April 27, 2008

Car buying: new or used?

Car buying: new or used?

What is the difference between buying a new car and a used car? The obvious answer if that one has been owned and used by other drivers and the other has not been owned before. The other difference is the price; a new car will be much more expensive than a used car. The difference that holds value for many people is that most new cars have a manufacturers’ warranty whereas a used car most likely will not come with a warranty. A warranty can be bought for new cars, give the condition at the time of sale, but will be expensive and not have the same coverage as the manufacturer’s warranty.

Obviously a new car is a new car and will most likely be free of any mechanical or other problems. A new car is a bit of a mystery because the previous owner might have taken great care of it, horrible care, or mediocre care of the vehicle. They amount of care a car is provided will determine how well it will work down the line. We all know that oil changes are recommended every 3,000 miles, and some of us are very diligent in having the oil changed, and some of us are very lazy or might not have enough money to have the oil changed regularly. This is just one way a car can be taken care of or not taken care of. New cars are also a mystery because it is hard to know at the time of purchase how many times the car has had mechanical problems or been in an accident, or flood, etc. You might even say that buying a new car is a crapshoot.

New cars are more expensive than used cars and there are two main reasons for this: one of course is that it is brand new, and second is that there is no history of damage or misuse. Many people prefer to buy a new car over a used car for the peace of mind that it should work like brand new and other people just like having a new car for the sake of having a new car. There are many of us that are somewhere in the middle, and therefore have a difficult time deciding whether to buy new or used. A used car will initially save a lot of money, and the insurance will be less expensive etc. The question that leaves many of us on the fence is: Will this car break down; is the transmission good, etc.? You can certainly as the same questions about a new car, because it is entirely possible that there is a manufacturer problem and the minute you are off of the car lot it breaks down.

The warranty is the deciding factor for many because new opposed to used will not only provide a new car that no one has ever owned but will also provide the peace of mind that even if there is some manufacturer problem and the car breaks down the minute you buy it is will be repaired for free. Warranties have many different time frames and mileage limits on the coverage but the minimum will usually cover you for four years or more and up to 50,000 miles. This all means that as long as the car is serviced according to the manufacturers’ specifications, most all parts of the car are replaceable for free, providing you have not done something to damage them. Warranties available for used cars are usually not as extensive and will only cover certain parts. There may also be a deductible for any repairs.

So which is better, the new more expensive car or the used car? What if we suppose that the price difference can be at least $5,000? How do we decide? The decision can be dependent on how much money a person has to spend, but that doesn’t always hold true.

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