Whenever you buy a new car, typically the first question asked is “Did you buy new or used?” It’s such a common question because it’s one of the first considerations that one needs to make when shopping around for a vehicle. There are pros and cons to going with both options, and you need to weigh your own personal situation carefully when deciding between the two. There is no right answer to this question, but you will need to decide on what the right answer is for your current purchasing needs. The following points will help you work through the process and choose to buy new or used on your next car shopping experience.
How to Decide between a New or Used Car
Obviously, your budget for this car purchase will have a strong say in whether you buy new or used. If budget was no concern, you would always buy a new car, because why not? However, budget is always an issue, and you need to decide going in how much you want to spend on this car. A good rule of thumb is to figure out your maximum budget first and then start shopping – not the other way around. With a firm limit to your spending in place, you can start checking out lots to find out how much your dollar will get you. If you like the new options in your price range, then new might be the best bet. If you are less than impressed with what you can afford for a new car, start looking closer and used options to see if one of them fits you better.
All new vehicles come with a manufacturer warranty that will protect you in case of a problem with the vehicle within the first few years of ownership. This is a nice safety net, especially considering how much money you will have invested in the vehicle. However, some used cars are designated ‘certified pre-owned’ by the dealership that is selling them, and will also come with some measure of warranty protection. The certified pre-owned warranty will not be as long as the new warranty, but considering the price difference between the two, it still might make for a very good deal.
Permanent or Temporary Solution?
When you buy a new car, you can reasonably expect to get 10 years of reliable service from it if you so desire. Purchasing a used car obviously shortens that time frame because the engine will already have some amount of miles racked up. If you only want to drive this car for a few years before being able to buy something else, used is the way to go. If you are looking for a vehicle that you can call yours for a decade or more, stick to the new inventory at the dealership.
Ultimately, it will come down to how attractive the new and used options are in your price range, and if you want to invest more in a long-term vehicle, or pay less and go shopping again in a few years. Think hard about these options, and make sure you are convinced one way or another before you pull the trigger on this big purchase.