Whether you’re looking to replace your current car, or this is your first vehicle purchase, one of the first decisions that you’ll probably make is whether to purchase a new car or used vehicle. Because used cars tend to be cheaper, they often allow buyers on a budget to get a better car for their money. But is the more luxurious model, even if it’s used, the better choice? Or are you better off purchasing a car that’s brand new? There are different things to consider when weighing the pros and cons of each.
Trade-in or down payment
Obtaining a car loan for a used vehicle will almost always require some sort of down payment, whether you are trading in a car or using cash. If you have decent credit, you may have fewer issues purchasing a new vehicle with little or no down payment, as opposed to purchasing used. That’s because many manufacturers offer incentives for new vehicles that just aren’t offered in the used-car market. These are usually in the form of cash incentives, rebates, and discounted financing. If you plan accordingly and wait for the right moment, you be able to buy a new car with a large enough manufacturer incentive to take care of the down-payment requirements.
Car repairs and maintenance
A used car may be cheaper than a new car initially, but if you are constantly paying for repairs and other maintenance due to its age, you may wind up paying the same amount in the end (or more). Not only do you have to ask yourself if you can afford constant repairs if needed, but will you even have the time to do so? Will you be able to arrange alternative transportation to and from work if needed?
With a new car, aside from routine maintenance, your visits to a mechanic will likely be few and far between. If something does go wrong with your new car, you will be protected under a warranty, which will last for a certain amount of years or specific set of miles (usually whichever you reach first). And while the car is still covered under the warranty, most dealerships will offer you a loaner, free of charge, while your car is being worked on.