Should You Buy A New Or Used Car?

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It’s the age old question: should you get a new car, or buy it used and potentially save some money? Everyone’s got an opinion on the matter—mechanics, salesmen, even San Francisco lemon lawsuit attorneys—but today, we’re going to take a look at some of the facts, and see if we can use them to help guide your decision. Here’s what you should know…

So, when most people consider the new v. used car question, they frame it as a matter of price. Indeed, price is important—you could potentially save a few hundred dollars a month just by purchasing a pre-owned vehicle instead of a new one. In light of car costs rising across the board, this is all the more incentive to buy a used one. Price shouldn’t be the only determinator influencing your decision, though. You should weigh the pros and cons of both options.

When it comes to new cars, those “pros” begin with the fact that you’re typically going to incur fewer headaches when it comes to maintenance, but don’t end there. Buying a new car, in most cases, means that you’ll enjoy some of the following benefits:

  • You’ll get a warranty: New vehicles often come with a warranty that covers most major problems that might arise during the first few years you own the car. This, of course, is if you do have trouble, because…
  • A new car is more reliable: By and large, a new vehicle will have fewer mechanical issues than a used one, and you won’t need to worry as much about maintenance. Unless, of course, it’s a lemon, in which case you’ll need to direct your attention to the aforementioned lemon law attorney for correcting that issue.
  • You can customize your vehicle: You’ll be able to outfit a new car with all the specific features you’re looking for. With a used car, it’s take it or leave it.
  • It has all the latest tech: New cars come with the latest innovations in vehicle technology. So if you like bells and whistles, a new car is for you.
  • You might score a better interest rate: Sometimes you can get a better interest rate on an auto loan when you purchase a new vehicle.

Buying new also has its drawbacks, though, so you should be wary of the following:

  • You’ll pay more up front: That initial sticker price will be higher for a new car than for a used one, so be prepared to spend.
  • You’ll have to think about depreciation: All cars depreciate in value, and a new car will start losing value the moment you drive it off the lot.
  • You might pay more for insurance: New cars can cost more to insure, for a host of reasons that include their attractiveness to thieves.

Now, what about used cars? They’re less expensive, don’t depreciate as fast, and don’t come with the same insurance costs or fees, but you’re going to be making a lot of compromises on what you want and you may have to worry more about repairs and maintenance. In the end, you’ll need to determine your budget, then decide if the bells and whistles are important to you when you’re making your decision. If you need something top of the line, go with a new car, but if you can do without all the fancy tech and want to save, go with a pre-owned vehicle.

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Brandon Harrison

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