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Old Crank

(3,969 posts)
Tue Jan 16, 2024, 06:09 AM Jan 2024

A result of the push for big SUVs

Americans are getting priced out of cars. The push by car companies for big trucks and SUVs as daily drivers has jacked up costs. The cost of operation is also much higher for these things also. Fuel, insurance, interest payments, registration, and maintenance all go up. Creating a debt cycle. Overal pollution levels climb also.

Sorry about the ad barrage.

https://www.newsweek.com/americans-can-no-longer-afford-their-cars-1859929


In 2023—a year during which inflation slowed down to the point that the Federal Reserve decided to stop hiking rates—new car prices rose by 1 percent to an average of $50,364, while used car prices fell by only 2 percent to an average of $31,030.

But as things stand, cars are still really expensive for many Americans. Just 10 percent of new car listings are currently priced below $30,000, according to CoPilot. Things are not much better in the used car market, where only 28 percent of listings are currently priced below $20,000.

According to an October report by Market Watch, Americans needed an annual income of at least $100,000 to afford a car, at least if they're following standard budgeting advice, which says you shouldn't spend more than 10 percent of your monthly income on car-related expenses.

That means that more than 60 percent of American households currently cannot afford to buy a new car, based on Census data. For individuals, the numbers are even worse, with 82 percent of people below the $100,000 line.

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A result of the push for big SUVs (Original Post) Old Crank Jan 2024 OP
Its not just big SUV's the Historic NY Jan 2024 #1
I plan on keeping my ten-year old Honda Civic for as long as I can. llmart Jan 2024 #2
Leasing is the sucker's bet. Biggest scam the auto companies ever came up with oldsoftie Jan 2024 #4
I bought my Civic in 2005 and my niece is still tooling around town in it, no problems whatsoever. Scrivener7 Jan 2024 #5
Your last paragraph is spot on! llmart Jan 2024 #13
All our vehicles are old AverageOldGuy Jan 2024 #3
Haven't bought a new car in decades... MiHale Jan 2024 #6
We would buy a new 4WD truck in a nanosecond if they all weren't the size of a semi. Vinca Jan 2024 #7
The problem with big SUVs and trucks is that they also make driving unsafe for those in small cars. Lonestarblue Jan 2024 #8
The data is in on that subject. Old Crank Jan 2024 #12
1995 Toyota Camry with manual transmission: 298647 miles. I'm the 2nd owner and have rebuilt the suspension and brakes Ford_Prefect Jan 2024 #9
I think it was an opportunity the MFG's saw b/c of the covid crisis..00OOooo chip crisis, Ooo labor shortage. mitch96 Jan 2024 #10
I bought a new car once back in the mid 'eighties when I was young and full of myself. hunter Jan 2024 #11
I just turned 54 AwakeAtLast Jan 2024 #14
I drive a small car these days, a 2021 Nissan Sentra. Mr.Bill Jan 2024 #15
Perhaps Old Crank Jan 2024 #16
That's a good idea about the flashers. Mr.Bill Jan 2024 #17
SUVs are definitely a huge factor, but overall planned obsolescence is arguably a larger factor Kennah Jan 2024 #18
The average car on the road is now 12 years Old Crank Jan 2024 #19
Lots of those old trade ins are still running or still being scavenged for parts. Newer trade ins, less so. Kennah Jan 2024 #20

Historic NY

(37,567 posts)
1. Its not just big SUV's the
Tue Jan 16, 2024, 07:29 AM
Jan 2024

major producers have price even pickup truck out of sight. The same big SUV I bought in 2021 is now 10k higher. Try to find a base price of anything these days, is impossible. You actually can find 6 figure trucks out there. I lucked out during the pandemic and ordered when they were paying premium for used and had a 'major' incentive.

llmart

(15,827 posts)
2. I plan on keeping my ten-year old Honda Civic for as long as I can.
Tue Jan 16, 2024, 07:50 AM
Jan 2024

Up until I bought the Civic I had always had American cars. Once they got to ten years old or even earlier, I had to start repairing and replacing big ticket items. The only thing I've ever bought for my Civic is a new battery and tires. I have never needed anything repaired. I'm still amazed at that after decades of being a car owner.

