I am 18 years old and a freshman in college living at home. I have 0 expenses except $3,000 a year for college and gas for my current car. I am currently looking into purchasing a brand new honda civic type R for around $38,000. I work full time making around $3,000 a month and have $15,000 saved up. I plan to put the $15,000 as down payment, finance for 3 years, and put aside $1000 a month for all the cars expenses (payment, insurance, gas, repairs). What would your opinion on this be and whether its a good idea?
Remember who you're asking: Personal Finance and Money. Many of us are older (meaning "parents"), and financially conservative (meaning "live below your means" and "don't spend a lot on a car until you have a healthy net worth".)
What would your opinion on this be
Were I your age, making your amount of money, I'd also want something shiny, fast and new.
So, I completely sympathize with your desire (my son at your age wanted to buy a motorbike, and I wanted an Olds Cutlass, which were cool at the time), but ... it's a foolish idea (not least because it's fast, and you're an inexperienced driver who wants to go fast, and that leads to car wrecks, injury, property destruction and death).
and whether its a good idea?
No, it's not.
$15,000 + 3 years * $1000/month = $51,000
That is an L-O-T LOT of money. The insurance will be ear-bleedingly expensive.
Better to buy a $15,000 car, hop it up (watch out for insurance, though!) and save the rest for your future (not just retirement, since there's a lot to buy between 18 and 65).
Bottom line: tamp down the urge to go top-end at age 18. Get something fast, used and that could be shiny if you polished it up a bit.
Really bottom line: money in the bank gives you freedom; freedom from living paycheck to paycheck (you'll appreciate that in five years), and freedom to do things.
Even though this is the personal finance site, I'm going to skip over all the reasons why this is a really bad idea financially**(other people & answers will cover that), and get right to the driving.
Face it, if you are a typical 18 year old (that is, your parents didn't send you to a performance driving school before handing over their car keys), you do not know how to properly drive a car with that level of performance*. Either you will be driving far below what the car could do, or you will get yourself in deep trouble.
My personal recommendation, if you seriously want to get into driving (I'm assuming you're not buying it just in hopes of attracting potential sexual partners :-)), is to buy a decent used Miata. They can be had for under $5K, insurance and other costs will be much cheaper, plus you can put the top down. Then put another few $K into attending a performance driving school, and learn how to drive that Miata to its limits. (And learn to do your own maintenance.) Once you've done that, you'll be able to move up to something else, and you'll have a better idea of what you want.
*Not that you can legally drive it that way on US highways, anyway. Has your cost estimate factored in speeding tickets? And possibly hefty legal fees?
**Except to say that I'm borderline wealthy, yet am perfectly happy driving my 17 year old Miata :-)
The Civic performance-model with a lot of options is very expensive. There's good profit margin for the manufacturer. The car does have a turbocharged engine but the small car weighs over 3000 pounds. The phrase "you get what you pay for" should be re-written as "you pay for what you get".
Compare to a base 370Z at about $30000 and that must be the best car-buy on the planet.
Compare to a base MX-5 at about $25000 but that car needs some owner mods. FM lowering springs at 300/175 spring-rates are popular. Then the lowered car can tuck wider wheels and tires such that 17 x 8 45mm wheels are popular with 235/40-17 tires. Put on H&R swaybars and have actual works-of-art.
Did that help? Well, both cars that I mentioned only have two seats.
If the plan goes ahead with the Civic performance model, then try to get a good discount.
Another car that I mention is the Toyota 86. It is rear-wheel-drive, has about 200 HP, weighs about 2800 pounds, and costs about $28000.
The used car that I mention is often the Pontiac Solstice. It has a strong frame similar to a Corvette and is very unique. But with a four-cylinder engine it is less expensive than a Corvette. The Solstice is only available on the used car market.