There probably isn’t a single person alive who’d rather own a used car instead of a new car. More often than not, the decision to go used is made by either a lack of money or the desire to hold on to as much of it as possible. Used cars are just cheaper, and that’s primarily because they drop in value dramatically the instant you drive them off the lot. But is buying a used car necessarily going to save you a lot of money if you get a lemon and wind up having to spend a lot of money to fix it? And what about issues of gas consumption? Aren’t new cars better at consuming less gas? Before you make any purchasing decisions, first take a look at some of the following pros and cons of buying a used vehicle. They might just change your mind about what you really want to own.
Used cars can come with issues. This doesn’t mean they will, though. Approach with caution, especially if you don’t know the previous owner of a car. One of the things you have to ask is “Why are they getting rid of it in the first place if it’s such a reliable car?” Consider having a professional auto mechanic take a look at a used car before you commit to buying a used vehicle.
Will it be more expensive to constantly pay to fix a used car instead of just buying a new one you know won’t have any issues? Not necessarily. Think of the monthly payment on a $20,000 car. You’re talking hundreds of dollars per month and thousands of dollars per year – and you’re still only paying for ownership, not for required general maintenance. Even if you spend a couple of hundred dollars per month fixing a used car, it’s still going to cost you less out of pocket than a new car will.
Newer cars burn less gas. This is true. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that by buying a used car, you’re destined to burn through a tank of gas every other day and spew all that nasty exhaust everywhere you go. There’s lots you can do to save on gas consumption – from getting your used car maintenanced regularly to changing your driving habits – without actually buying a new car.
Insurance for new cars costs a lot more than insurance on used cars. Depending on the kind of car you drive, you could be talking about a huge difference in yearly expenditures here. If saving money is the reason you’re considering going used, saving money in insurance premiums a bonus savings you might not have even thought of.
Think about safety features. You might think that buying new is the only way to guarantee your safety behind the wheel, but that’s not necessarily true. While newer models have more safety features than older cars, it’s not like it was in the old days when buying an older car meant not even getting a lap belt. These days, you don’t have to look far to find a used car that’s equipped with airbags and anti-lock brakes and all sorts of other safety features. If safety is a concern (and it should be) you can still get a used car that’ll be capable of carting you around safely.
Think it over. You might just decide that buying a used vehicle is the best possible option for you. If you can find a good, trustworthy auto mechanic in your area, you’ll be in even better shape to save money by buying used.