Any time you’re in the market to purchase a vehicle, it’s a time full of endless questions and decisions. Car or truck? What features do I need included? What’s the best payment plan? What color should I get? But one of the most fundamental and hotly discussed choices is whether to buy a new car or a used car. Sometimes your wallet says to go with the reliable used car that’s been around for a while, but you can’t stop visualizing yourself driving a brand new truck off the lot. There are certainly pros and cons for both new and used cars, but breaking down the advantages and disadvantages of each should help aid the decision making process the next time you find yourself at a car dealership with more options than you know what to do with.
There are several main advantages to buying a new car. For one, you know that nobody has abused it before and everything should be functioning at 100%. You can also be far more specific when it comes to features and options; you can get it however you want it equipped. You also get the benefit of having the full factory warranty in case something goes wrong. Plus, who doesn’t love that new car smell? Buying a new car is simple- what you see is what you get.
Buying a used car, however, can typically be more complex. The main advantages of buying a used car are obvious. Having to pay only a fraction of what the car would cost new is a major selling point, and often times you can get a 3 year old car for up to 40% off what it would cost new. However, you may have to spend a little extra money to check the condition of the car. If you are buying from an individual or classified ad, you will want to check to make sure the odometer reading is honest. A service like Carfax or Autocheck will give you a history of the vehicle using its Vehicle Identification Number including title changes and whether or not the car has been to a junkyard. Carfax estimates around 10% of its listings have had some sort of problem, so it’s always a safe bet to check. It’s also a good idea to get a trusted mechanic to look over the car prior to purchase. These additional steps may be time consuming and expensive, especially if you are considering multiple different used cars, but if your priority is spending less money then it may be worth it for you.
You might also consider “certified” used car programs that are backed by manufacturers. Certified vehicles are typically no more than three years old and must pass a series of inspections before they can become certified. These cars have less risk of uncertainty, and also often come with a fresh warranty.
In the end, whether you buy a brand new truck or a beat up old car is completely up to you. But you can feel more confident next time you’re surrounded by a sea of cars at the dealership by looking critically at both options and making the decision that best suits your individual needs.by