Should I Buy a New Car? The Advantages of Buying a New Car vs. Used
The time has come to get a new set of wheels. The word “new” however, is up to interpretation.
As a consumer, you have several options. You can purchase a new vehicle outright, you can purchase a “new to you” vehicle or you can lease a new vehicle. In this article, we’ll be focused on actually purchasing a vehicle.
Therefore, your main question is “should I buy a new car or used car?” There are several considerations to make before acting on this important decision.
Is it better to buy a New Car or Used Car?
It is important to realize that every situation is different, and a new car doesn’t make sense for everyone. Neither option is truly better than the other on a universal level.
There is a sense of satisfaction that comes with driving a car fresh from the factory with zero miles and that intoxicating new car smell, but a used vehicle, particularly one that has been certified or still has life left on its factory warranty can be just as reliable and more affordable than a new car.
Below are some advantages of buying a new car, along with some advantages to buying used. It’s important to weigh the benefits of both and find what makes the most sense for your situation before you enter the sales lot.
Advantages of buying a New Car
It’s Brand New
This is one of the bigger advantages of buying a new car. There is certainly an allure to new vehicles. You know 100% for certain that this car has never been in an accident or had any mechanical issues. You can also be sure that it doesn’t have any dings or dents.
Plus, it has very few, if any, miles on the odometer. With a new car, the possibilities are endless. It’s a fresh start.
It Has Newer Features
A 2015 model will have a stereo made for 2015, while buying a used car from 2011 will come with a stereo from 2011. Certain technologies may be slightly outdated when buying used. That’s OK, as these gadgets still work perfectly fine, but they’re not as flashy as components featured on brand new cars.
New Cars Can Be Customized Exactly to Your Liking
New cars are like cheeseburgers. They can be made to order. A new car can be spec’d out anyway you would like, with the options you care about. If you know you want a moon roof, rear spoiler, cruise control, navigation, a black interior and blue exterior, finding a used car with all of these features will be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. You may need to compromise some features for others when searching for a used car that meets your EXACT wants and needs.
Warranty Coverage and Advanced Safety Features
A used car will maintain any life remaining on its warranty upon transfer and you are certainly able to purchase extended service plans to maintain warranty coverage on a used vehicle for a longer duration, but a new car comes with an untouched factory warranty for a pre-determined number of miles. The manufacturer’s warranty will likely be the most affordable and comprehensive warranty coverage your vehicle will ever or could ever have.
Safety of new cars is another consideration. Auto manufactures continually have to adjust to more stringent safety regulations, and as technology continues to evolve the safety of new cars continues to get better and better. New vehicles also have newer safety features such as blind spot monitoring and assisted parking, which you just won’t be able to find in the majority of used vehicles.
New Cars are Easier to Buy
There are fewer questions that need to be asked when you’re in the sales process for buying a new car compared to a used car.
While you don’t have as much room to haggle on price with a new vehicle, if you shop at the right time you can get a fairly good deal during promotional periods. The MSRP is a good starting point to work from during new car negotiations, while a used car purchase requires more homework - assessing blue book value, investigating vehicle history reports, noticing small imperfections, whether that be a slight engine noise or small door ding, etc. You also have a price you can use to negotiating at different dealerships selling the exact same car. While a new car may be more expensive than buying used, purchasing new can be a slightly less stressful experience.
Advantages to Buying A Used Car
A used car is going to cost you less than a new car. Sure, it’s not new, but it is important to remember that cars depreciate the second they drive off the lot. You can get a newer used car that may still have lingering new car smell at a discount of thousands of dollars. The finances of buying new may not make sense for everyone. A solid used car can provide years of reliability at an affordable cost and be a much-needed upgrade from your current vehicle.
Lower Insurance Rates
You’re not only saving money on the purchase price of a new vehicle. Insurance rates are historically lower on used vehicles and continue to decline as a vehicle ages. Before deciding on a vehicle, get insurance quotes on your desired new and used vehicle options and consider these rates during your decision-making process.
The damage has already been done. The majority of a car’s depreciation occurs in the first year of ownership. You can rest assured that your used vehicle purchase doesn’t have as much room left to depreciate, and you can get closer to what you paid if you eventually go to re-sell it.
Improved Technology Helps Find a Good Used Car
It’s easier than ever to have a good gut feeling about a used car and how reliable it will be in the upcoming years thanks to the Internet. It’s easy to find the value of a used car on KBB.com, and CarFax allows you to easily look up vehicle history reports. Getting a CarFax is easier than ever, as it’s free and usually linked on the vehicle’s AutoTrader.com or Cars.com ad.
With all of this information available to you, there is plenty of firepower available to negotiate an even better used car price, and eliminate vehicles that have previously been involved in accidents, have failed emissions tests, or anything else that registers a red flag in your mind.
Less Pressure on Being Perfect
Life happens. Getting a dent on a brand new car is particularly deflating, as you have more of a desire to keep it in peak condition. If you purchase a used car, there is less mental emphasis placed on being perfect when you buy used. Chances are, this isn’t its first dent. Upkeep is still an important part of owning a vehicle, whether it’s new or used, but maintaining perfection isn’t going to be your top priority with a used vehicle.
Is It Better to Buy a New or Used Car? It’s Your Call
In the end, there are pros and cons to each a new car and a used car purchase. Buying new or used is a matter of personal preference, desires and financial capabilities. There isn’t a right or wrong answer to your quest for a new set of wheels.
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