Study: Miamians Can't Afford Nice Cars

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Need a new car? Hope you're small.
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise in a city where people often live above their means, but a new study show that Miamians simply can't afford all those flashy cars they're driving around town.

A new study by Interest.com found that Miamians living on the median income level can only afford a car worth $15,174 with a monthly payment of no more than $299. Miami has the single lowest average car purchasing power of the top 25 metro areas, except for Tampa.


Interest.com used the 20/4/10 rule to determine car pushing power. The takes into account "a down payment of at least 20 percent; a financing term of no more than 48 months; and principal, interest and insurance not exceeding 10 percent of a household's gross income."

"Too many families are spending way too much on new cars and trucks," said Mike Sante, managing editor of Interest.com in a statement. "Just because you can manage the monthly payment doesn't mean you should let a $30,000 or $40,000 ride gobble up such a huge share of your paycheck."

Tampians meanwhile can only afford, on average, a car worth $14,209 with $280-a-month payment.

Cities where the average citizen can afford a decent ride: Washington, D.C.: ($32,531; $641 a month) and San Francisco ($28,009; $563 a month). Well, good for them!

So what exactly can you get for under $15,000? Mostly tiny hatchbacks like a Chevy Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Nissan Versa Note or a Smart Fourtwo. So, if you're tall we just hope you're making more than the city's median income.

Send your story tips to the author, Kyle Munzenrieder.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.


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29 comments
jhonker
jhonker

The entire problem boils down to education. Miami ranks the worst in education levels - 100th out of all large metros. Low education equals 2 things - low purchasing power and people who believe that flashy cars are a status symbol. Since people here aren't educated and generally don't have professional careers, they believe that the car is of utmost importance in portraying success, since they have nothing else to hold onto. 

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.........................................its how we roll

we got a $562,ooo,ooo baseball stadium with the worst team in baseball AND our water / sewer pipes are fifty years old and corroding and our educational system is the worst in the nation

is all about flash and shinny objects and surface with JOB ONE being self-importance with NO SUBSTANCE beneath the veneer

if it weren't for the nice weather with continual massive amounts of tourist money flowing in this place would be worse that a third world nation like haiti with crime worse than guatamala and vast poverty as in belle glades would be rampant

no one ever came here because of the affordable lifestyle

when your house is in FORECLOSURE and you haven't paid a mortgage payment in three years you could certainly make a monthly BENTLEY payment - no ?

................well that is what is happeneing here in SO FLA

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.......................what the study actually does NOT factor in is a reliable vehicle is a MUST when commuting the typical distance of 25 +/- miles one way and NO KLUNKer is going to endure that without eventually breaking down and overheating with the A/C ON in 95 degree 100 % humidity

the real answer is PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION = period  

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

......................and when the price of gas goes ABOVE $4 per gallon many many MIAMIans cannot afford to go to WORK = period

the real answer is PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION and this IS something EVERYone can get involved with but of course most MIAMIans are also very self-centered and actually not too smart so its a lost cause anyway

our much richer and smarter CITY cousins in N Y C have much higher net worths and are far better educated ..............AND MOST DON'T OWN A CAR = period !

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

With all the insurance fraud going on around here, you're an accident or few away from driving a piece of junk anyway.

Joseph Mazon
Joseph Mazon

Study is wrong. We live here, you don't . Stop posting BS. Next question?

Olga Maria Hapitan
Olga Maria Hapitan

I guess the study should take into account the number of young (and not so young) people with a low/avg paying job living at their parent's house rent free.

Frank Castle
Frank Castle

nothing wrong with small cars anyway, they are in style now and people in europe have been driving them for years

Frank Castle
Frank Castle

people in miami who have expensive cars, either they are doing medi-caid fraud or they are rented, there are people that seem rich but they are not, ive seen this alot

Ed Ochoa
Ed Ochoa

and here is where your study group failed to examine, most Miamians do not buy, they lease.

Gary David
Gary David

Sounds about right. The median household income of South Florida is much lower than most major metro areas yet people down here would still rather pay half their paycheck to drive a nice car.

Jerry Gonzalez
Jerry Gonzalez

20 percent down and 48 month financing??? Did I get in a time machine and wake up in 1978? Most manufacturers will give you the same interest rate up to 72 months as what you get at 48 and with good credit will finance up to 120 percent of the cars value making it possible to go with zero down much less 20 or 10 or even 5 percent. And don't get me started on lease options.

Regi Burgos
Regi Burgos

Yhea bcuz the Bentley I see every day is not expensive, shut up...

Jo Braga
Jo Braga

Miami = if your not already rich we will make sure you stay poor..

Loraine Avila
Loraine Avila

It's no surprise to me that people live above their means in South FL. I will never buy another car again unless it's straight cash. Car payments are a robbery; if you invest the payment throughout life, it will be a hefty cushion (millions) by retirement. Gas, maintenance, insurance...I rather use the money to save, travel & shop, LOL. #DaveRamsey

Maribel De Armas
Maribel De Armas

Miami New Time is so stupid! Where they buy those luxury cars that we all see around Miami- Miami Bech? And where they live ? They live here and they buy those cars here, Dummkopfs !

Jimbo99
Jimbo99

And sit on the Palmetto or I-95, is there any reason to ruin a car costing over that figure idling the sensors until they stay on constantly. 0-10-0 mph every 2-3 car lengths is spastic driving, really only need enough vehicle to run the AC, radio and as long as the chairs are relatively comfortable, it's 2 hours of your life wasted with motorists that tailgate and cut you off every chance they get ?

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..................how is it "wrong" ?

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..................................i think the study more correctly corrolates INCOME with the expense of operating a vehicle

the real point is MOST people cannot afford their ride = period

a kid with an expensive vehicle cannot afford it even when living for free and eating for free and being educated for free and getting clothes for free IF that kid does not EARN sufficient INCOME

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..........................the expense is similar if not the same given the lease or ownership payments still have to cover depreciation, insurance, gas, maintenance, replacement of tires etc

the lease / ownership calculation of cost is the same if you look at the out-of-pocket costs PLUS the accrued and incurred costs that accumulate and are ultimately paid by the consumer

operating a vehicle is expensive for those without the income to support and fund those costs - whether the vehicle is owned OR leased = period

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..................................and the other half of MIAMIans INCOME to buy expensive clothes and sunglasses

it is ONLY possible to those in FORECLOSURE who aren't paying for housing for years now = period

someday they will lose both the roof over their heads and their cars together

BUT UNTIL THEN it's CALLE OCHO !

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

................problem is people in MIAMI who are in FORECLOSURE and don't make mortgage payments ARE SPENDING their money on expensive cars - that how the low incomes do not match the type of vehicles being driven

a low income housecleaner can scoot around in an upper-level mercedes-benz because they have stopped paying their mortgage for the last five years

that is PERVASIVE in MIAMI = period

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.................people are using their money on vehicles because they do not pay their mortgages

low income people are driving cars they cannot afford because the money to pay for the vehicles SHOULD BE paying for their mortgages which are in FORECLOSURE sometimes for as long as seven years

the average person is living FREE for 1,100 days or THREE YEARS and spending their money on expensive cars

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.......................yeah everbody who is in FORECLOSURE which is why SOFLA is in the top-ten in FORECLOSURES

even a low income person can pay for an expensive vehicle if they do not pay their mortgage for years - no ?

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