Also, this is purely anecdotal, but most of the people I come in contact with lease their cars these days and have for quite awhile. It may be more palatable to them to shell out a monthly lease amount.

oldsoftie

(13,027 posts)
4. Leasing is the sucker's bet. Biggest scam the auto companies ever came up with
Tue Jan 16, 2024, 08:25 AM
Jan 2024

Leases get people to get more care than they can afford. And VERY few people ever stay under the mileage limit; so they OWE more when the lease runs out
Buy the best USED car you can afford & drive it till the wheels fall off. Then buy another used one.

I've done that since the 80s; driven well over 2 million miles & but for ONE, every car took me to over 200k miles. The BEST one was an '08 Pontiac G6; 345k miles & only changed the water pump. Sold it for 2k & I thunk its still on the road

Scrivener7

(51,313 posts)
5. I bought my Civic in 2005 and my niece is still tooling around town in it, no problems whatsoever.
Tue Jan 16, 2024, 08:29 AM
Jan 2024

We replaced tires, battery and brakes occasionally, but that's it. It's a stripped down version, even has manual windows, so there's nothing to go wrong on it. Mechanics LOVE that car and I was always getting notes on my windshield with offers to buy it.

When I gave it to my niece, I wanted to replace it with a new Honda Fit, but even they were ridiculously expensive. Got a great little used Lexus with 15K miles that I love for 10K less than the Fit. A Kia dealer had it and I don't think they knew what to do with it.

But these giant cars and trucks people feel they need are, in addition to being stupid as hell financially, a menace on the road. No one who has them can drive them. They need a lane and a half to manage them.

llmart

(15,827 posts)
13. Your last paragraph is spot on!
Tue Jan 16, 2024, 02:30 PM
Jan 2024

It's just one more way that shows me how gullible and taken in by advertising the American public is. What makes me shake my head are older people, especially smallish women, who have these behemoths and can barely get up in them let alone drive them. And don't get me started on how they park them! It's one reason I love having my Civic because I can zip right into some of the close spots at the airport parking deck where two big-ass vehicles park outside the lines and I can still fit my car in. I almost always get a prime spot that way.

I live in a neighborhood of mostly older people. There is one lady in here who drives a huge SUV and I have to laugh because she's short and she actually looks ridiculous in this vehicle. Another guy in here has all sorts of medical issues and he drives a full sized conversion van. He's fallen getting out of it a couple times now and ended up in the ER but he won't trade it in or drive a sedan. Also, these people aren't driving anywhere except for two miles down outside out sub where we have access to anything you need.

AverageOldGuy

(1,651 posts)
3. All our vehicles are old
Tue Jan 16, 2024, 08:23 AM
Jan 2024

Three cars:

-- 2004 Ford Explorer; 205,000 miles
-- 1996 Mazda B4000 pickup; 210,000 miles
-- 2007 Mini Cooper; 125,000 miles

No plans whatsoever to buy a new car. We are 81 and 79, fixed income.

Will the prices of new and used cars kill the market for them? If so, what are the long-term implications for the economy?

MiHale

(10,159 posts)
6. Haven't bought a new car in decades...
Tue Jan 16, 2024, 08:44 AM
Jan 2024

Best used one…use it up…repeat. Simple formula. 2004 suburban currently approximately 250,000 miles. Looking for another car this spring.

Vinca

(50,461 posts)
7. We would buy a new 4WD truck in a nanosecond if they all weren't the size of a semi.
Tue Jan 16, 2024, 09:10 AM
Jan 2024

Even Toyota Tacomas, which we were fans of since the mid-1980's, are now big trucks. I wish we'd bought 2 in 1985 and put 1 in storage.

