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Do you buy a used car, or do you spring for a brand-new car? The obvious answer might seem to buy a new car if you can fit it in the budget, but it’s not always the case. There are benefits to driving a new car, of course. You get a car no one else has ever driven. You know this car has never been mistreated, the parts are all original, and it’s never been in an accident. You get all the warranty, and you know where it’s been and what it’s done. You also get to take home the depreciation this car the moment you drive it off the lot, and that’s an expensive problem to have.
Buying a used car feels uncertain to many consumers. Did someone abuse this car while they had it? Did they care for it, keep it clean, and did they bother to keep up with the required maintenance on the vehicle? Was it in a flood or an accident that was never reported? There are major ‘ifs’ to consider when purchasing a used car, but the long list of benefits associated with driving a used car are hard to ignore.
You Aren’t Paying for Depreciation
Did you know the average new car depreciates approximately 15% each year? This means your brand-new $60,000 car is worth only $51,000 the moment you drive it off the lot. Did you make a $9,000 down payment on this car when you purchased it? If not, you’re now upside down on your car note, which means you might be in big financial trouble if you decide to trade it in before it’s paid off or you don’t think to purchase Gap or new car replacement insurance.
When you buy a used car, someone else already took the financial hit from the depreciation. You’re paying much closer to what the car is actually worth, which puts you in a much better financial situation when you go to trade it in or even pay it off.
You Save on Insurance
Here’s a benefit many people might appreciate. Used cars aren’t worth as much as new cars on the lot to replace or repair. Instead of paying insurance premiums for a car that’s more expensive, you’re paying rates for a car that’s less expensive when you buy used. This could mean hundreds of dollars in insurance savings in the few years you drive a used car.
You Get More Car for the Money
You’ve always dreamed of the car you wanted, and you’ve always felt it was out of the budget. When you want a brand-new Mercedes-Benz convertible, it is out of the budget sitting on a showroom floor. When you wait for this car to leave and come back a year or two later, you’re saving thousands of dollars and making it more affordable to purchase. If you buy a used car, you have the opportunity to drive precisely what you want for a much lower price. Now that Mercedes-Benz convertible can be all yours, and you’re not paying anywhere near what the original owner paid when they drove it off the lot.
Used Cars Are No Longer Problem Cars
There is a misconception that buying a used car means you’re driving someone else’s issue home to make it your own. This might be true if the car you’re buying is more than a few years old, but most used cars that are only two or three years old have warranties left, they have low miles, and you can see who owned it and if they cared for it. Companies that allow you to check the history of the vehicle make it easier for you to feel confident you’re driving a quality car home.
Let’s say you decide to purchase a 2015 GMC Acadia Denali in 2017. It’s two, and it has OnStar. When you activate your OnStar account for that car, you get to see the history of the vehicle in the account homepage. You can see when the oil was changed, when the car had any issues, and any time it was in the shop. There are other records on other sites available for other brands, and you can see most everything that ever happened to a car long before you make the decision to drive it off the lot.
Buying used is a wise financial decision. You’re saving money, you’re not taking the hit on depreciation, and you get to spend a little more time enjoying what you drive since you have more options. Now is the time to consider buying used so you get more for your money than you do when you drive a brand-new car.