New vs. Used: Which Is Right for You?

New vs. Used: Which Is Right for You?


hand with keysUnless you’re incredibly decisive, walking onto a car lot can be intimidating. So many makes, models, colors, styles, and other things to consider make for a difficult decision. There’s another option that many don’t even consider, though. It’s like their minds are made up before they even start looking.


Are you buying used, or are you buying new?


For some, buying new doesn’t seem like an option. They think new cars are out of their price range. Others think that used cars aren’t reliable and that new is the only way to go. There are obviously pros and cons to each.



If you’re on a tight budget and need a car, then used is probably the best way to go. Any brand-new car you try to buy without some freedom in your budget will not have any luxury perks, such as in-car navigation or heated seats. Buying used will allow you to get more of the comforts found in higher-priced new cars for less money. You’ll also have many more cars, including varieties and styles, to choose from when you’re shopping for a used car.


Many used cars now come with warranties that can give you some peace of mind. Some newer used cars may even have the original warranty attached, or the dealership may attach some additional warranty on specific parts when it’s bought used. With “Certified Pre-Owned” programs, dealerships take a used car into possession and make sure it’s running well and looking great before putting it back on the sales block. These programs help assure the buyer that the car is in good shape. You can also get a good idea of the shape of a car by looking at its Carfax report, now offered for free by many dealers. Many dealerships also use Q-certification companies to ensure their used cars are up to standard.



Of course, the downside of a used car is that someone else has owned and driven it. You don’t know how hard it was driven, what kind of care it was given, or other aspects of previous ownership. Buying new, you know you’re getting a car in pristine shape, with very few miles. This means less money spent on maintenance in the near future, other than oil changes and an occasional tune-up. In some cases, a warranty may even cover any maintenance your car needs for the first 50,000-60,000+ miles (or some equivalent in years).


Buying a new car often means you have more options when it comes to financing. You can lease, use a rebate for a down payment, or work out a monthly payment plan. These are not always options when purchasing a used car.


You obviously know where the car has been from the time it leaves the lot, how it is treated, and whether or not regular maintenance is being kept up on it.


A new car offers you fewer worries and potentially less immediate cost in maintenance, but a used car can still offer you reliability on a tighter budget. Take your time and analyze your budget, your needs, and what the car you’re buying will offer you. Make your decision from there.

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