Fighting A Car Buying Addiction: How To Stop Wasting Money And Make Your Things Last Forever

A car is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever buy.  A car will also likely be one of the most foolish financial decisions you’ll ever make as well.  Everybody knows that cars depreciate in value and cost way more than just the monthly payments or sunk cash.  You’ve got car insurance, maintenance, parking fees, tickets, and potential accidents to deal with that really start adding up.

Despite all the expenses, there’s a love affair with cars.  Perhaps we like the status a car gives?  Or maybe we just like the freedom to drive anywhere we want, whenever we want.  Freedom, after all, is priceless.

I’ve gone through 8 cars myself during my car addiction phase right out of school.  I just loved the idea of driving something new every year and negotiating a transaction.  I think I enjoyed the thrill of bargaining as much as getting a new/used car itself!

At some point I realized I no longer wanted to spend time haggling over Craigslist and going to DMV hell for a couple hours to get each vehicle registered.  I had better things to do with my life.  Going cold turkey was difficult at first, but I’m proud to say that after 5 years, I’ve driven the same car!

RESISTING THE URGE TO SPLURGE

There are really only two things you need to do to eradicate your desire to buy a new car, or any other material item that you don’t need for that matter.

1) Name your car.  Anthropomorphism is a powerful, powerful thing.  As soon as you name your car, you give it a personality and a soul.  With a personality and a soul, you can no longer just abuse it like a ragged doll.  My truck’s name is Moose.  I love Moose.  He’s handsome, reliable, and very loyal.  Given he’s part of the family now, I’ve decided to keep him for as long as it makes sense.  At some point, I’ll realize I should sell or donate Moose since he is turning 12 years old.  However, at this point, I’m happy to buy him new brakes, rotors, batteries and change his fluids.

2) Go to the dealer and intoxicate yourself.  Moose’s private party retail value is about $3,600 from $8,500 five years ago.  When you go to a dealer, you start appreciating what you have.  Just the other day, I stopped by the Mercedes Benz dealer for fun on the way home from golf.  I test drove a well-equipped $47,000 out the door 2012 C250 coupe.  I loved the new car smell and the drive was exhilarating.  This wasn’t even the highest end version as the C350 coupe had 100 more horsepower and cost $5,000 more.  When it was time to negotiate, the salesman insulted Moose by giving him a trade in value of only $1,114!  There was no way this C250 coupe was worth 45X more than my beloved Moose!  I declined his pitch and left smiling.

If you aren’t convinced how silly it is buying a new car when a used car can do perfectly fine, take a look at this picture carefully.  Analyze it and soak all the data in.  Look at the monthly payments after a $4,000 down payment.  Observe the Trade Allowance of $1,114 for Moose and the Net Sales Price of $46,497.98 after taxes.  Ridiculous!

3) Visit a garage sale or throw your own.  One of the most humbling experiences is de-cluttering and minimizing your things through a garage sale.  That golf club you spent $120 on might only get $10 now.  That purse you were dying to have for $350 now is worth only $20 bucks.  The list goes on and on of things you spent way more than you should.  Once you start going to garage sales or to Goodwill, you will find so many bargains that you will seldom ever spend full or sale price ever again!

CONTROL YOURSELF

If you have a spending problem, you may want to challenge yourself to some income earning games to keep your spending in check.  If you are addicted to cars, shoes, handbags, watches and anything that’s not necessary, take my above two tips to heart.  It’s understandable to have wants, but some of us go overboard.  The tips have saved me tens of thousands of dollars and hours at the DMV.

In fact, you can take the tipss and apply them to any material addiction/weakness you have.  I promise you that after a while, you’ll be able to slowly reduce your frivolous spending habits and start saving and building a massive nest egg for your future.

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Updated: 5/2014

Regards,

Sam

 

 

“Personal

Unconventional Guides

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Sydney March 29, 2012 at 6:24 am

Wow I can’t believe you bought 8 cars! Glad to hear you broke your addiction as that’s a really expensive one to have. Fortunately I don’t get excited at all when I think about new cars. I just want to be safe and not have to worry about breaking down and getting stranded.

I do like going to the auto shows and looking at all the classic cars and the racing cars though. I have no urge to buy or drive one but I think they’re really neat to look at. There’s something about Formula One and Nascar that fascinates me!

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Financial Samurai March 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Ah yes, the good ol days. Most guys I know what to go buy a car as soon as they graduate and get a job. It’s exhilarating! But, also financially foolish.

Fun times and I’m glad I cured the addiction.

