Buying a car is a daunting excursion no matter how you look at it. Shady car salesmen, mountains of paperwork, hidden fees, and confusion over what to choose abounds. One of the biggest questions most face when purchasing a vehicle is: used or new? While new cars are appealing in the sense that they’re shiny, can be customized, and are previously untouched by anyone else’s hands, it still remains the more logical — and less stressful — choice to purchase a used car. Here are nine pros of buying a used car.
Used cars are always cheaper than new cars; time and previous ownership has lowered the value of a used car even if it’s in like-new condition, and you can save a great deal of money just buy purchasing your dream car in used condition. Some people look at buying a used car as “inheriting people’s problems,” but this fear can easily be quelled by making sure that the used car is certified, meaning that it comes inspected and with an extended warranty and guarantee that it is problem-free.
CarFax is also an extremely helpful tool to take advantage of when it comes to buying a used car, as it’s a service which allows the user to search by a car’s VIN number and will then tell the user about that car’s history: whether or not it has been in any reported accidents, when the last oil change was, and any repairs that have been done on the vehicle. Another pro of buying a used car is that the lowered price can sometimes allow the buyer to purchase a nicer model of the vehicle they were originally looking for.
All cars — used and new — lose value as they’re driven and used. But the steepest decline in a car’s value is seen in new cars, specifically within their first one to three years of purchase. This concept can be applied to pretty much any product; if you buy a television, a kitchen appliance, or a piece of furniture, it’ll be hard for you to get what you originally paid for it when trying to re-sell the item simply because it’s considered “used” from the time of purchase.
Some new cars lose 40 percent of their value in just the first year after purchase, so another pro of buying a used car would absolutely be that the used vehicle has already undergone that initial depreciation and, if you choose to resell it, is more likely to sell for the same price (or close to) what you paid for it if it’s kept in good condition. Though many people equate “used” with “old,” the vehicle in question doesn’t have to be more than a year or two old to be possibly over $10,000 less than it’s original price tag.
7. Lower Registration Fees
Lower registration fees are a big pro of buying a used car; this advantage is simply built into the way state DMVs work, which is typically to charge less to register a used vehicle. In Colorado, registration fees for a new vehicle fall only the first few years after purchase. Why wait that long? With a used vehicle, registration fees are already likely to be lower than that of a new car.
6. Avoiding Useless Extras
One advantage of buying a new car is that it may be customized down to a tee, but this can be a huge disadvantage as well. Car salesmen get commission for every sale they make — which means that they want you to spend as much money as possible. These untrustworthy, manipulative individuals will lie through their teeth and sell you on dozens of unnecessary extras and frills that you may not want or need. Something as simple as metallic paint detailing can cost thousands of extra dollars.
With a used car, you’re getting exactly what you see. No hidden frills or extra, unnecessary features to drive up your price by thousands of dollars, and no one trying to convince you to add them. The simplicity of not struggling with what (often overpriced) extras are and aren’t needed is definitely one of the pros of choosing used.
5. Avoiding Inflated Prices
Even if you do decide you want extras on the car you’re about to purchase, the extras on a new car are usually much more expensive than what you would pay to have that specific feature added to the car yourself. Plus, buying a used vehicle means that you can search for cars that already have desirable features, such as a sun roof or power windows, without paying astronomical fees for them because of depreciation, which is a huge advantage.
4. Cheaper Insurance
Used cars are typically cheaper to insure than more expensive cars, making purchasing a used car even more of an intelligent and frugal decision on your part.
3. Used Models Can Be More Reliable
A new vehicle has never been properly tested — until you buy it. Then, you’re the one testing it out and all of its “teething problems” and hiccups become your headache. One pro of buying a used car is that a pre-owned vehicle will have already fixed any problems that were unseen in the factory and which had to be dealt with by the original owner. It’s also unfortunately true that many older models are simply built using better methods and sturdier materials than some of the cheaply made models of today, which may deceitfully appear to be more reliable when they’re painted a nice color and put in a shiny advertisement.
Some dealerships take overcharging to the next level when sticking it to consumers who are trying to buy a new car. Transportation fees, paperwork fees, “dealer preparation,” and destination fees are all nonsensical terms that are synonymous with “make-believe reasons why you need to pay us more.” A pro of buying a used vehicle is that none of these fees exist; the car is at the dealership, the paperwork is ready to go, and no one can try to stick you with hidden fees that come with a new vehicle.
1. Less Stress
New cars are often targets for thieves and burglars, while an advantage of having a used car is that it looks more inconspicuous and less tempting to potential criminals on the street. It’s easy to get wrapped up obsessing over trying to keep your new vehicle spot-free and brand new, but a used car is a little more comfortable and won’t stress you out as much.