Would You Own a Car in NYC?

The Mitsubishi Outlander in New York City.

Buying a car is never easy. It ranks up there as one of the hardest decisions on the market but why? It’s just a vehicle – what makes this buying decision so hard?

When I bought my Hummer it was a really fast decision. I was tired of being stuck in snow and wanted the biggest truck I could find that would never get stuck in snow again. Needless to say, I buried that girl a few times, and even broke an axel – but she always made snow a lot more fun. Especially for $500 a month plus insurance, not to mention gas AND Hummer-sized tires.

Vehicles are expensive.

They depreciate the moment you buy them – by thousands.

But sometimes after 10 long years without one – you’re just tired of hailing Ubers Every. Single. Day.

So let’s break down the numbers and compare.

Ubers per month: average $150-$200

For a 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander GT lease with standard only (no fancy bells and whistles): $333 a month PLUS $3600 due at signing (for TWO year lease with 12,000 miles per year). So I mean, is buying new or leasing a good idea? I am still thinking on this one, but these backup cams are honestly maaaaaaaaybe worth it. Check this out – I mean, it curves it for you.


How much is insurance? Well we live in NYC so it’s going to a little more! Here’s the kicker:

The average cost of car insurance in Brooklyn is $1,944.46 a year for men and $2,162.53 for women. This is about double the $1,205.03 per year paid for average auto insurance in New York. The national average annual cost is $866.31.

So that means an extra $175 a month.

Plus gas. Plus TOLLS (F you NYC). Tolls to cross the bridges are now $7-$16 per bridge.

So you’re looking at an average of about $500 a month for a lease. At minimum.

Oh wait – I just forgot about PARKING. This is NYC people, and unless you’re incredibly lucky like myself to have FREE parking included at your building (honestly – a unicorn), you better average another $250-$500 a month JUST for that.

So at a minimum, you’re looking at at least $600-$1,000 per month for a vehicle in NYC.

And that’s for a basic SVU. Nothing fancy – but then – who needs fancy, right? Because that car of yours is going to get banged up on the street parking (better get a bumper guard!) and playing chicken with yellow cabs.

Ok so you don’t want to lease – you want to BUY. So let’s be realistic – is new the way to go? How about used?

I did a quick NYC search for Certified USED Mitsubishi Outlanders and found a 2017 with only 78 miles for $16,000 in Long Island City. That already drops the payments to $255 a month (with the same amount down as a lease – $3600).

So that saves $100 off the bat.

So the final personal battle:

$250 in ubers vs. $500 to own a vehicle.

Is it worth the extra $250 ?

Do you own a car in NYC? What do you pay and is it worth it?

About the Author:

Stephanie Barnhart is an award-winning blogger, columnist, and outdoor enthusiast writer featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times and other media outlets. She is also the NYC Editor for MommyNearest.com.

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