If you must own a car, drive a reliable junker.
I grew up in Boise, Idaho and if I still lived there I probably would own a car. Due to its bare-bones public transportation system I don’t think I could live a full life based on the bus schedule. If I did live in Boise, and did own a car, my hope is that I would be driving a reliable junker. The importance of a reliable junker (or even nice used car) cannot be overstated. They run well, they don’t cost very much, and because you aim to drive them until they die, you don’t have to get wrapped up in the pristine paint job. They don’t automatically lose value when you drive them off the lot as new cars do and once you already own an older car there is no pressure on you to keep up with the Jones’ by replacing your current new car with an even newer car.
The radio station I listen to has an ad that actually says, “Don’t listen to your parents about buying a car and driving it until it dies. Today, you need a new car every couple of years.” If you believe this statement, STOP. It is not true Actually, you never need a new car. With a reliable junker, you never have to worry about fender benders, exorbitant car payments, or your car getting stolen.