"The golden rule of car buying is that the car’s price should never exceed 35% of your gross annual income, even if you're a major car enthusiast. And if you're just looking for a basic ride to get to work and back, consider capping the car price at 25% or even 15% of your annual income instead."
exceptions to every rule -- as someone who's single, no wife, no kids, own house, zero debt, that golden rule would mean I'd have missed out on some awesome experiences automotive wise.
The exception for me is I generally put 50% down on whatever I buy and pay off rapidly. People seem to think $600+/mo car note is normal, or rolling in negative equity, all that nonsense. Even as a car nut if you make the right moves at the right time you can come out way ahead. Sold my Z06 right at the bottom of the housing market and snagged a piece of real estate (2013), and am up 500% from where I started with no mortgage to worry about. Means more disposable income for car fun (EUV in my case now)
Median income in the US - is roughly $32k -- if the golden rule numbers were true, $8k would be the budget limit for most everyone. Simply not the case since in 2022 avg car price is floating towards $50k rapidly.