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What’s The Most Expensive Car Payment You’ve Ever Had?

Photo: Logan Carter
Photo: Logan Carter

Buying a new car is always a battle between what your heart wants, what your brain wants, and what your bank account can handle, but if you’re a car person then you know the heart often gets what it wants despite logic pointing you in the other direction. As someone who’s been fawning over shiny new cars since I could walk, I totally understand the mental gymnastics that car people are capable of when it comes to justifying the purchase of a car that’s logically out of your price range, but one that already lives in your heart.

I grew up in fiscal insecurity, whether I was squeezed into the back seat of my dad’s 1986 Mustang SVO or strapped into my mom’s base model 1996 Grand Caravan, my parents were likely to be arguing over money. This upbringing has kept me relatively stingy, but not stingy enough to buy a Prius, so my biggest car payment ever is the current note on my 2017 F55 Mini Cooper S Hardtop 5-door. I bought it used from CarMax in 2020 for around $18,000 plus the price of the extended MaxCare warranty, and I pay about $300 each month for the joy of owning her. I put about $8,000 down on the Mini, so I was able to keep the monthly costs relatively low, thankfully.