Do you live in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.? If so, there's a decent chance you can't afford a new car, according to a report by Interest.com, a consumer financial information website. It concludes that out of the nation's 25 largest metro areas, a median-income household can only afford an average-priced new vehicle in just one of them: Washington, D.C. The analysis considered three key factors: a 20% down payment; financing for no longer than four years; and principal, interest and insurance totaling no more than 10% of a household's gross income.
"What this research indicates, more than anything, is that a lot of Americans are spending too much money on their cars," said Mike Sante, Interest.com managing editor, in a news release. "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."
Assuming an average purchase price of $30,550 and a monthly payment of $601, the median income of our nation's capital afforded its residents a $628 monthly payment. San Francisco and Boston came closer than most, but still fell short with $537 and $507, respectively.