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Rachel March 29, 2012 at 7:02 am

No car buying addiction here. I’ve purchased precisely 1 car. I had it built to my specifications (perk of working in auto industry baby). I will drive it until the wheels fall off. I just need to stay out of sports equipment and book stores. I don’t even let myself walk in unless it’s for a specific purpose. I rarely bring money into a book store unless it’s the cash that I saved just for that purpose.

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Financial Samurai March 29, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Oh wow, so that means you bought a new car? Did you follow my 1/10th rule of car buying by spending no more than 1/10th your gross income on a car?

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MoneyCone March 29, 2012 at 8:46 am

Here’s how I got rid of my constant gadget upgrade addiction – I won’t upgrade till I manage to sell the one I have.

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Financial Samurai March 29, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I like that simple rule!

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John @ Married (with Debt) March 29, 2012 at 9:14 am

Being from a very rural area, cars and trucks are the big thing in high school and beyond. It is often a way to measure someone’s worth.

Yes, you live in a $20,000 trailer and drive a $45,000 truck.

I think new cars are the best way to turn a slow walk to the poorhouse into a quick drive.

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Financial Samurai March 29, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I can totally see how it’s a big thing in a rural area, b/c I don’t live in a rural area and I thought it was a big thing in my 20′s. I LOVE cars!

However, living in a $20,000 trailer and driving a $45,000 truck is financial suicide indeed.

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krantcents March 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I love cars, but broke my addiction years ago. I think it was when I made my last payment. (12 years ago). After 17 years, I “want” a newer car. I hope to drive another 15 years and I do not think my cars will last that long. I already almost reached my goal of running my car (Honda) into the ground. NOt literally, the value is almost zero. I am going to figure it out in the next couple months.

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Financial Samurai March 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm

But what about that 1957 Ford Mustang with the rustic leather seats?? Only live once Larry!

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JFP July 25, 2012 at 7:12 am

No such thing as a 1957 Ford Mustang!

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Melissa@PersonalFinanceJourney March 30, 2012 at 11:15 am

I don’t have an addiction to cars, but I do get a bit antsy for a new car when my car turns over 100,000 miles. I drove beaters in high school and was stranded more than a few times when my car died (and this was before cell phones!). Now, our car is 7 years old and has 106,000 miles. It feels less reliable to me, so I begin to worry about breakdowns. However, with our finances, we will be keeping it for at least three more years. (It has been paid off for 3 years now.)

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Financial Samurai March 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Nah, 100,000 is just the mark auto mechanics try and make you afraid. It’s really an arbitrary number. Your car can go to 150,000 no problem. These days, cars are so much better built than in the 70′s and 80′s!

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The Saved Quarter March 30, 2012 at 11:26 am

I don’t have a car buying addiction, and in fact drive my cars into the ground. I’ve had 3 cars in 17 years of driving! But we’re currently shopping for a minivan and your thoughts definitely help me regain perspective – the nice new shiny just isn’t worth the depreciation!

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Financial Samurai March 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm

What’s the mini van for Denise?! Baby or two on the way perhaps?? :)

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Thomas - Ways to Invest Money March 30, 2012 at 1:20 pm

I dont know if people have an addiction or just feel entitled. Every one thinks they deserve a nice car or that having one means you have made it/have money. I look at cars as a waste of money. When I am in my used 96 civic that is excellent on gas – I see cars pass and think $350, 500, or $700 month car payment, gas, and oh yeah maintenance. Not worth it to me.

I love cars don’t get me wrong but looking at them and setting them as my wall paper works just fine.

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Financial Samurai March 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Cars really are a waste of money. However, it was always my dream to own a nice car or two once I had some money. I went a little nuts, but it was SO FUN to negotiate and trade cars every year! Some years I even made money. Many years, the car just cost about $500-$1,500 total after the sale, so it wasn’t too big of a deal.

I now treat Moose as family. Point a to point b!

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Tyler S. March 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm

I’ve never been one to be very big into cars. For me, it’s my transportation from A to B. That’s it. Bought by first car in high school for $125 – Ford Taurus, sold it for $75 before leaving for college.. still ran fine after almost a year. 2nd car $700 – Old Mitsubishi Eclipse, died after about 9 months.. sold for a couple hundred bucks. Now on my 3rd, $1600 – Honda Civic, hoping it lasts a while! I’ve seen some friends who bought new cars right out of high school wishing they never would have done it.. still making payments!

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Financial Samurai March 31, 2012 at 8:52 am

You are lucky you do not have the addiction Tyler! $125 car? WOW! I need to start lowering my expectations of what someone should spend on a car. Fits well into my 1/10th rule for car buying though!

