A Bitch on Wheels Knows Her Limits is the title of the chapter in our book about cars, bikes, scooters, blades, trains, shopping carts…basically, all rolling transport.

Since a new car is ghastly expensive when you factor in the cost of the vehicle, sales taxes, excise taxes, and insurance, we advise holding your hand when it comes to car purchases:

Cars are not a fashion accessory. Get a grip and resist the auto industry’s new-model cycle.  Beware that new-car smell luring you into “premature purchase”.  Most cars should last at least eight to ten years before very costly repairs are necessary.”

That said, eventually the old beast runs out of gas and you need to invest in a new one. We offer guidance and smart resources for a gal looking for a car. We think buying used is one of the smartest ways to save since depreciation on a new vehicle is shockingly high, shockingly fast — 45% in the first 3 years of ownership. Just make sure you do your homework: buy from a dependable source and have it checked out by a hot mechanic with good hands. (Ok, you just need a good mechanic.)

How you finance your car purchase, whether it’s new or used, is important.  We advocate for careful saving in advance to avoid leasing and loans, but we know that’s not always possible.  So, before you go shopping for your car, head over to your own bank or credit union so you can go in armed to purchase with your own financing in place.  While there are loads of upright dealer citizens, we know of too many stories where unscrupulous dealers play games with contracts and make excess profit off financing plans.

For more on all things that roll–including the ultimate in ‘to die for’ shopping trolleys–check out  Bitches on a Budget!