When it’s time to replace your current car, you need to decide whether to buy a new or used vehicle. Some people should get a new car, while a used car would suit other customers better. Here are some questions that can help you make the choice between a new car and a used car.
1. Do You Have Good Credit?
Many manufacturers offer rebates, cash incentives, and discounted financing for new vehicles. You may not even need a down payment. However, you usually need good credit to qualify. You can also get a discount by trading in your old car. You’ll almost always need money down, a trade-in, or both to buy a used car.
2. Are You Willing to Pay for Depreciation?
Depreciation is the loss in a vehicle’s value over time. Everyone, even used car buyers, will experience some loss in value. Some new cars lose half their value after three years, so you should buy a used car if you want to save money and avoid a lot of depreciation. Since used cars are worth less, your insurance rates and property taxes will be lower as well.
3. Can You Pay for Maintenance and Repairs?
New cars usually come with good warranties, and some carmakers even offer free maintenance for a limited amount of time. A used car will need more maintenance, and you’ll have to pay for all of it yourself. Even if the last owner maintained the vehicle carefully, parts will start to wear out after about 30,000 miles.
You should have enough money in your budget to pay for unexpected repairs. If you car is in the shop, you’ll also have to figure out how to get to work or take kids to school. If you decide on a used car, make sure there are no existing problems by having it inspected by a mechanic before you buy.
4. Are You Looking for the Latest Technology?
If you want the latest technology, like multimedia and navigation interfaces, and you don’t want to add it yourself after you buy a car, you should choose a new vehicle. New cars also have more mandatory safety features, including tire pressure monitoring and stability control. Many new cars have blind-spot monitoring systems, adaptive cruise control, side curtain airbags, brake assist, and more.
5. Are You a Picky Shopper?
A dealer can order a new car from the manufacturer with the right color and all the features you need. If you buy a used car, you’ll have to settle for whatever’s available. You might not like the color of the car, it could be missing some features, or it could have a rip in the seat or an odd smell.
A new vehicle is best if you don’t want to worry about repairs, and you want as much safety and comfort as possible. New cars are also easier to finance. You can increase your savings with a used car, but the vehicle could be less comfortable. Taking care of it will be more difficult as well.