New Car vs. Used Car: What’s the Advantage?

Few purchases you make in life will be more exciting than a new set of wheels. Whether you’re buying your first car, looking for a replacement, or simply want to change it up, hitting the road in your new ride provides a thrill that’s hard to beat.

While it is undeniably fun, buying a car is also a major decision. To make sure you get the most out of your investment, it’s crucial that you do your research ahead of time to establish a realistic budget and figure out what exactly you are looking for.

If you’re just getting started, odds are there’s one big question on your mind: Is it better to buy a new or used car? Well, there’s unfortunately no easy answer. It really depends on your situation, as everyone’s priorities are different.

Here are a few things to consider when debating between buying a new or used car.

Pros of Buying a New Car

One of the biggest pros of buying a new car is that it’s just that: new! You’ll be driving off the lot in a state-of-the-art ride that’s been tested and closely inspected so you know it’s built to last. Depending on the manufacturer, you’ll also have the option of including several amenities and features that aren’t often found in older models, including blind spot monitoring and remote start.

While almost always coming with a higher initial cost, there are actually some financial advantages to a new car purchase as well. Routine maintenance expenses are typically lower, and most manufacturers offer comprehensive warranty plans that provide protection if something does go wrong. There’s almost always some sort of sales event or financing option available as well, as dealerships frequently go the extra mile to close a transaction.

Cons of Buying a New Car

At the broadest level, buying a new car simply isn’t an option for many people for financial reasons. In addition to the lofty sticker price, tax and insurance premiums are much higher when buying new. Unless you can afford the big monthly payments or have the cash on hand to put down a large amount at signing, your best bet is probably to look for a pre-owned option.

A couple looks at a new car while shopping with a salesperson.

Pros of Buying a Used Car

Of all the pros of buying a used car, the most obvious is the significant amount of money it will save you. Instead of worrying about making a large down payment and getting hit with an expensive car note every month, you’ll be able to work out an affordable plan that allows you to pay off your ride much sooner. You’ll also likely benefit from lower insurance and tax costs.

Another one of the most common used car tips is to look for slightly older options that offer the same amenities you desire. For instance, if one of your top priorities is a rearview camera, you may be able to find it in a model from a few years ago while saving a few thousand dollars on other bells and whistles you don’t need. Your car will also depreciate in value more slowly, so if you ever want to sell or trade it in, you’ll get back more of your investment.

Cons of Buying a Used Car

At the most basic level, buying a used car means you have fewer options to choose from, both in terms of aesthetics and amenities. But the biggest thing to consider when weighing the pros and cons of buying a used car is that no matter what you pick, it’s almost never going to last as long as a new one. Maintenance costs are usually higher for used cars, and there’s a much greater risk of breakdowns or unforeseen trouble. So while you save some money on the front end, buying a used car can open the door to additional expenses down the road.

Two people sit in a car while the salesperson leans in the window.

The Verdict

Choosing between buying a new car and buying a used car is a big decision, but there are a few things you can keep in mind to make it a little easier. Going with a new car will cost you more up front, but you’ll be saving on maintenance expenses and can take advantage of all the new high-tech features. Purchasing a pre-owned vehicle is much cheaper but also much less reliable since you run the risk of racking up repair costs and will likely have to replace it much sooner.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you need. If you’re able to make a larger financial commitment and want to cruise around town in a state-of-the-art ride, you should buy a new car. If you’re looking to save some money and are more focused on getting from Point A to Point B, buying a used car may be best.

Give Your Car Quality Care With Kennedy Transmission

Whether you end up purchasing a new car or a used car, you never know what the future holds in terms of needed maintenance or repairs. Whenever you run into trouble, Kennedy Transmission is here to help. Our team of master mechanics is ready to lend a hand at our Minneapolis garage and other auto repair shops in Minnesota. Give us a call or stop in today for all of your automotive maintenance needs!

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