Most personal car purchases are sentimental and relate to quality of life ... however if purchasing a car is mainly a transport and finance matters then it could be iron out this way ...
First lets start with some facts of transport life around me;
- Taxi is as good as my own car if not better ( its my own car + a driver ) but its costly
- Bus stations are near by and can go almost anywhere but it takes too much of my precious time
- Intra city trains are fast and efficient but only after you are IN the city
- Car rental gives the highest flexibility but it could be expensive if park aside too long
So I will need a hybrid solution if I don't have my own car. For me, I will use Taxi - Train - Light Rail during normal days and Bus and Car Rental during weekend and holidays.
First I take a taxi to the near by train station (KTM), once in town I use light rails ( PUTRA, STAR, MONORAIL etc.) to travel almost anywhere within the city. Typically I would need to exchange once within the light rail systems to reach my destination. Return trip same path.
$8 : Taxi to station$1.40 : Train to Town$1.80 x 2 : Light rails within cityOne way = $13Return or one day = $265 days week = $13050 weeks a year = $6,500
By weekend, I would rent a car and run away for 2 days ...
$180 / day x 2 days = $3604 weeks or 1 month = $1,44012 months or 1 year = $17,280
Adding both up is $23,780 a year.
If $2,000 a month of transportation fee seems ridiculously high, you probably do not need to rent a car every weekend, perhaps every bi-weekly or even every month if at all needed. Run your own numbers for your own scenarios. This example is trying to mimic the same lifestyle with a car.
Now if I do all that with my own car, I would need to pay for
- petrol : $400 a month
- parking : $10 / day x 5 days x 4 weeks = $200 a month
- maintainence : $100 a month
That is a total of $700 a month burn. That leaves $1,300 a month for the car itself. So if I can find a car that I have to pay monthly less than $1,300, it may just be a good deal.
So if I take 3 years car loan at 3% interest I probably should buy a car less than $43,000
if I take 5 years car loan instead, I could spend up to $67,826 for a car.
Consider the resell value as a bonus or final fund consolidation just in case maintainence shoots up or you ended up not using that car that much after all.