Illustration for article titled A thought: percentage of household income spent on a vehicles, and the psychology of car-buying

No, I am absolutely not asking for your information. But national statistics on this would be very interesting to me.

Does the average working class family pay more or less than 50% of their annual income per vehicle? How does each additional child affect the percentage? Does the upper middle class pay the highest due to their likelihood of attempting to ascend into new upper class? Does the old upper class pay the least because they have so much damn money? Which demographic owns their vehicles the longest? Obviously, geography would be a huge factor. Someone making six figures in southern California has less spending power than someone making a little less in a place with lower costs of living. For homeowners, what is their ratio of mortgage compared to car payments per month?


I also like thinking about why people buy what they do. I see people who make less than me, with children, buying new cars. How can they do it? Well in some minds, how can they not? They need a reliable vehicle at any moment because of their job and family. Stuff like that. One opponaut said their parents chose to buy a Dodge Caravan to haul around their Newfoundland dogs. I bought something with four seats because I have a puppy and a nephew on the way that I anticipate baby-sitting often.

Obviously, there would need to be tons of controls and adjustments. For example, buying outright vs making payments to own vs leasing, etc. Access, type of career, multiple sources of income, and so on...

These are the kind of things I think about when the dog naps.

Any hypotheses from you folks?

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