Nothing can compare to a brand new car. It’s picture perfect inside and out – no dents, no places where the paint was patched up, it even smells new. Should you splurge and buy a car brand new from the dealership showroom, or is a pre-owned car a smarter bargain? There are pros and cons to each choice.
Used cars carry much easier on the wallet price tags. In fact, the minute you take a new car off the lot, it loses a big chunk of its value. A new car is still new a week after you’ve bought it it. It still has a lot of use left, no scratches and it still smells new. But it isn’t a brand new car anymore to the next guy, and that alone is worth money. You would imagine that the value of a car would decline little by little over its useful life, but that’s not how it works. It loses significantly more value during its first few months and years. In the end, the value levels off and its value depends entirely on its condition – but it still has some value.
The potential unknown troubles are the main down side of buying a used car. Why did its previous owner get rid of it? Does it break down a lot? How well was it cared for? Was the recommended maintenance performed in a timely manner? Has it been in an accident, or has it had water damage? Finding out the answers to these questions is much easier now that it has ever been. A Carfax report tells you the car’s history, and many dealers offer them at their expense. How many owners has it had? Has it been involved in any accidents? Cars can be tracked by their vehicle id numbers and now that computer records have improved, it’s much easier to compile this information.
A used car probably won’t last as long as new car would, and that’s a second disadvantage. Repairs will be needed sooner. This, of course, depends a great deal on the age of the used car. Some second-hand cars are still new enough to be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. In fact, several used car dealers sell ‘certified vehicles’. This means that they have inspected the car, done any necessary maintenance and repairs, and determined that it meets certain quality guidelines. Certified vehicles normally come with a warranty, so you won’t have to worry about major repairs for a while. If a used car does not come with a warranty, the key is to have your mechanic look it over before you buy it. Compare the price tag to the condition. A lower price is the reward for accepting a car with some problems. There’s a limit, of course. A car that’s about to expire isn’t worth any money at all – except to the junkyard.
New cars are costly – that’s the bad news. There are some benefits too. First, a car made today will run longer than a car built even a few years ago, because engineering is improving so quickly. And you may not be able to find a used car in the model you like if it has just come out. Infiniti has recently released its G37 Convertible. If you can find a used one, it’s probably at a premium price for a used car. You might be better off just to buy it new.
In the end, buying used or new is a personal choice. The type of car you’re looking for and your purpose in buying it will probably determine which way you go. Either way, do your research and consider both before making a decision.
Written by Hannah Valez Toyota