is simply having to drive the same one for so long after you’re over it. Got promoted? Too bad, you’ve still got three years of payments on your Tercel. Want to run that new nav app through your car’s interface? Hope it works with your plug-in lighter because that’s the only “tech” you’re rocking.
So what’s the solution for all these classic ownership pitfalls? Turns out, it’s not owning a car at all.
Subscriptions Are the Future
Just like all the other services you access on your phone, there’s now a way to subscribe to the exact car you want the same way you sign up for your meal delivery service or that monthly clothes delivery.
It’s an app called Fair, and it’s upending the auto industry by letting you shop thousands of pre-owned cars by monthly payments you can afford without any of the negotiation, long-term commitment or physical paperwork involved in taking out a loan.
Just enter your phone number, browse for your car, sign for it with your finger, pick up the keys, and drive it for as long as you want.
Unlike the hidden expenses of owning a car, you can get going with Fair by making a simple one-time Start Payment, a refundable security deposit and your first month's payment. From there, you just make monthly payments that include roadside assistance, routine maintenance and a limited warranty.
And unlike a traditional loan or lease, you’re never locked into a set term—so you always have the freedom to turn in your current car for the next big thing.
If you’re interested in learning more, you can download Fair here. Or if you want to stick with owning your car and continuing to take on all the depreciation, random expenses, crushing interest, and outdated tech, we totally get that too.
Actually, no, we totally don’t get that at all. But, hey, to each their own.