Is Buying A Used Car Always A Good Decision?

Used cars can be cheap, but what if something goes wrong? That's always my main concern, which is why we bought a new car the last time around.Many financial experts out there recommend buying a used car rather than a new one. And, if you consider the quick depreciation of a new vehicle, it is advice that seems to make sense. But should you, when considering buying a car, avoid buying a new car, simply because the “expert” advice seems to make sense? When it comes down to it, there is a lot more to consider when buying a car than simply how quickly it’s value will depreciate and there certainly are situations where choosing new over used makes sense as well.

If You Don’t Know A Lot About Cars

A lot of people suggest getting a used car, especially if it is your first car, because there is a better than average chance that you will be involved in at least one fender bender. The reasoning is that, as a more inexperienced driver, you will be less likely to be able to react properly in order to avoid accidents.

It is actually because of this inexperience that a new car could turn out to be the better option – as an inexperienced driver, you might miss the small knocks and noises that indicate that there is a problem developing and so may not be able to catch small problems before they develop into larger ones.

This can also be a problem when it comes to choosing a car – would you know what to look for to ensure that you are getting a fair deal? Do you know how to tell whether or not essential parts in the car are old or worn?

With a new car, you pay quite a bit more upfront but at least you know that you won’t have to worry about replacing major car parts any time soon.

When You Need A Reliable Car

Even if you are an experienced driver and know a bit about cars, there is something to be said for the reliability of a brand new vehicle. Consider the impact of having an unreliable car – you not only have to keep paying for visits to the auto shop but also possibly towing costs as well. In addition, your life can be truly negatively impacted – what if you end up missing important meetings or being late for work on regular basis?

Safety is another aspect to consider – what if you break down late at night, or in an unsafe area? What if your car cuts out on you when you’re in traffic and you end up in an auto wreck as a result?

For Cost Effective Maintenance

Car designs today are light years ahead of those from 10 years ago in terms of fuel efficiency and safety features. Car manufacturers today make fuel efficiency and ease of maintenance a integral factor of design.

When you start adding up all the gas bills ahead of you, fuel efficiency starts to count for a lot.

If You’ll Have The Car For A While

Another aspect to consider in the new versus used debate is the amount of time that you intend to keep your car. Any car has a finite lifespan, after which the cost of maintaining it simply becomes unreasonable..

If you plan to hang onto your car for a few years, it makes sense to get a new car – that way you get the longest lifespan possible.

You Can Make Financing Work For You

If you are smart about your financing, you can negotiate a much better interest rate and financing terms. If you then manage that finance in a smart way, by paying it down as quickly as possible, you will end up paying a lot less in terms of interest so the financial impact is not as severe.

At the end of the day, whether you buy a used or new car is going to depend on your circumstances. To say that you should always buy a second-hand car can be very short-sighted. If you consider the increased maintenance costs of a used car, fuel efficiency and lifespan, it can make good financial sense to buy a new car instead.

4 Responses to Is Buying A Used Car Always A Good Decision?

  1. Michelle says:

    Too many people believe that a used car will save them money, however that is not always true. Sometimes a new car can be cheaper than one that is a few years old because the dealerships have more incentive to move them.

    • True! We bought a new car for the first time. With 5 years of 0% interest payments, the effective price was pretty reasonable and made sense for us.

  2. I’ve yet to buy a new car, but I can see myself doing it. Used prices here are still pretty high and I’d love to have a warranty to cover any repairs for a few years. We actually sold a used car last year and I’m not sure we had come out ahead of where we’d be if we had bought a new car or leased. It was a toss up.

    • My wife’s car was totaled when she was rear-ended about 18 months ago. The amount they gave us was incredible (that a used car with 80,000 miles on it was worth so much) and the cost of a new car with 0% interest wasn’t that much more. Turned out great for us!

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