Bark M. has a chat with the co-owner of a used-car dealership, and this bit of pragmatism pops up:
He told me about a beautiful 2013 E350 Sport 4Matic that he sold to a customer, and how finally getting rid of that car was going to enable him to go buy TWO used trucks at auction that week. “Those things we can really make some money on,” he excitedly shared with me. “People are still afraid of car payments in this economy. It’s much easier for me to move a few used trucks that I can get people into $210-220 payments on than these high-end cars. Those cars have two kinds of customers over-educated pricks who come in here and tell me how much I paid for the car and how they don’t think I should be allowed to make any money on them, and then the people who don’t have any ability to actually pay for them.”
I certainly wouldn’t mind a 2013 E350 Sport 4Matic, but while I might be able to afford it (maybe), I’m not going in with the idea of intimidating dealer staff: they know more angles than I possibly can, and I pride myself on not being an overeducated prick.
Still, car payments, in many cases, are indeed something to be feared. There’s at least one person almost every single day on Yahoo! Answers who just bought a car in the last couple of months and is now, in that innocuous British phrase, being “made redundant”; invariably he wants to know if he can take it back to the dealership, the way he’d return a low-end power tool to Walmart. (No, he can’t.)