Lonestarblue

(10,714 posts)
8. The problem with big SUVs and trucks is that they also make driving unsafe for those in small cars.
Tue Jan 16, 2024, 09:52 AM
Jan 2024

You can’t see around them or over them, and their drivers often hog the road because they can. And when one of these behemoths is in an accident, they often cause far more damage and death to the drivers of smaller cars. I suspect more people have opted for SUVs because they feel safer in them with so many other large vehicles on the road. But we as a nation repaying a price. The media has reported that fatal car crashes have been increasing. I suspect the size of vehicles pays a role, along with drunk driving a d excess speed.

Old Crank

(3,969 posts)
12. The data is in on that subject.
Tue Jan 16, 2024, 01:22 PM
Jan 2024

They are, along with pedestrians and cyclists. The NHTAS, the government safety org knows this. Has for decades and has done nothing while people are killed.

Ford_Prefect

(8,093 posts)
9. 1995 Toyota Camry with manual transmission: 298647 miles. I'm the 2nd owner and have rebuilt the suspension and brakes
Tue Jan 16, 2024, 10:02 AM
Jan 2024

twice and the catalytic converter was replaced once. It still has the original clutch and gets 30 mpg. It also runs as clean as it did the day it was sold. They no longer build personal automobiles to this standard since that would mean fewer new cars bought, and it would lead to the financial collapse of the lending and insurance industries.

The fashion of trucks as personal transportation came out of 2 situations in the recent past. Gulf War 1 established the HUMVEE as the premier macho machine capable of overcoming any modern obstacles such as wet leaves on an otherwise well paved road when taking the children to school or going to work. The other condition was how environmental and insurance regulation applied to domestic trucks. It seems that they were under-regulated regarding fuel economy, emissions and safety standards in the last part of the previous century, which made them cheaper to build than typical domestic cars.

Dressing up the trucks and selling them as the answer to modern social dilemmas produced enormous profits for American manufacturers. A trend they have continued to exploit to this day.

mitch96

(14,136 posts)
10. I think it was an opportunity the MFG's saw b/c of the covid crisis..00OOooo chip crisis, Ooo labor shortage.
Tue Jan 16, 2024, 10:04 AM
Jan 2024

Yes these thing happened but they are trying to milk the high prices for what ever it's worth..
What really torks me off is the "dealer added adjustment" of $1000 to $5000.
Just highway robbery. Nope won't do it..
Just a money grab. It's coming back to bite them. People buy with only the monthly payment in mind and when things get tight they default on the loan..Banks are tightening up requirements for loans which restrict people buying new cars.. Hurts the bottom line.. Screw 'em
I have had lots of Honda's and Toyotas. Great cars especally if you take care of them. My mechanic I had in South Florida had testimonials on the wall of people going over 300K on their civic's and accords.
Very reliable and simple to fix cars..
New ones? I don't know...
m

hunter

(38,558 posts)
11. I bought a new car once back in the mid 'eighties when I was young and full of myself.
Tue Jan 16, 2024, 10:17 AM
Jan 2024

I'll never do that again.

Our children were born a few years later. They learned how to drive a manual transmission in that car. Later they passed that skill along to some of their friends.

I eventually gave the car away. I've got some regrets that. It would've been cool to brag about a one-owner car.

My favorite sort of car is well-used, something I can turn into a reliable vehicle myself for a few hundred dollars. The last car I bought cost less than a thousand dollars. I do most mechanical work myself.

This planet cannot support an automobile for every adult human, all eight billion of us. It doesn't really matter how those cars are powered. I do my best not to support our automobile culture in any way and resent the fact that I have to own a car to be considered a fully functional adult in this society.

In a better world we'd be rebuilding our cities, turning them into attractive affordable places where car ownership is unnecessary.

