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New cars are expensive- and prices are only going up. Many financial experts warn due to longer term loans and other unfavorable financial circumstances, workers are over burdened by their car loans.
However, in a majority of the US a car can be a necessity for work and other life obligations.
To get a picture of what responsible new car ownership looks like in the US, we hit the numbers. Using average income and most common payment structures, we found the nicest new car that is affordable in each state.
Below you can see the more luxurious cars that are doable on more robust salaries- and the more basic cars that are the ceiling in poorer states.
10 Most Expensive Cars
- Hawaii – 2021 Tesla Model S
- California – 2021 Volvo S90 T8 Recharge
- Massachusetts – 2021 Audi Q5
- Colorado – 2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
- Washington – 2021 Buick Enclave
- Oregon – 2021 Lexus NX
- New York – 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA-class
- New Jersey – 2021 BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe
- Maryland – 2021 Toyota Sienna
- Utah – 2021 Mazda CX-9
Unsurprisingly, bigger salaries can support bigger car prices. However, higher cost of living might leave you living in your Tesla if you stretch your budget too far.
10 Cheapest Cars
- Arkansas – 2021 Chevrolet Spark LS
- West Virginia – 2020 Nissan Versa
- Mississippi – 2021 Hyundai Accent
- Oklahoma – 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage ES
- Indiana – 2021 Kia Rio Sedan
- Ohio – 2020 Honda Fit
- Kentucky – 2020 Honda Fit
- Iowa – 2021 Nissan Versa
- Alabama – 2021 Nissan Versa
- Kansas – 2021 Kia Soul
Keep reading to see how we determined this- and how all these cars translate to dollars.
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How We Determined This
We started with average salary in each state to US Census. We then divided by 12 for the monthly income.
From there, we applied a 65 month loan (the most common) and 4.67% interest (current average car interest rate) to work out the maximum monthly payment the average salary could sustain without exceeding 10%.
It is recommended by financial advisors that no one have debt payments greater than 36% on total debt servicing. More specifically, it is recommended that car payments and car costs (including gas, maintenance, taxes and other costs) not exceed 20% of your income.
With this in mind, we conservatively allotted a max of 10% of monthly income to account for miscellaneous costs.
From there we used Kelly Blue Book to find the “nicest” (or most expensive) new car that budget could afford.
We tried to get as close as possible, opting to go lower when possible rather than exceeding (and only exceeding by a couple 100 dollars when we did go over). This means, particularly lower cost cars where there are less options, some states share a car type.
Keep reading to see the full list– and the car price that breaks the bank for each state.
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Don’t Break The Bank To Buy A Car
Ultimately, personal finances are personal. Someone with excessive student loans, heavy credit card debt, or incoming consuming mortgage, would need a lower car payment.
Before purchasing a car, you should carefully consider your present day circumstances and future goals.
Below you can see a breakdown of our findings:
The Nicest New Car The Average Salary Buys– And What That Is In Cash
|State||Max Affordable New Car Cost||New Car|
|Hawaii||$70,175||2021 Tesla Model S|
|California||$61,013||2021 Volvo S90 T8 Recharge|
|Massachusetts||$44,482||2021 Audi Q5|
|Colorado||$42,136||2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class|
|Washington||$41,782||2021 Buick Enclave|
|Oregon||$38,196||2021 Lexus NX|
|New York||$37,754||2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA-class|
|New Jersey||$37,156||2021 BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe|
|Maryland||$35,607||2021 Toyota Sienna|
|Utah||$35,298||2021 Mazda CX-9|
|Nevada||$34,191||2021 Hyundai Palisade|
|Virginia||$32,753||2021 Volkswagen Atlas|
|Alaska||$31,182||2021 Chevrolet Traverse|
|New Hampshire||$30,385||2021 Kia Sorento|
|Connecticut||$29,810||2021 Chevrolet Blazer|
|Rhode Island||$29,433||2021 Chrysler Voyager|
|Arizona||$28,703||2021 Chrysler Voyager|
|Montana||$28,659||2021 Hyundai Santa Fe|
|Delaware||$28,061||2021 Ford Bronco Sport|
|Idaho||$27,928||2021 Jeep Cherokee|
|Florida||$27,353||2021 Toyota RAV4|
|Minnesota||$26,999||2021 Nissan Rogue|
|Wyoming||$25,494||2021 Jeep Compass|
|Vermont||$25,339||2021 Mazda Mazda6|
|Texas||$24,100||2021 Subaru Legacy|
|North Dakota||$23,790||2021 Subaru Legacy|
|Illinois||$23,436||2021 Subaru Crosstrek|
|Georgia||$23,281||2021 Chevrolet Malibu|
|Maine||$22,484||2021 Honda HR-V|
|North Carolina||$22,462||2021 Honda HR-V|
|Pennsylvania||$22,042||2021 Honda Civic|
|Tennessee||$21,820||2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback|
|Wisconsin||$21,466||2021 Hyundai Kona|
|South Carolina||$21,311||2021 Mazda3|
|South Dakota||$20,935||2021 Toyota Corolla|
|New Mexico||$20,537||2021 Hyundai Elantra|
|Louisiana||$19,939||2021 Volkswagen Jetta|
|Nebraska||$19,607||2021 Subaru Impreza|
|Michigan||$19,319||2021 Hyundai Veloster|
|Missouri||$18,877||2021 Kia Forte|
|Kansas||$18,811||2021 Kia Soul|
|Alabama||$17,615||2021 Nissan Versa|
|Iowa||$17,527||2021 Nissan Versa|
|Kentucky||$17,461||2020 Honda Fit|
|Ohio||$17,328||2020 Honda Fit|
|Indiana||$17,107||2021 Kia Rio Sedan|
|Oklahoma||$16,819||2021 Mitsubishi Mirage ES|
|Mississippi||$16,243||2021 Hyundai Accent|
|West Virginia||$16,155||2020 Nissan Versa|
|Arkansas||$15,978||2021 Chevrolet Spark LS|
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