Should you buy new or used? Both have their advantages and disadvantages but which one is the right choice for you?
If you have the mentality that new is always better or used is always better, push those thoughts aside for a couple of minutes and read below. There are a lot of things to factor in when making this decision and there is no right or wrong answer. The better choice changes depending on your financial situation, wants and needs, time and patience to research, knowledge of cars, tolerance for repairs, and even timing of purchase. Weighing the pros and cons of each will help you determine what the best choice is for your own personal situation. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of buying new and used:
PROS of buying NEW
- Good reliability records - you know its history and there are no concerns of how it was treated before you bought it
- Covered by warranty - expensive maintenance and repairs may be covered. This is basically a built-in cost saving and this could drastically lower the cost difference between a new and used vehicle in the long run
- Offers higher fuel efficiency standards - this could make up for the initial higher cost
- Offers latest safety standards - young, old, male or female - this is definitely something you should not waiver on
- Offers the latest technology and features - your car is a status symbol and let's face it, that's a factor in your car buying decision
- Special financing programs and promotions - new cars may be eligible to get low or no interest rate, large rebates and/or discounts, and incentives where used cars cannot. In some cases, the final cost of the new car could cost less than the used car
- Made-to-order - you get exactly what you want, the way you want it and it's all yours!
- Costs more and depreciates in value quicker - cars lose the most value the moment it is driven off the lot and in the first years of ownership
- Higher insurance cost - the more the car is worth, the more it costs to insure it. Don't forget to budget in the increased insurance cost to your monthly expenses, along with your new car payments
- Don't stay new for very long - the first ding, scratch, paint chip and even coffee spill is inevitable. The newer the car is, the more it hurts when you must face the inevitable. It's also likely that something newer and better will hit the market soon after, making your costly purchase obsolete
- You have the opportunity to find a car at a really great value - the used car market offers a broad range of models and options and depending on the seller, you could be paying less for the car than its market value
- A late model used car with low mileage is basically new without you having to bear the brunt of the initial physical and mental depreciation
- You may be able to purchase an extended warranty - in this case, you could still save on future repairs and maintenance without paying the high price of a new car and you could choose a warranty that better suits your needs
- Lower insurance cost - this could make a big difference in the long run and should be taken into consideration when working your numbers
- Fear of buying someone else's problem - when you purchase a used car, no matter how much research you've done, you may never accurately know its condition and could face some unpleasant surprises along the way
- Requires maintenance sooner - all cars will require maintenance after a certain number of mileage driven (ie. oil change, new brakes, new tires, etc.), so depending how many kilometres are on it at the time you purchase it, this could be a big deal
- Challenge to find options and features to suit your wants and needs - you must settle for what is available. If you just need a vehicle to get from point A to point B, then you probably don't need the newest and shiniest toys and this wouldn't make a big difference to you
- You must put in a lot of your own legwork to find the best value. It takes a lot of time to find a good used car - researching, seeing multiple sellers, test driving each vehicle, obtaining history reports, inspections, etc. Time = money.