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Jose April 10, 2012 at 1:37 am

Anthropomorphism is a powerful, powerful thing. As soon as you name your car, you give it a personality and a soul.
____________
Jose

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Albert April 25, 2012 at 10:43 am

I am very guilty of having this car buying addiction. /; It’s like I get a certain kind of high when I look at cars or test drive them. I have bought/sold/traded about 10 cars in the past 6 years. It’s gotten out of control. I always make sure that each car is within my means and I can afford them, but I always buy a car and am left with an unsatisfied feeling when I drive it for a couple months and get over it. I think with each car I look at its good features, but focus on the bad stuff, like gas mileage, overall gas mileage, longevity, and features. Its so interesting because I took a philosophy class and (this is something I’ve always known) we basically learned that you can’t buy happiness. Life is filled with temporary highs, but when you truly look inside yourself and face your problems with true conscious awareness, you can decipher what the true core issue is. For me, i’ve been dealt with it with buying new cars.. just because I could, but now I am trying to get better and NOT buying a new car. It really is all about self control. Hopefully with this car I have now I can not pull into temptation and find a reason to buy a new one. Sorry for getting all technical and deep. Maybe I should try giving my car a name, ha.

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Jason June 19, 2012 at 6:57 am

Albert (and Sam)-I’m totally with you. Same here. 14 cars in past 9 yrs. WHILE I found this link I was researching for another car. Buddhism explains the ‘suffering of change’-that is-the suffering we endure when our feelings change about something-such as a car. We LOVED it-HAD to have it, then it wanes, and we’re left where we were before. I can rationalize and spin it a million ways in my mind-like the features you mentioned Albert. FORTUNATELY, the car I JUST test drove had problems-and I was strong enough to walk away from a bad deal. It feels literally like one-day-at-a-time. I’ve been seeing a psychologist for 8 yrs and I have yet to discover why I have this need. So—for us-or anyone in the grip of an addiction…let’s try to stay strong. I love the Simpson’s…I think I’m going to name my Acura ‘Marge’ :) Hope it works! Good luck! -JB

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Financial Samurai June 19, 2012 at 7:35 am

Good luck w/ Marge! Now that you’ve named her, I don’t think you’ll ever have the audacity to sell her!

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JFP July 25, 2012 at 7:16 am

Albert, I agree, there is more to it then the buying or “wheeling and Dealing”. Best of luck.

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JFP June 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Wow, I am glad I am not the only one with this problem. I have felt the desire and highs and lows as described here in the comments. In 32 years of driving I have just purchased my 62 nd car. I have lost total control and wasted thousands of dollars over the years. Lookjing for help and coping mechanism. I have had a love affair with cars most of my life!. I hve close friends into cars and they tend to owm many or another friend who seems to have the midas touch and always finds the exotic car parts and deals.

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Jason June 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm

JFP-You’re certainly NOT the only one w/this problem! And I’m with you-’looking for help and coping mechanism(s)’. I’ve noticed also-my car addiction has gotten more pervasive as my salary increased over the years. The cars have always been ‘affordable’-but they’ve gotten more expensive and more frequent as I started making more money. Out of curiosity-what do you guys see in ‘relationship status’? Specifically-I’m single-and this began to REALLY kick in after my divorce. Dating a woman now w/3 children (10 yrs after my divorce and a zillion cars later)-I often have to ask myself if the money for a trade-in would be better spent toward a potential future of us together. So, I’d be curious to see the demographics on this-issue. I’m sure vastly male, 18-50+, and again-I’m suspecting more single guys. Thoughts? I’m not saying we should all get into a relationship to solve our problem! But for me-it’s been helping curb some of my impulsiveness lately. The OTHER option I’m thinking-especially for folks w/o pensions-at 40-I could pump even MORE money into my 401k-money I never see-and will certainly use in the future. Maybe working w/a tighter budget will also help…? I struggle though too guys-so any and all suggestions are welcome. Good luck amigos. -Jason

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JFP July 25, 2012 at 7:05 am

I am not single and have children and realize I am squandering some of their future with these car purchases over the years. I think it is all part of a larger pattern or problem. My latest thing is handguns, buy trade, etc. Other things I could care less about, not into stereo systems, TVs, gaming, golf etc. I do enjoy cars and the sport of it, but use it somehow to curb other issues or disappointments in life. If you ever decide to be serious with this person you are dating and the 3 kids she has, you have to get this in control. I sometimes can’t believe how powerful this care buying impulse/pattern/rationalizing has become for me. Thank god it is not illegal to buy cars, else I woudl really be in trouble. Good luck Jason.