Whatever you see in the television commercials, automobiles (and cell phones...) do not make you free.

Mr.Bill

(24,450 posts)
15. I drive a small car these days, a 2021 Nissan Sentra.
Wed Jan 17, 2024, 06:02 PM
Jan 2024

What I hate most about the big trucks and SUVs is coming out to a parking lot and finding these behemoths parked on either side of me so I can't even see another car coming towards where I'm backing out.

Old Crank

(3,969 posts)
16. Perhaps
Thu Jan 18, 2024, 12:42 AM
Jan 2024

You can have your 4 way flashers on as you ease out if you don't have a passenger who can be a spotter.

Those things also reduce the number of spaces you can out into parking lots and garages. The greater width and length starts ti add up. So designing parking gets to be more expensive.
The carryover effect to houses that are built with garages adds up also.

Kennah

(14,408 posts)
18. SUVs are definitely a huge factor, but overall planned obsolescence is arguably a larger factor
Fri Jan 19, 2024, 10:53 PM
Jan 2024

A number of maintenance issues are causing people to "throw away" used vehicles—that are perfectly fine, functional vehicles—when something "too expensive" breaks.

If something like a blown transmission occurs, if the vehicle is no longer under warranty, and no longer financed, then it might well make financial sense to trade it away, recover something, and the vehicle ends up in the hands of someone who can perform the repair themselves [although transmission repair is a tall order] or perhaps swap in a junkyard transmission.

Conversely, a heater core or AC evaporator core is a part that runs between perhaps $100 and $1000 (for a high-end vehicle). However, labor costs can run into thousands of dollars with some vehicles because so much of the vehicle has to be disassembled. With these vehicles, if a heater core or AC evaporator core goes, then you replace the other one as well. It is fascinating to look at a YouTube video demonstrating the replacement. I've seen some videos where a dozen carts are filled up with parts as they are removed. Sometimes, the result is that when the heater core goes out, the person takes the vehicle to Arizona to sell it. If the AC evaporator core goes out, sell it in North Dakota.

Some manufacturers are putting in owners manuals "never service the transmission, good for a lifetime." This isn't because it's a lifetime warranty. It's because original owners will generally trade the vehicle in after the warranty ends and before a time the transmission is likely to die.

My previous minivan, a 2005 Saturn Relay [and all of their GM clones], had a below average maintenance record, but I generally had good luck with it. I made it to 148K miles before it was totalled in a collision last year. I needed to flush the radiator and remove the thermostat in order to allow it to flush because the thermostat would clog up. I've removed thermostats before, and it was generally 2 bolts. This was 2 bolts, but it took me about 2 hours because of it's convoluted location. As bad as it was, I've seen videos of thermostat changes that involved disassembly of the front of the vehicle.

When maintenance is too expensive, then our vehicles are throwaways. That isn't sustainable.

Old Crank

(3,969 posts)
19. The average car on the road is now 12 years
Sat Jan 20, 2024, 06:16 AM
Jan 2024

HArdly throw away now. I remember people inthe 60's would trade in every 2 years, 30,000 miles, because that was when things started to fail. Alternators, starters, water pumps. etc. Now drive trains and their bits seem to easily reach 100,000k. Cars last much longer these days on average. The advertizing pushed people to buy a new one becasue of styling of fancy features.

You are right about heating/cooling parts in cabin. Many need to remove the dashboard to replace.

Prius we sold to our house mates when we left the US just died 8 years later and a couple of hundred thousand miles. Not the drive train. Suspension and ancillary parts for the inteior AC/heating. In most cases it makes more economic sense to replace rather than buy new, especially with the cost of new.

Kennah

(14,408 posts)
20. Lots of those old trade ins are still running or still being scavenged for parts. Newer trade ins, less so.
Sat Jan 20, 2024, 05:28 PM
Jan 2024

Also, parts supply chain for many newer vehicles is significantly diminished.

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