Are you thinking about buying a new car? Whether you’ve got your mind made up or are still mulling over the alternative of going used, there are some key considerations you should bear in mind prior to signing on the dotted line.
Here’s a list of the main pros and cons of buying a new car vs. used.
Why Buy a New Car? The Pros:
- Reliability. Buying a car fresh off the assembly line is a guarantee that everything under the hood is brand spanking new. When you buy new, you never have to worry how the car was treated prior to you because you’re its first owner. You don’t have to fret over the possibility of worn belts or other parts that are about to spring a leak because the vehicle hasn’t been driven.
- Superior safety. Although a growing number of used cars on the market nowadays have factory-installed airbags – U.S. law passed in the 80s required all cars manufactured as of April 1, 1989 to include airbags – there are many still out there for sale that don’t. Buying a new car not only ensures you’ll enjoy the latest in passenger safety by way of front and side air bags, but there have been great strides made in the last 25 years that have drastically improved passenger safety including things like electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and the LATCH system for greater child seat safety. If this is one of your main concerns, buying new is a no-brainer.
- Better warranties. The majority of new cars come with manufacturer warranties that guarantee performance for a certain number of miles or a set amount of years, whichever comes first – like a three-year/36,000 mile warranty. Still other cars come with additional guarantees, like powertrain warranties, that pretty much ensure any problems you encounter will be covered.
- Greater fuel efficiency. Nobody likes a gas guzzler, and with fuel prices these days it can cost you a pretty penny to drive around a vehicle that’s not optimized for maximum efficiency. As a result of the passage of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations in the mid-70s, auto manufacturers have been working steadily towards increasing fuel economy. When you buy a new car, you’re reaping the rewards of those efforts and limiting the amount of money you spend at the pump.
Why Not to Buy a New Car? The Cons:
- Cost. Let’s face it. New cars aren’t cheap. And unless you’re a master negotiator with an “in” at the auto lot you’re purchasing from, you’re probably not going to talk the price down by any significant amount. If money’s tight and you’re living on a budget, buying new may not make as much sense as getting a car that’s just a few years old. You could save a lot of money going this route.
- Depreciation. The minute you drive a new car off the lot, its resale value plummets. Check out this depreciation calculator to see for yourself just how drastically its value could drop over time. You can fully expect your car to fall in value by as much as 45 percent within the first three years or purchase. Yikes!
- Higher insurance rates. Premiums for auto insurance aren’t just based on your driving record. They’re also based on what you drive and its value. Driving around a car that’s got a sticker value in excess of $20,000 is going to result in higher car insurance rates than if you were to be driving something worth much less. And unless you pay for your car in cash – which very few people do – your lender is going to require you to carry full coverage until it’s paid off, which will run you a lot more than basic state requirements.
- Keeping up on required maintenance. Maybe you’re the type of car owner who doesn’t keep up with necessary oil changes and tire rotations. If so, buying a new car doesn’t get you off the hook – in fact, it puts you on the hook with greater pressure because without performing maintenance at required intervals, you could be voiding your manufacturer warranty. Remember: Openbay can help with this item. Anytime you’re looking for auto repair or maintenance, cross-shop for the best service provider near you using the Openbay mobile app. Also, if you don’t know your car’s recommended maintenance schedule, we can help.
Sticker price isn’t always the chief consideration when deciding if you want to buy a new car. There are plenty of others things to think about, the least of which is how cool you’ll look behind the wheel or how awesome that new-car smell is. Think it over carefully. The last thing you want is a severe case of buyer’s remorse. Happy buying!