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Phil Johnson June 27, 2012 at 7:41 am

I’ve bought over 30 some cars and I’m only 27. Some were free but most were sub 500 dollar cars. I’ve made some money on a few, and lost out big time on some too. Lately though my car buying spree has been slowing down. A combination of increasing used car prices, a lack of the type of cars I like (RWD), and an income that is half of what I used to make has forced me to hold on to cars for a longer period of time. Now instead of getting rid of a car simply because I’m tired of it I get rid of them when they break down. Since the cars are so cheap to begin with I don’t lose much.

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Financial Samurai June 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

Wow, I thought I was an addict! :)

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Edward Antrobus June 27, 2012 at 9:13 am

The only reason I don’t still have my 1991 Camry, which I bought 4th-hand in 2003: I completely destroyed it in a minor accident. I had planned on taking that car to 300,000 miles, which I figured I was about 3 years from.
I’m on my 4th car in 14 years of driving, although I only got my current one last year and only had my first one for 10 months before I discovered that 30 year old Beatles don’t stand up so well against telephone polls at 50mph!

My car names have been rather unimaginative. The Camry was “Red Rover” The silver Corolla had a name not quite fit for print, but it was an alliteration that started with the color and had a tagline of “everyone gets a ride!”

I’ve just been calling the Geo either “the Geo” or “the POS” because the entire thing is basically held together with duct tape, but I can’t complain for $500

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Financial Samurai June 27, 2012 at 9:44 am

Haha, nice.

The POS sounds like a better nickname for the Geo! Much more endearing!

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Mike July 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm

This is just the thread I needed to find. I’ve recently been fighting the urge to buy my 16th vehicle. I never thought I had a “problem”, I just figured I was a car guy. I’m turning 30 next week and it’s had me taking a look at myself a little deeper. Now I’m thinking WOW, I do have a problem. But even as I read this I know I still have the urge to buy a new car. Well I’m still I’m my 20′s for another week, I guess there’s enough time to make one more poor decision and blame it on being young….right?

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Sydney July 24, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Don’t start your 30′s on the wrong foot, especially if you’re already recognizing that you have a car buying problem. Save your money and put it towards getting your finances in shape first!

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Jason July 25, 2012 at 5:38 am

Mike-I KNOW it’s tempting-VERY, VERY tempting…but 20′s to 30′s goes to 40′s before you know it. At 40 now myself-I was JUST telling my friend last night-if I had KEPT the 350z or the ’05 Mustang GT or the Honda S2000, or-ANY of the others…they would have been paid off by now…and now-at 40-while I still have savings-and while my job security is very tenuous right now…I can’t HELP but think I just blew thousands-and thousands-on these trade ins over the years. You’re in good company here…TRY (and I have to remind myself too!) to think of ‘mode of transportation’…it’s hard-hang in there man. -JB

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JFP July 25, 2012 at 6:58 am

Yes, I have wasted thousands of dollars. Get control, or it will get worse. I have a family and younger kids, I could have at least have saved a substantial amount towards college for one of my kids. I have been driving over 30 yrears, so I am in my late 40′s.

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Financial Samurai July 25, 2012 at 7:08 am

The one thing I remember though in 2009 is thinking… at least I didn’t dump my car spending into the stock market!

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Financial Samurai July 25, 2012 at 7:07 am

Eh… 16th vehicle, yikes! Doesn’t the DMV hell get old after a while?

It did for me, that’s why I stopped at 8.

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JFP July 25, 2012 at 7:21 am

Yeah, DMV, insurance company, and county registration, friends, family, neighbors, and CAR DEALER STAFF – very embarrassing!

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Andrew September 4, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I have a big of a problem myself. I currently own 3 cars, as I’ve been buying 1 a year over the last 3 years. I suppose I do have an addiction of sorts – I love reading about new vehicles, test driving new vehicles, and I always want to have the latest.

The worst part is I purchased all three vehicles brand new and paid between 30k-75k. The 75k vehicle is now worth approximately 45-50k, so that’s money I’ll never get back. I only need one car and really want to downsize to one vehicle and just accept the loss + stop paying so much for insurance. I think I will have to just sell them privately and try to get the best money I can out of each one.

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Jason September 5, 2012 at 7:06 am

I know this kind of sneaks up on us Andrew. And I’ve always been the same-wanting the newest-the latest and greatest. I think selling off 2 of the 3-especially privately-to get the most money back-is a great idea. And like you said-the insurance will drop then too. I think this forum is VERY helpful-b/c we’re all kind of in the same boat. Let us know how you make out. Good luck man! -Jason

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Andrew August 20, 2013 at 10:12 am

Thanks Jason! How time flies. Two steps forward, one back. I traded-in the sports car for a practical car and sold off the third car. I’m at two, but now working on some minor fixes to one of the vehicles I had modified with plans to sell it off. Insurance is far lower though at least.

