I’ve heard lots of people talk about getting a new car, and they’ve usually given one of the following reasons for getting one:
- We needed a bigger car for the baby/dogs/camping gear/2 times per year we need to haul something/etc.
- Well, it was x years old and things were going to start going wrong with it soon.
- We had to replace the ______ last month and don’t want to keep putting money into it.
- We needed better gas mileage and we owed too much to just sell the old one.
Those all sound like rationalizations to me.
Rarely have I heard someone say that they just wanted a new car, or a bigger car.
I’m sure there are people that say that, but I’m the only person I can think of offhand who has done so. When I did, it was more along the lines of “Oh I love that car! Have you seen them? I want one!”
And then I actually went and bought one, after about a year of reading the classifieds every day to find one I could possibly afford. And then I happily sold off the lemon of a car that I hated.
But I was under no illusions: I wasn’t buying a new car to replace my lemon. I was buying a new (to me) car because I wanted it so badly I could taste it. Getting rid of my old car was just a bonus.
Of course, sometimes people buy replacement cars when they don’t really want to, but they feel like it’s the best alternative. (Such as when their existing car was totaled.)
But I wonder, why the need to rationalize a big purchase like a car so much of the time? Wouldn’t it be ok to buy it just because you wanted it? (And if it’s not ok, why not?)