New vs Used Cars: Which Is The Better Buy?

car-key-842107_1920Drivers aspire to ownership of a new car; some brand new vehicle never before owned by another human and hardly touched except by the sales person at the lot and maybe one or two people who gave it a test drive. You feel proud about saving up for this purchase. Savvy car owners, people with technical knowledge of cars, sometimes say it is better to buy a gently used vehicle. They have some very good reasons. Let’s look at the pros and cons of choosing either path.

Pros and Cons of a New Car

As mentioned above, no one else has owned the vehicle or had the opportunity to mess anything up. There are no scratches, spills, gouges, or stains; no strange smells from spilled chili or scuff marks from where bored toddlers have rubbed their shoes up and down the back of a seat. The car has not been worn down by mileage and the tires aren’t worn out. If it came out of the factory in perfect condition, there is nothing wrong with the exhaust, transmission, ignition, or heating core.

That’s a big “if”: many new vehicles are plagued by glitches. You read reports in the news of recalls on models released during a certain year, perhaps brand new ones, and you are fortunate not to have experienced a problem before hearing about the recall. Sometimes the glitch is minor like trouble with satellite navigation or air conditioning. A few times the issue has been dangerous and scary as it pertained to brakes or steering. With a new car no one has had time to uncover these problems.

Pros and Cons of a Used Car

First, before you consider buying a used car, it’s always wise to investigate the vehicle’s past. You can do that by getting the car’s history through a service like VIN Audit.

To go directly to VinAudit and check it out yourself


A used car carries a much lower price tag than a new one since depreciation starts as soon as there is an owner and continues at an exponential rate no matter how careful an owner has been. Even a one year-old vehicle is much cheaper than its brand-new version. Used cars are affordable for drivers with small budgets. They have also been driven long enough for any intrinsic issues to arise so the dealer might have dealt with them prior to your purchase. You can make it a condition of sale that the car goes through rigorous checks and repairs if necessary for the specific problem you have learned about.

Used cars are also a few steps closer to breaking down than new ones are. Owners must anticipate that the hand brake will need attention or tires are going to need changing sooner rather than later. Computerized keys are more likely to stop working as are all electronic and computerized elements of the vehicle. It might be scratched and worn in places. Repairs could be expensive. A used vehicle of any age requires more maintenance than a new one too.