Households with median incomes can only afford average-priced cars

February 27, 2013 12:00 AM

Recent research from found that median-income households in the 25 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. can only afford an average-priced new car or truck. The company found results by looking at down payments, financing options and interest or insurance rates and then selecting an affordable purchase price and monthly payment for each of the cities. 

NBC News reports that the average new car costs about $30,500 - which is affordable only for average homes in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Boston, the cities where average homes could afford the second- and third-most expensive cars based on the study, each maxed out at around $26,000. 

"What this research indicates, more than anything, is that a lot of Americans are spending too much money on their cars," said Mike Sante, editor of "Car costs are one of the most controllable parts of a household's budget ... You're better off driving something more affordable and saving or investing the difference." 

To keep vehicle costs down, drivers should consider purchasing more affordable new cars or investing in scheduled maintenance and auto repair to extend the life of current rides. 

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