How Did You Decide You Were Ready to Buy a Car?

A long time ago, someone gave me this advice: The best time to buy a car is when you don’t need to buy a car.

The idea is that when you aren’t in urgent need of transportation, you have more flexibility and negotiation power than when you need to buy a carΒ now.Β 

Yesterday I wrote about my experience driving in a fancy rental car. After I posted it, on whim I looked around online to see if what types of nice used cars were available in my area. To my surprise, I not only found a nice car that appealed to me (a 2012 Camry), but I actually had the thought: I could buy that car!

But here’s the thing: I like my current car (a 2003 Camry), it’s fully paid for, and I only drive a few times a week. My car is not a big part of my life.

It’s also held up quite well. Even though it’s 13 years old, it hasn’t gotten to the point when it requires big repairs every few months.

So I’m curious: Has there ever been a time in your life when you didn’t urgently need a car, but you bought one anyway? If so, what were the factors that played into that decision?