New vs. Used Car: Which One Is Right for You??

New Vs Used
When it comes to the big questions we face, “Should I buy a new or used car?” often feels like it’s right up there with mind-bending questions like “What’s the meaning of life?” or “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Unlike life’s more nebulous philosophical questions, this one’s far less open-ended, but the “new vs. used car” question still manages to attract no shortage of opinions.

Is it better to buy a new or used car?

The truth is, the “right” answer to the “new or used car” question depends on your own personal circumstances, preferences, and needs at the time you’re shopping for a new-to-you vehicle. So if you’re thinking in terms of, “Is it better to buy a new or used car?” reframe your question to, “Will buying a new or used car better serve my needs right now?”

When weighing whether to buy a new or used car, it’s important to learn the pros and cons of each option and use those as inputs for making your ultimate decision. As with so many aspects of life, your decision-making should begin with identifying your priorities and your bottom-line needs. It’s important to note that your car-buying history may not dictate your present: If you have bought only used cars in the past, that doesn’t preclude a new car as the best option this time around, and vice versa.

Let’s walk through the advantages and disadvantages of both options to help you understand whether a new or used car is right for you.

Buying New vs. Used: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Used Cars

Answering the question “Should I buy a new or used car?” can often be solved by making and examining a good, old-fashioned pros and cons list. Here, we’ve rounded up the advantages and disadvantages of buying a used car in comparison to buying a new car. 

Pro: The original buyer has absorbed the depreciation

Cars tend to lose about 60% of their value within the first five years they’re owned, as increases in the car’s mileage and deterioration of its condition can cause its value to drop, as can changing consumer preferences about vehicles. When you buy a used car that’s a number of years old, you know that the original buyer has taken the main depreciation hit.

Pro: You may get a lot for your money

You can often find a late-model, or recently built, car at prices significantly lower than new-car prices, sometimes even half. You might also find strong warranties on used cars through dealers’ programs that boost your value further.

Pro: The car’s resale value will likely hold up well

Because depreciation is slower on an older car, you could likely resell your used car for a similar price to what you’d paid.

Con: You may not know the car’s full history

Unless you’re buying a car from a close friend or family member, you won’t always know the car’s full history, including how the car was treated and maintained and why it’s been traded in. Sometimes used cars have reliability issues or need more frequent repairs. That said, a VIN check will give you some information on any past accidents, thefts, or recalls, and a certified pre-owned car will have been thoroughly inspected.

Con: The car might not check every “nice to have” box

When you buy a new car, you can hand-pick details from its features and options down to its color and have it ordered for you. When shopping for a used car, you may need to compromise on a few details to choose a reliable ride from the available inventory.

Con: The car might not come with a warranty

Though some used cars will have time remaining on the factory warranty, others’ original manufacturer warranties will have expired.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of New Cars

Going the new-car route also holds its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons to keep in mind when buying a new versus a used car:

Pro: Shopping is more straightforward

You won’t need to evaluate the condition or run the history of a new car. It’s also easier to figure out how much a new car costs, unlike used-car values, which can vary substantially by mileage, condition, and other factors.

Pro: You may find better financing options

New cars often come with significant buying incentives and low interest rates to entice you to buy, so you could walk away with a great deal.

Pro: You’ll find newer technology and better fuel efficiency

If you’re looking for the latest features, the most environmentally friendly option, or the best fuel efficiency, a new car will check those boxes.

Con: Your car’s resale value will drop more quickly

Car values lose resale value as soon as you leave the lot. That said, if you plan to drive the car through its lifetime, depreciation will just mean lower personal property taxes over time.

Con: You’ll face higher insurance payments

Because replacement values are higher, auto insurance will be steeper at first on a new car.

Con: You’ll need to pay sales tax

Texas imposes a 6.25% sales and use tax on new vehicles, so you’ll have to plan accordingly.

Do You Need Help Finding a New or Used Car?

No matter whether a new or used car is right for you, we can help you get where you want to go. Our finance department at Chaparral Ford is ready to help you sign the right financing package to secure your next vehicle purchase. Ready to get rolling? Reach out today so we can find you a Ford ready for immediate delivery in the Devine, Texas, area.