The best time to buy a car: it's not when you think

So I was at a dealership yesterday, gritting my teeth, not bothering to pretend to be happy about buying a car.

We needed a second car. My ancient wreck of a vehicle died last month, or came close to it, anyway, when smoke started pouring out of my engine and the rear of the car as I zipped along the highway. I was able to make it to a mechanic but was told it would cost $3,000 to repair the engine, and so we told the car doctor not to resuscitate. Still, I didn't want to be here, since I've been here before: in the land of car payments. I had only paid off my car, which I bought used several years ago, about a year ago. And now, as interest scores are skyrocketing, we were here again.