When you are shopping for a car, one of the biggest deciding factors is whether to buy new or used. Each has its own set of pros and cons, but it comes down to what is the right fit for you both financially and practically.
The Pros of Buying a Used Car
There are many advantages to buying a used car that will save you money and cause less stress than buying a new car.
Lower Price Tag
The price of a used car is one of the biggest advantages of buying used versus new. A used car is typically several thousand dollars cheaper than the same model from the current year. When you buy a new car, it instantly depreciates as much as 20% when you drive it off of the lot, which is a large waste of money. Used cars don't have that same rapid depreciation, meaning you won't lose as much of your investment.
Lower Associated Costs
Another cost-saving advantage to buying used is that you have lower associated fees. The insurance rates for a used vs new car can be as much as 25% less. The cost of registering a new car can be higher in some states as well. There are also fees associated with buying a new car through a dealership, like documentation fees and advertising fees.
Ride in Style
One benefit to buying used is that you can often get an older luxury model for the same price as a new car of a lower tier. The original owner already took the big depreciation hit, so you can take advantage of this to be able to afford a luxury car. The luxury model usually has higher-end materials and technology.
With a used car, you won't have to worry about getting that first scratch or ding on your car since it will likely have some. Your stress levels will drop when you don't have to think about someone hitting your car with their door or scratching the paint.
The Cons of Buying a Used Car
While buying a used car has many advantages, there are also a few downsides to think about.
The Number of Options
When you are shopping for a used car, the market is limited to what people are selling at the time. It is very difficult to find the exact make, model, and color car with all of the features you want, unlike when buying a new car from a dealership. You have to decide what the most important requirements are before looking.
A new car shouldn't have any major issues for many years after your purchase, but with a used car, it can be a gamble. You will never know how the old owner treated their car. They might have driven it hard or skipped minor maintenance over the years. A pre-purchase inspection can uncover some potential issues, but there is the possibility of surprise repairs.
Depending on where you purchase your used car, it may or may not have a warranty. Some dealerships may offer their own minor warranties on used cars that have limited coverage. If you are doing a private sale, there is the potential of the warranty not transferring at all to the new owner.
It can be tough to weigh all of the pros and cons of buying a new or used car and make a decision. No matter which way you decide to go, you can still take a course on DriversEd.com to help protect your new investment. We offer helpful resources for you to brush up on the rules of the road to help you avoid getting into an accident in your new (or new-to-you) car.