It’s the ultimate question when it comes to buying your next car, and one that many drivers have trouble with answering every time it crops up. It’s time to put the matter to bed and to find out what the real differences are between buying new, buying used, and which one you should go with.
For one, a new car simply has more appeal, from the shiny new coat to the ever-appealing new-car smell. What’s more, they tend to be more reliable, meaning that anything that you’re likely to be protected by your warranty should anything go wrong.
New cars also tend to be more fuel efficient and you’re going to have a harder time finding a used car with the most up-to-date safety features unless you pay to have them fitted yourself.
That’s not to say that new cars are fundamentally superior in every way. For one, it’s more costly. Financially, it’s a worse decision not only because of the cost but also the fact that they depreciate a lot more quickly than used cars.
As soon as you drive your new car out of the dealership, it loses a significant chunk of its value. Also, new cars tend to come with a lot more extras, and you might make the common mistake of buying something that you don’t really need. New cars also tend to come with higher insurance costs, as if you weren’t already paying enough for it.
Simply put, when you buy a used car, you’re likely to get the best car for your budget. Cars that would be unaffordable when used are suddenly within reach. Dealerships can offer VIP clubs or certified pre-owned to make sure that your purchase is a reliable one, not just a cheap one, as well.
The used car horror stories you hear from time to time rarely come from a dealership, but the private market. Besides, there isn’t very much difference besides a late model, low mileage used car and a brand new one except a huge decrease in the price.
As mentioned, there is some stigma around used cars but most of them come from private sellers. Valuepenguin offers some advice on how to make sure the car you’re buying is road legal and fit to drive, but the truth is that your risk of encountering scams on the private used market is simply higher.
However, most of those issues can be avoided by going with dealerships instead. One issue that is universal in the used market is that it can simply be harder to find a very specific with particular options or features you’re looking for.
If it’s a purely financial decision, then buying used, so long as you buy from a reputable dealer, is the clear winner. However, buying used does offer some assurances and protections that used cars don’t. You need to know where your priorities are to make the best use of the information above.