Should You Buy A New Or Used Car?

new car, used car, financing, depreciation, gas milege, mechanical issues, features

It’s the ultimate question for car buyers everywhere. Perusing the aisles of a dealership for a new car can leave you perplexed. These are the differences between new and used cars and ways to know which is right for you.

New Cars

New cars are a status symbol; they’re shiny, attractive and they have that new car smell. Tell your friends you have a new car and you’re bound to get some nods of approval. Imagine rolling down the street in a brand new vehicle the first time, turning heads as you go. New cars have other advantages besides their aesthetics however.


New cars are new! They presumably don’t have any mechanical issues and they don’t have a history of mileage or repairs. If anything does go awry, it’s likely covered by the warranty so you can drop in any time. With this in mind, knowing what you’re willing to pay is considerably easier. New cars with groundbreaking technology put you at the forefront of the automobile industry—this can be enough persuasion for many to throw down money for a new automobile.

The fancy features of a new car are undeniably alluring. Car manufacturers always offer the latest in performance and safety technology, not to mention comfort. Expect high-quality side-curtain airbags, structural reinforcement and computer technologies that make driving safer and more relaxed. You may have to wait several years to get these options in a used car.

Financing options are simpler as well. Sales representatives love offering incentives to entice you to buy, such as cash rebates. Don’t fear the heart-stopping sticker price, so long as you play your cards right and negotiate a reasonable final cost. New car loans are also easier to obtain and have lower interest rates. In many cases this means a lower cost overall.


The “D” word—depreciation—is the dirty word of car buying. When you buy a car off the lot, you’re buying at the retail price. Once you drive it off the lot, it drops to wholesale cost. In some cases, this can mean a few thousand dollars within seconds. As a general rule cars lose about 20% of their value as soon as you buy it. Within a year mileage and wear and tear can drop it even farther.

New cars don’t stay new forever. It won’t take long for that new car appeal to wear off; cars get dinged, dirty and scratched. What’s new today is old tomorrow. There’s no denying that the thrill of newness will soon fade and next year a newer shinier car will catch your eye.

Here follows the mindset of “Keeping up with the Jones’s.” Don’t get caught up in the irrationality of buying something solely because it’s new; buy it because it suits your specific needs and it fits the price.

Used Cars

It’s time to forget the old stigmas about used cars. Gone are days when used cars were all old clunkers with questionable backgrounds. Today, you can find used cars that are as old as a year with low mileage and a history of little to now repairs. Sure, they aren’t as glamorous as a new car but they too have their pros and cons.


The used cars of today are more dependable than they were in the past. Automotive technology is more advanced, which means longer lasting cars. In addition, regular maintenance isn’t as persistent as it used to be, so newer used cars won’t need as much attention as you might think.

Used cars garner lower car insurance rates. Because the used car costs less, it needs less collision and comprehensive coverage. It’s as simple as that. In addition, registry renewals are cheaper, so all of those minor dings and scratches aren’t as much of a headache as with new cars.

If you want a higher class of vehicle, expect to save at least 30% when you shop used.


Used cars always carry a certain amount of unknown qualities. Those interested in selling a car quickly often do so by way of deception; you’ll never know exactly how the car was treated or why it was traded in. In addition your used car will likely require more maintenance due to more wear and tear.

If you want specific features, they may be more difficult to find in a used car. This year’s new cars may have a special feature you want, but you may have to wait a few years before you can afford it.

Shopping for a used car may be more difficult because you need to do more research on its history. New cars are ripe and ready for the picking.

When choosing between a new or used car, either option can seem appealing. Asses your specific needs to find which option is best for you.


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