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JB August 21, 2013 at 7:03 am

Glad to hear it Andrew! And 2 steps forward-1 back, well-at least it’s some progress! Even if it’s slow-we can (all) use all the help we get! Sounds like you’re on the right track! And knock on wood-we’ll both stay ‘on the wagon’! :) -Jason

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Steve August 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Guys. I have brought/traded approx 40 vehicles in the past 10 years. I love the thrill of the hunt and the bartering on Craigslist. It’s a high like no other. Any suggestions on how to stop.

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JB August 20, 2013 at 6:05 am

Steve-it’s tough, I know. I try to let the ‘money’ stop me. it’s really never been an issue-i’m lucky-I’ve got a pretty good, fairly well-paying job. but once I turned 40-despite everything in savings-there’s no doubt I’ve lost ten’s of thousands on all the trade ins, etc. I think it also helped to narrow down to a car I really ‘want’-that few others can fill (for me, red, 6spd, fast, etc). IF I were to get another-for what purpose? economy? maybe. but style-i’d have to move up to a corvette or Porsche-can’t justify it now. I like the car-it’s hot-chicks dig it-and I keep putting extra principle payments on it. it’s the first performance car I put new tires on (normally I would just trade out the whole car when due). TRY to find an alternative high (but i’m preaching to the choir I know-i’m the same). ultimately-the only thing that seemed to work for me (and keep in mind i’m only a year into this car-that’s nothing, I know)-is trying to justify getting something else. it would cost about the same. I’ve already invested in this car (yet ANOTHER car w/top-of-the-line tinting, now tires, etc). it’s hot-chicks dig it-and I love driving it. at 40-it’s really important for me to save as much as possible-more so than before. even WITH a kick-@$$ job. and even if we had a ‘money is no object’ job-we’re still just chasing the high-of searching, looking, negotiating. I think you’re in good company here man. write it out if you’re floundering-just admitting we’ve got this…’thing’ I think is a help! and EVERYONE here is in the same boat! good luck. stay strong. invest in the car a bit-maybe that will help keep you from flipping it. -jb, tampa, fl.

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Pete Richardson September 17, 2013 at 10:07 am

I had it bad until recently. Over a 15 year period I went through 21 cars, and it would have been more if it wasn’t for my wife getting increasingly bitchy about it. Not that I blame her.

I was up to car number 20 before I realised I had a problem, then the last one I had to change so we could get a tow car. After decent psychological help, I’m now a recovering addict. 14.8 months since I last changed and counting. No intention of changing now either.

I’ve wasted countless thousands by changing perfectly good cars only a few months (or in a couple of cases, weeks) after buying them. No more.

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Sydney September 20, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Good for you on moving past your addiction! Keep it up!

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JFP September 20, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Hey Pete: Sounds like you got counseling for the problem of car addiction. If I may ask, what was the underlying driver for all of this behavior? I am in the same situation and have purchased more then 3 times as many cars as you over the last 33 years. Thanks, and good that you sought help.

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Pete Richardson September 23, 2013 at 4:16 am

Thanks Sydney. :)

JFP, my biggest problem has been (and still is really) social anxiety. Researching cars & looking for them was always good, distracting fun, and then I enjoyed bantering with the salesmen and making the deal – which is ironic given my problem. There was always a big buzz from that, so I felt better about myself. Of course, the effect didn’t last for long, so I’d soon go looking again..

I think that’s another way of saying the lack of social contact (and lack of assertiveness in general) that caused my depression and it’s the depression that led to buying one car after another. It seemed like it was the only problem I could ever solve in my life. Fuel economy rubbish? No problem, buy a more efficient car. Car too small? No problem, buy a bigger one. Loan payment too much? No problem, buy an old banger. Car unreliable? No problem, buy a newer one. And so it went on. Always avoiding the real, underlying problems in my life.

Funny thing is that I’d always be certain that every car I’d bought would be the “keeper”. Even a week or two before I’d sell up on a whim, I’d be convinced that I was keeping it, spending money on maintenance or customisation, and then I got the urge to sell and couldn’t think of anything else until I’d done it. The ridiculous rationalisation that I’d go through to justify to myself and wife become ever more far fetched, until I got to the point of contemplating deliberately crashing my car… Crazy stuff. Thankfully, I stopped before I went that far.

I see similar behaviours in close family too, only in their lives it appears as changing job or house regularly, instead of the car.

