Choosing Between a New and Used Car

Knowing the differences between new vs used car purchases (as well as the pros and cons of each) can help you make the best decision when purchasing your next motor vehicle.

When choosing between new car vs used car models, a previously owned vehicle may be a better option for you. This is especially true if the cost is your main concern, since older automobiles are typically less expensive. 

However, keep in mind that the cost of maintaining the older model may outweigh these benefits, especially if the vehicle has been discontinued. In some cases, leasing a used vehicle or purchasing a certified pre-owned automobile may be better choices for you.

If you wish to purchase a vehicle that carries the latest safety features and advancements in technology, a brand-new model will be a better choice for you. However, new models are more expensive than previously owned vehicles, and they cost more to insure. To learn more about buying new vs used car models and to explore the pros and cons of each, review the information below.

Should I buy a new car?

Choosing to buy new or used car models often comes down to personal preference, but there are several notable reasons as to why you may choose one over the other. For instance, you may choose to buy a new car rather than a used one if you are looking for a reliable vehicle that requires less maintenance than an older automobile. 

You may also prefer a new car if you simply wish to get behind the wheel of a car that features the latest technology systems and safety features. Many newer models feature infotainment systems, better fuel efficiency and advanced safety features such as lane departure warnings and head-up displays. 

Moreover, many new car deals offer other advantages as well. These include manufacturer’s warranties, no-interest financing, cash-back incentives and a wider variety of financing options if you need to apply for an auto loan. Newer models may cost more than older vehicles, but they are typically less expensive to finance.   

While purchasing a new model may sound like the best choice for nearly any car shopper, it is important to consider the disadvantages of buying new makes and models. These include the following:

  • You must purchase a new model directly from a car dealer rather than from a private seller.
  • In many states, you need to pay sales tax on the entire cost of purchasing the vehicle.
  • Insurance costs for new models are higher.
  • When you buy a new car, it depreciates by about 10 percent within the first month of ownership.

New Car vs. Used Car Pros and Cons 

Deciding between a new car or used car is not always easy, as there are several pros and cons to each option. When you buy used cars, for instance, you can save thousands of dollars on the purchase of a motor vehicle, but you will also miss out on the advantages of buying a new truck, SUV, car or minivan. Moreover, purchasing a new vehicle will cost you more up front, but your automobile will usually be more reliable than a used car would be. 

When choosing whether to buy a new car or used car, take the following points into consideration:

  • Used car insurance rates are cheaper, as it costs less to insure a previously owned vehicle.
  • The cost of taxes and registration for a used vehicle is cheaper.
  • Since used cars and trucks are less expensive than newer makes and models, you may be able to afford a luxury vehicle.
  • When you purchase a used vehicle, fewer financing options will be available to you.
  • Even if you obtain the vehicle history report of a previously owned automobile, you may not learn everything about its safety, involvement in accidents or other suspicious information from its past.

If you are still wondering, “Should I buy a new car or a used car”, several other options may be a better fit for you. For instance, you may choose to purchase a certified pre-owned vehicle for greater peace of mind, or you may prefer to lease a new or used SUV, truck, minivan or car. 

Should I lease a new car or buy used?

When deciding whether leasing vs buying a used car is better for you, it is important to consider the benefits of leasing a new or used car, truck, SUV or minivan. When you lease a new model, for instance, you will spend less money to get behind the wheel of the vehicle than you would if you purchased it outright. Therefore, leasing a new automobile is an excellent option if you would prefer to drive a brand-new model but cannot afford to buy it.

Moreover, leasing a used vehicle is one of the most affordable ways to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. When you lease a used car, truck, SUV or minivan, you will spend less overall than you would if you purchased a vehicle (new or used) or leased a brand-new automobile. 

Is it better to buy a new or used car?

Differences between new vs used car financing options, insurance expenses and the actual cost of purchasing a vehicle are all factors that you must consider before determining which option is right for you. 

When comparing used car sales vs new car sales, keep these takeaways in mind as you shop for an automobile that best meets your needs and budget:

  • New cars are typically more reliable than previously owned vehicles. Therefore, you can expect to spend less on maintenance and repairs when you purchase a new model. 
  • Used cars cost less to insure. However, many newer models come with advanced safety features than can get you a discount on your insurance premiums. 
  • The cost of repairing an older vehicle model may be higher. If the model has been discontinued, the cost of purchasing replacement parts will be more costly. 

To help you decide, use a new vs used car calculator, as these online tools can help you to make the best decision for you and your family. These free calculators are oftentimes available under the websites of insurance agents, credit unions and other financial institutions.