Purchasing a car, whether it is new or used, is often a hefty financial prospect for many of us. A vehicle purchase is a long-term investment in something we have to rely on daily to get us where we need to go, and do so reliably and safely. Purchasing a vehicle ultimately comes down to one of two decisions: new or used.
The Financial Sense of Buying Used
Buying a used car does have financial benefits, but it does come with some caveats. However, right off the bat, a used car will be cheaper than buying one fresh off the dealership lot. This lower cost allows a buyer to step possibly into a higher trim model, or simply save money. Who doesn’t love a little extra cash in their pockets?
A used car also doesn’t face steep depreciation like purchasing a new car does. This means that over several years, a used car is likely to retain its value, making its resale a better circumstance for the owner.
Insuring a used car will usually be cheaper than insuring a new car. Not only is cheaper but depending on how you pay, you may not need to have full coverage insurance on a used vehicle. This can save money as well.
Buying a used car also opens the door for certified pre-owned cars, which come with many of the financial benefits of a used car, but with some guarantee from the dealership on the car’s reliability, safety and maintenance record. Often, a CPO car has been intensely inspected and given a seal of approval from the dealership as a car that is better than your standard used vehicle.
There are some caveats, though. If you’re looking for the latest and greatest in car technology, you may have to make some sacrifices. Even a car just a few years old won’t have the latest infotainment system or safety technology.
Which leads to another potential downside — safety. Older cars often had to meet less stringent safety standards than new cars do today. Quality used cars are far from the dangerous death traps of yesteryear, but if safety is a top priority, a used car could cause a few hiccups.
There are few things more exciting than climbing into a brand new car, slipping the key into the ignition, hearing the engine roar to life and then driving off the dealer lot heading for your driveway. A new car purchase is an intimate experience where you can get exactly what you want in a vehicle.
The biggest hurdle in buying a new car is the price. New cars simply cost more than used cars — they’re new! There hasn’t been another driver behind the wheel. There are no accidents, and no abhorrent owners before you. Wear and tear are nonexistent, and other than a few miles, being moved around the lot is as new as you can get. Being a new car does mean insurance premiums will likely be higher, especially if you financed the purchase.
What a new car brings with it is a warranty, just in case anything goes awry, along with the latest technologies, in both entertainment and safety. New cars are packed with technology across their trim levels, which mean prospective buyers can often find their sweet spot on gadgets, trims and safety.
Safety is new cars is simply better when compared segment-to-segment. Common today are a litany of airbags in the cabin. No longer is a simple driver and passenger airbag standard. Many come with side-curtain airbags, if not more. Twelve airbags are not unheard of in the newest of cars. And those safety features are getting cheaper, which means they are no longer delegated to luxury vehicles. Backup cameras, blind-spot monitoring technology, adaptive cruise control and brake assist are quite common on many different cars.
Which leads us to one of the greatest benefits of buying a new car — being able to but the exact car you want down to interior trim color and options. If you can’t find the perfect car that not only meets your basic needs but also all your vehicular wants, you can order it. It may take a few months to get, but your car can be fresh from the factory if you so choose. Color, wheels, options and trim can all be picked.
New cars also have the advantage of being more fuel efficient while producing lower emissions. Just like infotainment and safety technology, engine technology is always evolving, and a new car will have the latest engines, transmissions and fuel-saving technology packed right in.
Deciding on a new or used car is hard, but if you take a systematic approach, knowing exactly what you want, what you expect from your vehicle and work within your budget, finding a car that is right for you will be easy.