If the idea of buying a new or used car turns your stomach in knots, you’re not alone. A car is one of the more significant purchases you’ll make in your lifetime and because of that, most people approach the process with a belly full of butterflies. The debate over buying a new car versus a used car only adds to the angst. The thought of a brand new car is enticing - it’s shiny, clean, and comes with that new car smell that everyone loves. Used cars, however, carry an air of practicality about them that shows your friends and family that you’re a person with common sense and good judgment.
If you’re the practical sort who’s considering buying a used car, but can’t completely let go of that flashy new car attraction, take a look at these six benefits of buying used versus new. You just might discover that a used car is a better option for you.
It goes without saying that used cars are usually less expensive than new cars. That’s because, well, they’re used. Someone else has driven them for a few years, and they often have a hundred thousand miles already on them. But depending on the make and model of the car, that’s okay. There are several automakers with an excellent reputation for building long-lasting cars: Honda, Toyota, and Subaru come to mind among many others. Searching for these cars first when you Google "used cars near me" gives you a good place to start. A used car with a solid reputation for reliability will always be less expensive than its brand new counterpart. Not only will the selling price be lower but a used car may have a low down payment, as well, making it easier to afford up front.
A big benefit of used cars over new is the availability of performance history. It’s easy to research various models of used cars to see how they’ve performed over time, how they handle in different driving conditions, and how well they stand up overall. Sources like Consumer Reports, Kelley Blue Book, and Car and Driver make it easy to find information on used cars, and anyone with access to a computer or a library can get a hold of this information. Take advantage of these resources and do some homework before you go car shopping. It’ll save you time in the long run.
Insurance rates vary based on many factors. The age of the driver, the age of the car, the area you live in, whether the car has features such as driver assist, safety, or theft deterrent all go into the equation. But on average, when comparing a used car to a brand new car of the same year, make, and model, you’ll find that insurance costs less on the used model. Just remember that insurance is not the place to cut corners. Make sure you purchase adequate insurance coverage. This is the one area you don’t want to skimp on. It’s just not worth the risk.
There are costs other than insurance that are typically lower with a used car than with a new car. Fees such as state sales tax, registration, and property taxes may also be lower on a used car depending on how your state values cars and assesses taxes. Many states use a sliding scale based on the age of the vehicle to assess registration and property taxes. In these states, used cars win out over new. State sales tax is calculated on the purchase price of the car, and since it’s lower to begin with, that impacts the amount of sales tax you pay when you purchase the car. In most cases, used cars cost less to acquire overall than new cars do.
Easily stressed-out people will appreciate not being stuck with add-on costs like destination and dealer prep fees. Most reputable new car dealers don’t try to tack these on during the sale, but if you’re working with a less reputable dealer, you could easily find these extra fees on the invoice at the very end of the sales process. While some of these fees might be legitimate, you should always ask about them if you see them on the invoice. Used car dealers usually don’t engage in this type of behavior. Even if they were inclined to do so, it’s harder to hide unnecessary fees on a used car invoice because it’s much more straightforward compared to a new car invoice that has every feature package and option listed out.
Budget-minded people searching for cars would do well to consider used first. In addition to typical used car lots, buy here pay here used car dealers have gained in popularity over the past few years. They offer a whole host of other benefits not covered here, including 100% in-house financing of all cars. If you have questions about the other benefits of buy here pay here, AutoMax in Henderson or Youngsville, North Carolina, is a good resource to call. They’ll gladly answer your questions, and the information you get from them might be just what you need to tip the scales in the direction of used rather than new.