Two positive steps I’ve taken to try and kick this habit:
– 1 – don’t ever look at car magazines or websites. It’s like holding a cold beer in your hand if you’re an alcoholic.
– 2 – try naming your ride and developing a personality for it, as suggested here. It seems silly at first, but who knows. it might just work?

And if all else fails and you do succumb to the dreaded deal, spend as little as possible. At least then you can keep control of the amount lost if nothing else. I think the 1/10 of income rule on this site is a great idea. I would’ve saved at least 10-15 thou if I’d followed that.

Good luck JFP. My thoughts are with you buddy.

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JFP September 23, 2013 at 9:51 am

Thanks Pete, I appreciate the candidness. I too, have gone through some of the mental rationalization that you point out in your own experience. I can kick myself when I start to add up how much I have wasted on these purchases. Good luck to you as well.

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John October 9, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Hey guys, Im happy I found this thread!
Im probably not much of a car-addicted guy, but recently I have made a car purchase that was mostly an unnecessary waste of money and started to feel buyer’s remorse.
Ok, first, a bit about me, Im 38 years old, currently single boy. Im currently working as Im an engineer and my income is neither good nor bad, it is sufficient for me alone and I lack nothing important.
Ok, my first car was in college years but that was actually a clunker that my dad gave to my brother and me for free when he ditched it. So my brother and I shared it. It was a Dodge Dart 1978. It was an unreliable car that let me stranded many times, and twice with two different girls. One of them was the girl of my dreams at that time. Lucky that girl was a reasonable woman and she reacted accordingly. Ok, that was so embarrassing because you really want your beloved lady to have a good time and you want to give her the best. But the clunker failed to me and I failed to her.

Then I didn’t have a car until I was 30 that my income allowed me to buy and maintain a car, hence, in 2005 I bought used from my mom her Chevrolet Cavalier 2000. This has been an overall good, car. With time, it needed some fixing. In the period of these 8 years I invested no small money on it (new clutch, four struts, four tires, two front ball bearings, replaced two gears in the gearbox, replaced engine mounts, air-heating radiator, replaced twice the water pump, refurbished the alternator, re-painted it, refurbished some interiors (seats and ceiling) and now the Cavalier runs great. I wanted to keep it in top shape and reliable, didn’t want another unreliable clunker like the old Dart.
It has a name, a previous girlfriend named it “Cloud” because it is white as a cloud and runs smooth as if you are floating on air. Well, kind of, but really it feels great.
Ok, a few weeks ago I bought a 2010 Civic Coupe. I had been watching for Civics for more than three years as I like them so much and I have read excellent reviews about its reliability and durability.
At first I wanted to keep my Cavalier until 2015.
But I felt an urge to replace it with the Civic. I wasn’t able to resist it any longer and, having saved enough money, I just couldn’t resist and bought it.
But to be honest, it was an unnecessary waste of money.
The Civic is absolutely great car but I don’t need it as my old “Cloud” was doing the job quite fine.
A friend of mine told me “girls are gonna chase after you with this newer coupe as it is vivid red and women love anything that is vivid red color”
The truth is that I realize this purchase was only about a thing that I want but don’t need.
I had never before in my life wasted so much money in just a want.
This used Civic coupe has about 5,500 miles and cost me US$14,400.00 which is a good deal of money that heavily impacted my bank account (I paid with cash) and it will take me a couple of years to recover.
So I don’t know why but I feel it was worthless.
Not that the car is worthless, not at all!!
The car itself is such a great piece of engineering and it is a lovely car.
But you know, it was just a want, pure desire.
I can’t believe I did it.
Now, I sold my old “Cloud” to a close friend and he is so happy about it.
Sometimes I feel envy and want my “Cloud” back because I invested a good deal of time and passion fixing it and keeping it in good shape.
On the other hand, this Civic is perfect, it needs nothing, it is already perfect, the previous owner was a car lover and kept it in excellent shape so I don’t need to do anything to it. This is good, but now it doesn’t feel as mine.
Something is yours when you shape it your way, when you add your own personality to it.
That’s why it was so hard to sell my “Cloud”, it was like losing a part of me.
Happy a good friend has it.
Now, my Civic is great but insurance is a lot more expensive and when time comes to replace tires they are gonna be more expensive because big alloy rims. Also, as it is perfect, now I stress about getting a scratch or hitting the sidewalk with the alloy rims causing irreversible damage to these alloy rims,e tc, etc Also, it is a bit sporty so it brings some eyes into it as it is a bit flashy. I don’t like that.

