The never-ending car payment

Car payments have morphed from a temporary nuisance into a permanent part of many people’s budgets. Whether that’s a bad thing depends on what you do with the rest of your money.

One-third of millennial car buyers chose a lease last year, which helped push auto lease volume to a record of 4.3 million and 31 percent of all new auto purchases, according to market research by

“There is a greater percentage of people who view car ownership as a monthly payment like their cell phone or cable or Wi-Fi,” says Jessica Caldwell, executive director of strategic analytics at “It’s just the way we live our lives.”

In my latest for the Associated Press, why millennials are looking at cars the same way they look at cell phones, and the financial implications.

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