Buying Multiple Cars: Should You Do It if Your Garage Is Full?

driving car

A car is the second most expensive item you’ll buy in your life, following a house. But despite its hefty price tag, you’re undoubtedly considering buying more than one of it. And if you count yourself as an auto aficionado, then there’s no stopping you from growing your auto collection.

But auto enthusiast or not, we tend to have a complicated relationship with cars. If we own one, we spend a great deal of money on it, treating it like our baby and giving it a name, even. But then when a financial problem befalls us, our cars would be one of the first possessions we’ll sell, if not the only one.

In that sense, most people would probably say that it’s the exact reason they splurge on cars. They’re valuable and can be resold for a reasonable price, even if it won’t generate profit. A financial expert, however, has something quite different to say.

Aside from the fact that owning a car costs more money than people realize, parking space is also an issue. In some countries or regions, you can be ticketed for parking on your neighbor’s curb. But even if your state doesn’t penalize such, your automobile still poses an obstruction on a driveway.

Demand for Two-Car Garages Rises

According to Jenni Lantz, DesignLens manager for John Burns Real Estate Consulting, the majority of people want a garage for two or more cars. No homeowners wanted a potential home without a garage, given that there’s an average of 1.950 cars per American household.

If you’ve been led to believe that garages are now losing popularity, the US Census Bureau and the National Association of Home Builders have proven that to be false. Their data revealed that 65% of the 795,000 newly-built single-family homes in 2017 had two-car garages, while 6% had one-car garages. Only 7% had neither.

The percentage of garage-less homes has declined over the past decade. It just reached a peak in 2010 (13%), but has steadily plunged ever since.

The rumors of garages losing popularity could’ve originated from the rise of Uber and Lyft services. But from the data we’ve just seen, it’s clear that people still want to own more than one car, hence their preference for at least a two-car garage.

Parking By a Curb or in Front of a Driveway

If your two-car garage has already maxed its capacity, it will make more sense no to buy a new car anymore, unless you plan to part ways with one of your existing autos. But if there’s nothing that can stop you from buying yet another vehicle, regardless of your full garage, then you have to be aware of the potential legal implications first.

In the UK, for example, there are many cases of homeowners complaining about their neighbor’s car being parked on their driveway. But unfortunately, the police or local authorities turn out to have no power to move those cars.

They can only remove a parked car from a public or private property if it is abandoned. But if it is insured, taxed, has a valid MOT, and is in a pretty decent condition, they are unlikely to move it away from private land.

Simply put, it isn’t illegal to park in front of someone’s driveway, even if it’s causing a blockage. Instead, it is only considered an offense, with a ticket for a penalty.

But still, even if you won’t pay hefty fines or get imprisoned, it won’t hurt to reconsider. After all, you’ll be causing a major inconvenience, especially if the driveway in question is being used daily. And even if it isn’t, just the act of parking a new car on a curb and not in a garage may tarnish your reputation in your neighborhood.

Spend Money on Cars Wisely

mechanic

As parting advice, let’s note what a finance expert has to say about spending money on cars. Financial Samurai’s founder stated that most of us make this mistake when buying one: Spending more than 10% of our gross annual income for a new purchase.

That means if you earn a median per capita income of around $42,000 every year, you should limit your auto budget to $4,200. The simplest reason is that the upfront cost of a car isn’t the only thing you’ll pay for. Maintenance and other hidden fees will continue to deplete your savings, and you’ll have a lot more to stress about, particularly when parking.

If you’re already parking an extra vehicle by a curb or on someone else’s driveway, consider extending your yard space to make it accommodate a carport. You can also buy an alignment car lift for the area so that you can keep as much available space as possible.

While there’s nothing fundamentally wrong about owning multiple cars, it can become problematic when we’re already causing an inconvenience. So let’s be considerate, and bear in mind that the road isn’t ours.

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