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Should You By a Used or New Car? A Guide

If you’re in the market for a vehicle right now, you’re asking yourself one simple question: “Should I buy a used or new car?”

It seems like a question that would be easy enough to answer. But there are a lot of people who struggle to decide whether to buy a used car or one that’s brand new. Some even put off buying a car because they can’t choose one or the other.

If you’re having a hard time narrowing your search down to either used or new vehicles, consider both sides of the coin. Here is a guide that will help you choose between buying a used or new car.

Begin by Figuring Out How Much You Can Afford to Spend

It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time car buyer or someone who has been buying cars for decades now. The very first thing that you should always do before you shop for a single car is come up with a car-buying budget.

Take a look at your finances and see how much you can afford to spend on a car every month. Better yet, see if you might be able to pay for a car outright in cash with money that you have saved up.

But whatever you do, don’t put off putting together a budget for a used or new car. Otherwise, you could fall in love with a car that you can’t afford by the time you leave a dealer’s lot.

The average new car is selling for more than $37,000 these days, while the average used car is going for just over $20,000. There’s a wide gap between those two numbers, and it could play a big role in which way you decide to go.

Consider How Much Maintenance You’re Willing to Do

Regardless of whether you buy a used or new car, you’re going to have to maintain it. All cars, no matter how new or old they might be, need to be maintained at least a little bit to keep them running their best.

But generally speaking, you won’t have to worry about doing a ton of maintenance to a car when you buy it new off the lot. It’ll have next to no wear and tear on it, which means that you can get away with doing the bare minimum to your car when you first buy it.

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Used cars are different. If a used car doesn’t have many miles on it, it might not need that much maintenance. But as a used car inches closer and closer to the 100,000-mile mark, there will be more maintenance that will have to get done on a regular basis.

This will obviously cost you some money. It’ll also take your car off the road every now and then. Consider if you’re up for the challenge of maintaining a used car prior to purchasing it.

Think About If You’re Prepared to Tackle Car Repairs

None of the parts in a car are designed to last forever. Some might last you for 100,000 miles or more before they need to be replaced. But all of them will break down on you at some point and force you to make repairs.

This is something that will affect those who drive used cars a lot more than those who drive new ones. Those people with new cars will have parts that are on the newer side, thus negating the need for frequent car repairs.

Much like with car maintenance, you’re going to need to prepare yourself to do a lot of car repairs when you buy a used car. It’s not a bad idea to start setting aside a car maintenance and repair fund from the beginning to avoid unexpected car bills down the line.

Check to See How Used and New Cars Will Affect Your Auto Insurance

Auto insurance companies consider all kinds of factors when they’re coming up with a quote on an insurance policy for you. From the type of car that you drive to your age, they’ll take everything into account before sending you your quote.

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Outside of considering your age, they’ll also consider the age of your car and the price tag attached to it. A $40,000 new car with only 85 miles on it is going to cost more to insure than a $15,000 used car with 95,000 miles on it.

If you have a particular make and model car that you want to buy in mind, try to obtain quotes for both a used version and a new version of the car. This will let you know the difference between the two so that you can use it to make your decision.

Make Sure You End Up With a Car You Love

It’s important to think about the cost of a car, the maintenance, and repairs that will need to be done to it, and the effect it will have on your auto insurance bill every month. But at the end of the day, the most important thing is that you love your car.

Keep that in mind when you’re searching through vehicles and trying to decide if you want to buy a used or new car. The car that you take ownership of should be one that you’re proud to show off to the world, no matter how new or old it might be. 

So, Is a Used or New Car Right for You?

Now that you’ve heard all about the pros and cons of buying used and new cars, it’s time to answer the question: “Will you buy a used or new car?”

Weigh your options and see which one is better for you based on your income level, your ability to maintain a car, and your own personal preferences. By doing this, you’ll be able to pick the car that suits your needs the best.

Want to find more tips for buying both new and used cars? Check out our blog to get great advice on shopping for cars.