“I bought a new car” – how often do you hear someone say that? I admit, I wish I could say it; there is something special about the idea of having a new car, and buying it brand new. Just picture yourself sitting in a shiny new car; and then that smell only a new car can have, and a flawless new design to admire. The idea attracts you, but should you give in?
I have always driven used cars, starting from my lovely Citroen Xara Picasso to the flawless and durable Honda Civic LX, neither one of which has disappointed me. Truth be told though, I have never ever driven a more reliable car than my Honda Civic 2005, even though it was used when I purchased it, is was well taken care of, with only 52 000 miles on it and impeccably clean engine, brakes and interior. Very few are lucky as I was though.
Let’s Examine The Pros and Cons of Buying a New Car:
- Deals – they are everywhere, especially if it’s the end of the season; auto dealerships are in need to get rid of their stock, so they can make space for the new cars. This is when they are most vulnerable, they are not only willing to give you a deal, they will negotiate with you as much as you need, until you get to a price point that is convenient for YOU.
- You simply know what you are getting – it has brand new parts, pristine “out of the assembly line” engine, clean unused brakes and the best of all sparkling new interior, all of which makes it a reliable source of transportation that is not going to break down in the emergency lane.
- Warranty – no matter how you put it, very few things can beat a manufacturer’s warranty. Most of the new cars in America are sold with an Implied Warranty, meaning that goods are sold as advertised, and with a Satisfaction Guarantee, which is based on the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act of 1976. The Satisfaction Guarantee allows you to be fully refunded, regardless of the reason for your dissatisfaction with the product.
- Safety – in the city or in the suburbs, if you have children to look after, you simply MUST get a car – it will make your life so much easier. And this is when you set your priorities, the main one of all – SAFETY, what used vehicle can offer more safety than a new car; equipped with the latest airbags, lock controls, anti-lock brakes, the LATCH system for a great child seat safety and electronic stability controls, the new cars offer a big advantage when it comes to passengers’ safety on board.
- Fuel efficiency – Like it or not, fuel efficiency is important, not only for the environment but for your pocket too; with the gas prices going up, you really want to consider this aspect, especially after you have spent a huge amount of money as a down payment for the car and you will then have a monthly payments while paying it off. So, if you want to save some money on the pump, you should really consider getting a vehicle that is following the latest CAFÉ – Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards out there.
- Price – regardless of how good those deals are, sometimes it is just not viable for you to buy a new car. You put a lot into it, but do you actually get all of it out? Let me put it this way, if you have decided to buy a new car; it is because you are thinking of sticking to it for a while, what if that’s not the case though? You never know what you may decide in a year or two! Should you go for it, just to sell it in five years maybe?
- Value – new cars depreciate in value much faster than used cars do, that’s a given. Most of them depreciate with as much as 45% throughout their first three years on the market. Moreover, with the durability of many used cars, a used car sometimes is just as reliable as a new one, so, do you really need that new car? The market has changed to such an extent that shops offer you 30-40% off of cars that are 3-4 years old, compared to buying a new one. Now, where did the incentive go?
- “Certified used-cars programs” – enough said, for anyone that knows what this is, it is clear that a new car is not needed. These programs, backed by manufacturers, offer you the ability to purchase a used car – 3 years old or newer, with a 12 month or more manufacturers’ warranty on it. This is an invaluable incentive to skip the new car deal and go for a bit older one that is going to offer you the same level of satisfaction. After all the new models don’t really change their parts, it is mainly the design that changes, but is it worth it to pay so much, just for a cosmetic improvement?
Here are the two factors you ALWAYS have to consider:
- Maintenance – yes, with a new car there is virtually no maintenance involved, but is there…. If you think about it, if you are person who wants to have a great performing vehicle at all times, you are going to spend a lot of time and effort maintaining the vehicle in order to preserve it and keep it up to the same standards, as it was when you bought it. For example, you will most likely buy a higher quality oil and fuel.
- Insurance – that’s a tricky one. In general, new cars have higher insurance rates, but if you are a bit older with a good driving record you can get away with a cheaper rate. Why is that you may ask, well think of it this way – a new car has a higher value than an old one, more expensive parts in case of damage and in general is more demanding. The problem comes, if you are a bit younger (even if you have a good record) – you are still not as reliable as the older fellow driver, simply because of lack of experience, which in this case will bring your insurance rates up because the chances of you getting into an accident are higher.
What car would you buy and why? Share with us your point of view and ask questions in the comments. Thanks!