Most vehicle purchases begin with the same question: Should I buy new or used? And while we can’t answer that for you, we can share some facts that may help you decide which way is best for you. Of course, there are pros and cons for both buying new and buying used, so your job is to weigh those and make a decision that is best for you and reflective of how the vehicle will be used.

We recommend first pinpointing who will be using the vehicle and how it will be used. Will the car’s primary driver be experienced or a newly licensed teenager? How much mileage do you intend to put in? Short trips to and from work? Or will this vehicle be your family’s primary method of transportation that needs to last for many years? Ask yourself questions like these and take the information below into consideration when deciding whether or not you’ll be purchasing a NEW OR USED vehicle.

Buying New

Probably the biggest single advantage is the vehicle itself. Brand new cars have never been driven by anyone else (other than the occasional test drive). Possible poor ownership and failure of proper maintenance from a previous driver is something you don’t have to stress about when you buy new.

A new car warranty is another huge advantage of purchasing a new vehicle. Repairs can be costly, but in general, warranties can cover you during the first 3-5 years. A vehicle warranty is definitely a subject you want to research and discuss with the dealership you are considering doing business with.

New cars cost more than used cars. Duh! A brand new vehicle is at the very peak of its value. Even with rebates, discounts, and negotiations, you will be paying top dollar. In addition, it is often more expensive to insure a new car than it is a used one. This is especially important to keep in mind, as it adds to your month-to-month expenses.

New cars depreciate quickly. On average, vehicles lose 10-20% of their original sales price during the first year of ownership. This is significant and should be factored into your purchasing decision, particularly if you know you will be trading it in within the next five or so years.

Finally, if you’re concerned about the environment (aren’t we all?!?), be aware that new vehicles release less toxic gases than used ones do.

Buying Used

You’ll pay less! Again, duh! This is probably your single biggest advantage of buying a used car. Even a slightly used car will cost considerably less than a brand-new version of the same make and model. When buying used, there’s often more room to offer less money, especially if the owner or dealership has a sense of urgency.

Of course, as we’ve already mentioned, buying a used car can mean more expenses in maintenance and repairs. We know you’re busy. How much of an inconvenience will it be if your vehicle ends up needing several days-worth of work/repairs? How car-savvy are you or do you know someone that is and that would be willing to help you out? These are important things to keep in mind. That being said, cars are being built better than ever before, so there is, inherently, less risk than before in buying used.

Older vehicles may not come with some of the enhanced safety features we see in new cars, such as Electronic Stability Control, child seat retainers, front and lateral airbags, anti-lock brakes or traction control, just to name a few. This is something you may want to factor into your decision. How important are these features to you?

When it comes to depreciation, yes, a used car will continue to lose value the older it gets and more miles you log. However, the year-to-year differential is almost always less with a used vehicle.

We sincerely hope that we haven’t “muddied the waters” or complicated your new v. used decision, but at LOF-Xpress™ we believe it’s important to be an informed consumer. Take your time in making this decision. Consider your budget, driving habits, family situation, and how important a new vehicle is to you. And, regardless of whether you choose new or used, we’d be honored if you’d choose US for your vehicle maintenance!