New Car Vs Used Car | What's Best?

Updated: Jan 27, 2020

Photo Credit: WBUR

I often see and hear of friends, family, coworkers all purchasing new cars. I, myself… am… or should I say… was guilty of buying a new truck at one point too. It’s easy to do. Getting financing for a vehicle is damn near guaranteed! There are ads and promotions everywhere. They’re on TV, the internet, in the newspapers, on bill boards, etc. All slowly catching your attention making you wonder what it would be like to have a new car. Johnny or Sarah on Instagram or Facebook just bought a new car, and got a 1,000 likes. And before you know it, you’re at the dealership, car shopping, thinking about all those deals.

And let’s talk about how helpful the sales people are. They swarm you like you’re a rockstar, happily willing to show you vehicles you can’t afford, or over your budgeted amount, pushing you to test drive it. And the best part of it all, is that they are promising you’re getting a deal!

I get it! I mean who can resist saying no after test driving that beautiful car or truck, with the new car smell, all the latest features, equipped with a more powerful motor that gets better gas milage. Seems justifiable right? Well that’s up to you!

But wait, what about all those used cars for sale? Have those even crossed your mind? Have you even checked them out? If not, why not? Have you ever thought about purchasing a used car?

By this time you may be thinking to your self… Who would want to buy a used car when you could purchase a new car. I mean the payments might only be a few extra hundred dollars a month. What’s the big deal? I’m going to drive it into the ground. Might as well get a new one.

Photo Credit: Glamour.Com

Well I’m here to tell you that’s exactly what it is… A BIG DEAL! Buying a used car can literally save you thousands of dollars. And yes, I mean that plurally. Coming from someone that has bought both new and used cars, I’m here to tell you that I honestly believe I am happier I bought a used car instead of a new one this time. You may be asking, “Why is that Wise Financial Man?” The reason being is I know that I owe about half as much right off the back as a basic model I would of bought.

About a month ago, I was in the market for a everyday driver that got good gas mileage. I had and still do own my truck, which I need for towing, moving things, etc. But the gas milage was killing me. Literally my average for the past three years was 11.8 miles per gallon. Now I may not be a rocket scientist, but I know that my miles per gallon mixed with the price of gas, was killing me financially, and that I was really polluting the earth.

So naturally, my Fiancé and I began looking for a commuter car for the both of us. This time around, I was a lot wiser with my money and finances. I decided I wasn't going to do punish my current self as well as my future self, by taking out a loan for a new car all over again. If I’m trying to be more frugal with my money, why would I go take out a loan for a new car, anywhere from $20,000 to $32,000. That sounds like a terrible idea. And that sounds like a $300 to $500 payment that I don’t need or want! I mean the whole idea in the first place was to cut back on my cost on gas while becoming more eco-friendly!

So I began searching, and found a used 2014 Prius at a Toyota dealership for around 12 thousand dollars if I remember right. Not to bad I thought, considering they go for around 24,000 dollars new. It had relatively low miles, was white which I was looking for since the paint last so long, eco-friendly, and got excellent gas mileage. Sweet, I thought to myself! So my Fiancé and I went to the dealership only to find out that it was sold. The sales person who was actually very kind and apologized. He said they had other used Prius’s for sale.

We continued to look and came across used 2015 Prius C Four (which pretty much means fully loaded) for 11,000 dollars out the door. I knew I was looking to buy something close to but just under 100,000 miles. And I heard the Toyota Prius will typically far surpass that since the load of the mileage are typically shared between the electric motors and the gas motor. I test drove it, which it felt like a new car! Minus some scratches here and there, the car looked like a new car. The inside was clean and had a nice scent. Looking at the car, I could purchase this 2015 Prius C Four for $11,000 out the door or purchase a new one for around $25,000+. Over twice the amount. When looking at it that way, it was pretty easy for me to decide to purchase the car used.

What I’ve Learned From Owning Both A New Car Vs Used Car

Pros Of a Used Car

  • Both feel like new cars to me. Either way, it’s a new experience and a new car that you didn’t have before.

  • You can save thousands upon thousands of dollars by purchasing a used car. Even one just a few years old fully loaded. The reason being depreciation. Cars depreciate fast (well most do except collectables). People always want the latest and greatest. They don’t want used. Thew want New!

  • Don’t expect for a used car to be perfect. You can find very nice used cars, but they will always be a scratch here or there. But then again my new truck which was black had some scratches to, and that was brand new.

  • I’m just as happy if not more happy owning a used car. Reason being is it does the same things as a new one, yet I know I don’t owe $30,000 plus on a car. That amount of money broken down into monthly payments, can do some serious harm to your financial health, making you live month to month!

  • Insurance is typically cheaper on a used car!

  • Registration is cheaper!

  • You can typically buy a nicer used car with a bunch of amenities for a cheaper price than buying a new car base model for a more expensive price.

  • You don't have to worry as much about dings or scratches. It’s a used car, it’s already not perfect. But that dones’t mean you don’t have to take pride in your vehicle and take care of it!

  • You can buy warranties on used cars (however they are expensive). Or many of the used cars are still within warranty.

Pros Of A New Car

  • Peace of mind. You know a new car will be covered bumper to bumper for the most part. They come with standard manufacture warranties, know people are selling them due to any issues, and have no miles on them.

  • Less work finding the one you want. You can go to any dealership, and most likely they will have any model in any color with any features you want, all right there on the lot. You’re not having to do homework, looking for the used one you want, with the amenities you want, saving you time and energy.

  • There are more financing options. There are constantly cash back offers, special financing options, and sometimes, no interest loans for the first year or the life of the loan.

  • The latest and greatest technology and performance. Typically buying the newest year and car model, will come equipped with the latest technology and performance. Whether the best audio system, the biggest or fastest motor, or the most fuel efficient model.

In Conclusion

Buying a well kept used car with low miles can not only be an amazing experience, but can save your financial health. You can literally get a more luxurious model while saving thousands upon thousands of dollars. Wouldn’t it be nice having a used car with half the monthly payments of a new car? What ever you choose, I encourage you to stick to your budget. You may be excited, but don’t let a sales person push you into something you can’t afford. Continue to stick to your budget, and live a frugal lifestyle. Hopefully I’ve helped opened your eyes about the pros and cons of a New Car Vs Used Car. I always enjoy hearing feed back and opinions. Let us know what you prefer when buying a car. New Car or Used Car?

Photo Credit: CarTalkBlogs

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