You know, before you buy a newer shinny car, think it twice.
It will add a lot of stress to your life!!!
My old beloved “Cloud” gave me a LOT of piece of mind.
Nobody wants to steal it.
If it gets another scratch, so what?
I could drive/park with it into ugly neighborhoods and no problem.
It was doing the job taking me from point A to point B
So, guys, reflect upon this.
Newer, fancier stuff only adds stress to your life.
Unless you are millionaire, fancy stuff only hurts you
Im no millionaire and I really feel this Civic is way above my level!!
This causes stress.
I wanted something newer, something fancier, something more reliable
I lost confidence in my old car
Lately, each time I drove Cloud I felt a bit unhappy like “oh, its getting older and older”
“oh, it is just an average car, no fun”
I felt the urge of buying a newer car… and I did exactly that
Im currently no more happy than what I was before
Actually, I was happier before because I did not stress
I hope you take advice from this experience
So far I will keep it for at least 15 years now on
Best regards!

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JFP October 10, 2013 at 5:31 am

John: Thanks for the post. However, you are 38 years old and this is your third car in your life? Don’t stress over it, drive the car until it dies. This site is really about addictive car buying, no one here would think you have a problem with buying and keeping cars. I do get the sense your are a bit obsessive in general though. Keep the car and enjoy it, nothing wrong for owning a newer, more reliable and safer car. Good luck with the car.

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Financial Samurai October 10, 2013 at 8:46 am

I agree. Not worth the stress at 38 with 3rd car. I was on my 9th car by 30!

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Jamie October 26, 2013 at 10:32 pm

John,
Don’t sweat it. A Civic is still a “worry-free” car in its own right. Not too fancy and blends in.

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Jamie October 26, 2013 at 10:49 pm

I can relate with so many on this site. Pete your ideas about not looking at car websites and magazines are outstanding pieces of advice.
I’ve had 16 cars in 11yrs. Lately I’ve been keeping them longer but around the 1yr mark, I get the itch for something else. I have a really nice ’10 Mercury Milan I bought used for cash which runs great and looks great but sure enough, I test drove a ’14 Mustang GT and now I’m soooo tempted to pull the trigger on one due the addictive power and sound.

But I’d have to cough up my car and probably another $20K cash to do it. And like others have said, as much as I try to resist it, the urge keeps coming back and the only final solution to put out the fire is to do the deal. I too love the high of buying new or used cars, negotiating…etc.
And I always think…..OK, this is it. This will be the one I keep. But if got the ‘Stang maybe I’d love it but would probably start bitching about the gas mileage or miss my smooth ride of the Milan and want to sell it. I mean do I REALLY have any credibility having bought 16 cars in 11 years….that I’m going to actually hold on to one?
But still that part of me says…….Oh go ahead…..get that car you REALLY want. If you had done this earlier, you’d probably have not bought so many cars…..I know that’s BS though as you get used to something, you crave the next high.

I’m going to be 44, single and no kids. My job pays pretty well and I have $150K in savings. But I’d probably have closer to $190K if hadn’t bought and sold so many cars. Plus just b/c I have the $$, doesn’t mean I should spend it.

Back to Pete’s advice. It makes so much sense. If you’re trying to lose weight and have a healthier lifestyle, would you browse donut shop websites all day? And read/look at pictures of desserts in magazines? Of course you wouldn’t. As this would put you in a constant state of temptation. But I do it all the time with car sites and mags. What do I expect….at a minimum that stuff should be excluded from my participation.

Going to try really hard and resist the Mustang. Even though part of me thinks I should buy a fun car and be done with it…..but that’s my sickness speaking. This is a want and not a need. And obsessing about a thing….is never healthy.

Anyway I feel for everyone on this site with a car buying addiction and wish you well. I for one will not be visiting car forums, dealer sites or reading car mags as like Pete said….it’s a cold beer for an alcoholic.

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John October 28, 2013 at 12:10 am

Hello again and thank you for all of you who read me and gave your valuable opinion. (Im the “Civic” guy)

Im probably not a car-addict but the only real difference between a car-addict and me is a matter of quantity. We all have strong desires that might seem impossible to handle and that seem to conquer us.

I had a close relative who went into the drug abuse path. On therapy we all learned that we all people have desires and weaknesses but some handle it some way and some other handle it in different way.

The make a long story short, I can say this: a good first step is to change your addiction to another one. If your addiction is to buy a new car as soon as you already bought one, then, consider buying something as a surrogate for a new car.

