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New or Used? Tips On Buying Your Next Vehicle

Updated on December 24, 2015
Tinaya Sallie profile image

Tinaya Sallie first fell in love words while still in grade school and has been writing and editing for more than fifteen years.

Should Your Next Vehicle Be New or Used? Factors To Consider

Feeling like it’s time to get a new car? Are you trying to decide whether to buy a new car or a used one? There are a few things you should consider before deciding which way to go.

Purchasing a Brand New Vehicle

People love buying brand new cars, and there are a lot of different reasons why. New cars have that “new car smell,” and with technology advancing so rapidly, today’s new cars are cooler and more technologically advanced than ever before. But, before you head down to your favorite dealership, you have some decision-making to do first.

If you’re thinking about getting a brand new car, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can I afford a new car?
  • What features and options am I looking for in my next vehicle?
  • Can I get the same features and options in a used vehicle?

There’s more to “affording” a brand new car than just the amount of your auto loan payment, and this is something a lot of people don’t think about ahead of time. So when you ask yourself if you can afford a brand new car, make sure you consider these very important facts:

  • You will have a monthly car loan payment for the next 3 to 7 years
  • You will have a monthly automobile insurance payment for the next several years
  • You will need to maintain your brand new vehicle for the next several years

Also, in order to get a brand new car, if you’re like more than 90% of us real-world, everyday folks, you’re most likely going to have to obtain financing. If your credit is great, you could end up getting a really good interest rate on your loan. But, if your credit is not so good, you could end up with a percentage rate higher than Mount Everest. Remember, you will be locked into this contract for the next several years, so this is something you should give serious thought to before you sign your life away.

Your lender will require you to maintain full coverage insurance on a vehicle whenever you finance it, so your insurance bill is probably going to be pretty high, especially if your driving record is less-than-perfect. And don’t forget, brand new cars still require maintenance and normal wear and tear repair work, just like any other vehicle. So make sure to account for all of these factors in your budget when deciding whether or not to purchase a brand new car.

Buying a Used Vehicle

Regardless of the kind of car you’re looking for, a used one of the same make and model is going to be more affordable than a brand new one. When considering your preferred features and options, think about whether or not it’s worth investing in a brand new vehicle. Can you get those same features/options in a used vehicle of the same make and model for less money? If so, a used vehicle may be your best bet.

Many used vehicles, especially “certified” used vehicles, are available with warranties. If your vehicle breaks down, a warranty can be very handy because it will help cover the cost of your repairs. Some of these warranties cover the entire cost, while others only cover a certain percentage. Either way, you end up saving money. Therefore, getting a warranty is always a good idea, regardless of whether your vehicle is new or used.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a used vehicle, you should check its history before you buy it. Also, it’s a good idea to take it to a mechanic that you trust and have them check it thoroughly for any pre-existing problems or issues.

Depending on the cost of your used vehicle, you may be able to purchase it in cash. Even if you have to finance a used vehicle, your monthly payment amount and the length of your loan will usually be much less than financing a brand new one.

The cost of full coverage insurance on a used vehicle is usually less than it would be on a new one. And, if you pay cash for your vehicle, you are not required to have full coverage insurance. Either way, your monthly insurance premium will likely be significantly more affordable.

In conclusion, if you’re in the market for a new vehicle, be sure to consider all of these factors before deciding whether to get a brand new car or a used one.

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