It's time to purchase a new car. And yes, I do mean NEW.
Before everyone jumps on me about the dreaded "depreciation" let me be clear that I don't care. I understand the concept and it's implication. But the tempting aroma of new car smell is just too much for me.
Plus, I like knowing my car's history and I keep my cars long enough that the depreciation becomes less of an issue.
I am, however, debating the merits leasing vs. buying. Here's a good article about this very issue:
So this article basically says that leasing is the worst financial decision but the best option for a commitment-phobe. A used car is the overall best option but you risk not knowing how the last owner treated the car. And a new car loses a good portion of its value as you drive it off the lot, but you'll always know where it's spent its nights.
In the end, it seems that for some people, buying a car is a rational, practical, financial decision. For others, it's all about the vroom, vroom. And for most, it's somewhere in between.
For me, the car I am buying is practical even if buying it new is not. It's all about balance after all. And I can't wait to drive it off the lot, depreciation be damned.