The advice to buy used is good, if you have enough to pay it all outright then you’re free of monthly payments and won’t be too upset about the wear and tear that comes with urban driving. Take a look at all the scratches on bumpers and tire rims in this town.
Even if you have a space at home and work, parking is the main issue with driving in the city. It’s a time and cost factor that you have to consider wherever you go. I was once an hour late to a Saturday afternoon brunch party in Adams Morgan because I couldn’t find parking and ended up paying $16 for the public garage, where I got a nice scrape trying to squeeze into their tiny spaces. Even with the rare business that provides parking, you can find yourself driving in circles waiting for a spot to open up (hello, P Street Wholefoods). It’s more aggravating than you think.
Then there are tickets for parking and moving violations. You’ll get them.
Other costs to consider:
– Gas is not cheap these days. Get a car that’s lightweight with good MPG
– Insurance rates are higher in urban zip codes. Type of car and the color can affect that cost–something to consider before you buy.
– Maintenance and repair. Foreign cars often need specialized mechanics and winter in this town is really hard on a vehicle.