With the rate of car ownership steadily improving year to year, it is becoming more likely that a small percentage of American own more than one vehicle. While the reasons for an individual owning more than one vehicle vary depending on the person, location, and employment status, there are many factors to consider before deciding that owning a second vehicle is a good choice for you.
It is important to think about the pros and cons of owning a second vehicle before deciding to make a new vehicle purchase. We’ve written on what a horror that car buyer’s remorse can be. The last thing you want is to experience that feeling with a second vehicle.
This guide will tell you all of the most important things you should consider before buying a second car for yourself.
The cost of owning a vehicle is more than just the initial purchase price that you pay at the dealership or the cost of monthly payments. The cost of owning a vehicle also includes:
Though purchasing another car would increase these costs, the costs of fuel and general maintenance would not be much higher compared to owning only one vehicle. Assuming you were planning to drive the same distance as you did with one vehicle, but now split the distance between two cars, the major difference in fuel costs would be related to a difference in fuel economy between the vehicles.
Depending on the car you buy as your second vehicle, the costs of insurance, registration, deprecation, taxes, and maintenance could more than double. However, there is also a chance that the cost would not be too significant, which depends highly on the make, model, and year.
For example, according to the Kelley Blue Book, purchasing a 2020 Acura TLX 2.4 would cost you almost $44,000 over five years while purchasing a 2020 Kia Soul LX would cost you almost $32,000 over five years. This is a significant amount of money for most people.
If the second vehicle were a used or certified preowned vehicle, the price would be much less for most of these extra costs.
If you are considering buying a second vehicle and cost is important to you, keep in mind that the make, model, and year can play a huge role in how much you pay long-term.
Utility & Convenience
While the average person would probably not see the purpose of purchasing a second vehicle for themselves, a second vehicle could serve many uses depending on the vehicle type and the person.
Let’s consider the example of a person who owns a landscaping business and also has four children. This person would need a vehicle they could use for their business, which might be some type of truck, but also a vehicle that they could use to transport their family, which could be a minivan or high-occupancy SUV. For purposes like this, the second vehicle is used in a way that provides income to the owner and makes financial sense.
Having a second car available is also useful during emergencies. If one of your vehicles suddenly does not start, has a flat tire, or has other problems, you have a second car available to you. This also allows you more time to fix the car while also going about your everyday life without extra worry.
Having a second vehicle for use as a personal vehicle is an option for those who see driving as more than just way to get from Point A to Point B. While a four-door sedan may be the best choice for driving through the city while commuting to work during the week, you may also want a second vehicle that you drive for fun on the weekends.
Aside from possibly having a sports car available to drive for fun, you might just want a choice when it comes to which vehicle you drive. If you are more likely to get bored when driving, having a second vehicle could provide you with your desired driving experience.
If you own a second vehicle, there is a greater likelihood that your vehicles will last longer and need less maintenance over time.
If you drive 1,000 miles per month with one vehicle, you are probably getting pretty consistent oil changes, tire rotations, and refilling the tank. However, if you own two vehicles and maintain the 1,000 miles of driving per month, each vehicle is experiencing less wear and tear per month. While you should still be getting consistent oil changes, tire rotations, and tank refills, you will not need to do these things as often.
Rather than racking up 120,000 miles in 10 years with one vehicle, you might only put an average of 60,000 miles on each vehicle in the same time frame when you own two vehicles. With that said, each vehicle should last longer and perform better.
Pros of Owning More than One Vehicle
Buying a second vehicle is a major decision to make, but there are some situations in which buying a second car makes the most sense.
- The major reason many people buy a second vehicle is that money is no object to them. If you are financially secure and can reasonably expect to be able to afford a second vehicle, buying a second vehicle is a choice you can afford to make. If you like having a choice in vehicles to drive, or just owning more than one vehicle, having two vehicles is an option.
- If one of your vehicles produces income or is used as a work vehicle, it could justify having a second vehicle. Though there are costs that come with owning a second vehicle, these costs can be offset if one of the vehicles is used to generate consistent money. It is often not possible to find one vehicle that meets all of your needs, and therefore a second vehicle is the only option available.
- If you want your vehicles to last longer, experience less wear and tear, and cost less to keep, a second vehicle could be a solution. You can expect both vehicles to last longer and perform better overall without having to worry about buying a replacement car sooner.
Cons of Owning More than One Vehicle
Though buying a second vehicle seems like an ideal situation sometimes, there are circumstances where it would not make much sense.
- If money is tight or your income is inconsistent, buying a second vehicle would not be beneficial to you. The cost of owning one vehicle is sometimes very expensive, and adding a second vehicle could greatly affect your bank account. If you have no reason to own a second vehicle and are low on cash, you probably should not be buying one.
- Sometimes, there is a lack of purpose for owning two different vehicles. If you simply want another vehicle to drive for fun, you should make sure that it is worth the additional money you are shelling out. If you rarely drive, it could be a waste of money to even have one vehicle, let alone two.
Is It Worth it to Own Two Vehicles?
In the majority of cases, it is not worth it to own two vehicles. Owning a second vehicle can have its advantages, but for the average person will often find that it’s not worth the additional financial strain. Aside from the extra costs incurred from owning a second vehicle, most people would not have an actual reason to own a second vehicle.
Rather than buying a second vehicle, it makes more sense to find one vehicle that fits most of your needs. With thousands of car models available as of 2020, you could likely find a vehicle that meets your needs without incurring the costs of needing a second car.
Consider your needs, desires, and financial constraints before ultimately deciding to buy a second vehicle.