Once you’ve decided it’s time for a new car, there are a number of major decisions you’ll have to make before you’ll be able to head home with your new vehicle. One of those decisions is whether to buy a new or used car–and the answer will be dependent on each individual buyer.
There are certainly benefits and disadvantages to buying new or used, and here we’ve pointed out some of the things you should consider before making your decision.
Do you have a down payment or trade-in?
If you’ve got some cash tucked away for a down payment or equity in a trade-in, you’re in good shape whether you want to buy new or used. Some dealerships run incentives that allow buyers to put zero cash down on new cars, but this kind of deal is seldom available for used cars. Just keep in mind that the less cash you put down, the higher your monthly payment will be.
Are you prepared to take a hit on depreciation?
It’s a well-known fact that new cars lose a good chunk of their value the moment you drive them off the lot. It’s a sneaky cost, because you won’t feel it until it’s time to sell or trade in your car, but that’s essentially money you can never recuperate (just like any other appliance, it loses even more value with time). If that’s money you can’t afford to lose, you should consider buying used, which means that someone else took the initial hit in value, and you’ll reap the benefits by paying quite a bit less for a car that’s just a year or two old.
Are you prepared to maintain an older car?
The potential downside of an older car (besides forfeiting that new car smell) is that you may end up spending more on visits to the mechanic. There’s no way to know what kind of issues your new (to you) car will pass on to you, so we recommend opting to buy through a dealership that offers a certified used car program. These programs ensure that the car has been thoroughly inspected, and offers a warranty just in case issues do arise.
Here at Dan Pfeiffer Plainfield Used Cars, we want to help you find the best car for your lifestyle and budget. Stop by to learn more about buying new versus used.