Ok, this gonna sound silly or ridiculous, but it helps, believe me. Lets say you are craving for that Mustang. Just for today buy a Mustang… but a scale model, or something associated to that real thing Mustang car you so much crave for. It may be a big poster or something, whatever acts as a surrogate, a substitute for the real thing.

My close relative went replacing hard drugs for tobacco, then coffee, then candies, then fruits and so on.

This was not the only action he took, of course, but it helped to control the anxiety at this very moment. What Im suggesting is get something right now that helps you calm down anxiety right now. This is by no means a solution, but it helps to survive another day, just another day. At the same time work on developing other interests.

There was a time in my past that I used to buy and collect so many HO scale model slot cars. I still have my collection (now it is over 70 HO scale model slot cars). As a matter of fact, I remember some guy on the net, whose website is all about scale model cars, who started saying something like this “You love cars and you would love to have them all… But you are not a multimillionaire? Well, in that case, scale model cars may better suit your budget and time…” I can’t remember his exact words but such was the idea

Substitute one addiction for another and then another and then another until you don’t need any addiction because in the meantime you developed interest in some other areas of your life.

I just want to help you out, people, we are all the same regardless of our problems we are all humans and we need each other.

I have lived with a relative who had drug problems and I learned something very important: we are no different, we are all the same, but it’s a matter of how much and how long we go into one path.

I praise you who are doing something to overcome this, Im sure you will succeed!!

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Jamie October 28, 2013 at 5:06 pm

John, I appreciate your comments and efforts. And I think they are great ideas. I think I would tweak your wording some, as I don’t think you’re really advocating replacing one addiction for another. That’s really not all that healthy in it’s own right. If I stopped surfing porn for hours and now surf for cars, I’m really just shifting to another unhealthy endeavor taking up all my time.

But sounds like you’re suggesting channeling the energy in another direction. And I think that’s a good idea. My addiction to cars flares up when I’m bored and don’t have that “spark” in my life. For me that’s distance running and I’ve been injured for 6 weeks so I’m restless. And let’s face it, I also like cars. But I’m still driving Mirkie the Milan and enjoying the freedom of having $$$ in the bank.

Thanks again, John.

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Financial Samurai October 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Hi Guys,

I came up with the Net Worth Rule For Car Buying to help curb your addictions.

Check it out!
http://www.financialsamurai.com/2013/10/25/net-worth-rule-for-car-buying-guideline/

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Ed June 13, 2014 at 10:27 pm

Wow…other crazy car addicts like myself! In the past 30 years of driving, I’ve owned 31 cars and 19 motorcycles (and probably 20 bicycles)! Most of the cars and bikes were used, but once I found that I could start making payments (around 30 years old)…then the sky was the limit. My problem is that I like fine quality sporty cars, but also like 4WD vehicles as I live in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. Being “outdoorsy” is always been my image.

I’m a single guy approaching 50, but have very few obligations. My biggest problem now is that I’m becoming more of an itinerate worker and moving 3-4 vehicles every year when I move is a PITA!

So…do I keep my big burly 4WD vehicle that gets 18 mpg or my little German car that is a joy to drive and gets upper 20s? I compare the 4WD vehicle to a mountain bike and my car to a road bike. Sure, a mtn bike will go everywhere a road bike will…but a road bike is laughably faster on the road.

I also have other addictions including firearms, guitars, rock collecting, etc. Hmmmm…

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JFP June 14, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Hey Ed. Yeah, it is a bit crazy, I guess compulsive buying is our drug of choice. I think I have bought around 70 new/used in 34 years out of driving. In reality, BIG waste of money. I have a friend who has multiple vehicles and is an overall collector of various things. I have tried to get into the handgun thing to avoid the car buying, a little cheaper in the long run. Hope you get it under control. However, if you pay your bills, have savings and retirement and it sounds like you have no children, then what the heck. You could have far worse issues, at least these items a within the bounds of the law. Good luck in whatever you do. JFP.

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Ed June 19, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Thanks for your understanding! :) I cannot believe that you have had over TWICE the number of cars that I have had. CRAZY! My parents are totally the opposite. My mother drives an 18 year old Honda despite being quite wealthy. Same with my father. Both are close to the end of their lives and won’t change. Maybe, they’ll have a nice car in the afterlife….eh?

The fact that most cars are losing their appeal (lack of manual transmissions and non-four cylinder engines) makes me keep what I have longer. Even “lower end” BMWs & Audis now have automatic transmissions with turbo fours. Boring! Unless, I’m willing to spend a lot of $$$…I’m stuck with what I have.

Currently, I own a 2003 VW Jetta VR6, a 2013 NIssan Xterra (Off-Road), and a 2010 Kawasaki Z1000. How about you?

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