New car? No thanks — not for me!
There aren’t many “absolutes” in my personal life. I’m open to moving across the country, from the East Coast to the West Coast. I’m open to trying almost any type of food, or listening to most types of music. I’m willing to attempt any exercise regimen at least once or twice, to see if I enjoy it.
But there’s one thing I’ll never do: Buy a brand-new car. Here’s why.
#1: Used cars are cheaper. Even if the car has as little as 10,000 miles on it, chances are it will be dramatically cheaper than a brand-new car. Many gently-used cars are still under their manufacturer’s warranty, making them a safe buy.
#2: New cars depreciate in value quickly. As soon as you drive them off the lot, new cars lose their value by hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars. In fact, if you were to buy a new car and turn around the next day to try and sell it to someone else, it would be considered a used car and be worth substantially less.
#3: I like my car to be broken in a little. I find solace in knowing my car has been around the block a few times (literally) and probably isn’t a lemon. I can be rough on my cars, and if I buy a brand new one I feel like it’s untested.
#4: Potentially cheaper collision insurance. Generally, any car that is financed will require total coverage, which means a higher insurance rate. However, if you can pay cash for a vehicle you won’t have to worry about a high insurance rate. You’re more likely to be able to afford to pay cash for a used car. (Although if you have the funds to pay cash for a new car, I’m impressed!)
#5: Choose your options. Many new cars come with sunroofs, XM radio, and automatic everything. Forgive me, but I don’t require AC vents for my backseat passengers and I don’t feel the need to pay for it with the price tag of a new car. When I’m shopping for a used car, I can narrow my search to older, cheaper models that don’t include all the bells-and-whistles.
#6: Lower registration fees. Most states base their registration fees off the price of the vehicle being registered. I’ve learned to curb this cost by always buying used cars. The cheaper your car, the cheaper your registration fee .
#7: It’s safer than ever before. With companies like CarFax and Autocheck available, I don’t have to worry. I can see exactly what a car has been through before I purchase it. I know whether or not the car has been in an accident or endured a flood. I know how many owners the car has had. I even know whether the previous owners lived in a snowy state or warm, dry state. This gives me peace of mind and helps me make the right decision when I’m buying a used car.
#8: They can be reliable. Auto manufacturers are working hard to make new cars last for decades. In other words, used cars can be just as reliable as new cars, if you keep up with maintenance.
#9: I can negotiate price. When I stroll onto the lot of a car dealership, I know that the salespeople want to get rid of the used cars within their inventory. They received these cars as a trade-in, and they want to get the cars off their hands. Negotiation, therefore, becomes fairly easy.
#10: It’s hard to tell the difference. If you buy the right used car, chances are no one will notice that it’s not new. Many current models of vehicles look the same as their older counterparts. Automakers often create the same “body style” for several years. So instead of buying the new version, opt for the old one: there’s a strong chance that nobody will notice.
Kennedi writes about financial advice for women at Face & Fitness.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.