Outnumbered in the buying game

My husband and I have embarked upon the fun game of buying a new(er) vehicle. I’m already angry. 1 – I don’t want to have to spend $40k on a newer vehicle. 2- Car salespeople are no fun to deal with. 3 – It’s hard to find a quality vehicle at a decent price. We just so happen to be looking at 3rd row SUVs. The average price of a used SUV is $35,000. It has gone up 16% in the last 90 days alone!

Remember the good ol’ days when you could go to a car lot and find a car for under $10,000 that was still worth something and had plenty of life left to it? Those days no longer exist. Did you know that since January 2021, used vehicle values have gone up between 15-46% depending on what you’re buying! There are some vehicles that are “worth” more today than they were brand new off the showroom floor! That is absolutely insane!

The question begs to be asked: Why are used cars so expensive? Between fuel efficiency, safety additions, entertainment technology, and aluminum body panels and repairs, a new pickup can cost close to $100,000. I’m sorry! I can buy a small house for that!

Safety features are a great thing, but they are only as good as the person driving. I can’t tell you how many people I see texting and driving every day. (Don’t even get me started on that tangent!) All the entertainment side of it? Not so much, in my opinion. I sat in a new vehicle the other day that had a monitor so big on the dash and so many buttons, I was overwhelmed and felt like crying! I’m pretty sure that all I need on my dash are the buttons to control my heat/air and a radio dial. Cruise control is a bonus.

Have we as society become so lazy that we can use our mirrors or look over our shoulder while backing up that we have to have safety cameras?

In 1985, a brand new F150 had an MSRP of $7,900. An F150 single cab today has an MSRP of $29,290. That’s a 270% increase over the last 35 years. 

Just for fun, let’s do a little math. In 1985, the federal minimum wage was $3.35/hour. Today, the federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour. For arguments sake, we’ll say that everyone works an even 40 hours, 52 weeks a year. In 1985, that came out to $6,968 a year before taxes. Today, it comes out to $15,080 before taxes. You would have to work for a little over a year (59 weeks) before taxes were taken out and no other bills to pay for a vehicle in 1985. Today? You’d have to work for 2 years before taxes and no other bills. And that’s just at MSRP. That’s not at retail rate. I won’t even try to factor retail rate because they vary so wildly depending on above mentioned features.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not too excited about buying a vehicle that costs more than my annual paycheck and will require a $600 one-inch sticker just to drive, not to mention insurance. I sincerely hope that everyone has great car buying experiences, and if you can afford that $70k truck, go for it. *I might just be too old fashioned.