2014 Car Affordability Study

 

Median-income families in only one major city can afford the average price Americans are paying for new cars and trucks these days.

When calculating how much a household can afford to spend on a car or light truck, we considered three key factors that are commonly referred to as the “20/4/10” rule. That is: a down payment of at least 20%; auto financing lasting no longer than four years; and principal, interest and insurance not exceeding 10% of a household’s gross income.

Here is the affordable purchase price for median-income households in each city and how much higher or lower that is from the average cost of a new car or truck — $32,086 in 2013, according to Kelley Blue Book.

City Purchase Price Nat’l Avg. Difference
Rank

Washington $32,531 1% 1
San Francisco $28,009 -13% 2
Boston $26,669 -17% 3
Minneapolis $24,846 -22% 4
Baltimore $24,591 -23% 5
Seattle $23,600 -26% 6
Portland $22,905 -29% 7
Denver $22,775 -29% 8
San Diego $22,175 -31% 9
New York $21,907 -32% 10
Philadelphia $21,775 -32% 11
Chicago $21,409 -33% 12
Dallas $20,731 -35% 13
Los Angeles $20,637 -36% 14
Sacramento $20,554 -36% 15
Houston $20,271 -37% 16
Milwaukee $20,013 -38% 17
Atlanta $20,000 -38% 18
St. Louis $19,016 -41% 19
San Antonio $18,376 -43% 20
Phoenix $18,199 -43% 21
Pittsburgh $17,965 -44% 22
Detroit $17,352 -46% 23
Miami $15,174 -53% 24
Tampa $14,209 -56% 25

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  • Rod Henry

    Was this a weighted mean? Why not a median-to-median comparison?