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What You Should Consider Before Choosing Between a New or Used Car

Published: 09-12-2018 Emily S. - US Logo, Inc.

So, you’re thinking about buying a new vehicle. Where do you begin? What do you need to know before you take that first step? What should you expect during the process? We’ve compiled a list of different factors you should consider before you sign on that dotted line.

Pre-owned - Hyundai Genesis from Payday Motors Wichita KS

There are multiple aspects to consider in order to help you decide whether a new or used car is the right option for you:

How Important Is Having the Latest Technology?

With each year come new and improved versions of technology that you’ll find in the latest makes and models. These technologies are geared towards improving passenger safety and the driving experience. Bluetooth stereo systems, rearview cameras, park assist, and automatic braking systems are just a few of the high-tech features that many new cars offer today. If you want all of these bells and whistles, a new car would be the way to go. However, many used cars also include some of these high-tech features, depending on its year.

Pre-owned - Hyundai Genesis Interior from Payday Motors Wichita KS

Do You Want a Car That Enhances Your Image?

Many people view their car as a kind of status symbol. If having the latest and greatest car on the road is one of your main MOs, used cars probably won’t be on your radar. But, if this is slightly less of a priority for you, consider a used car that is a year or two old. This will give you close to the same effect, but with a lower price tag.

Pre-owned - 2012 Buick Enclave Leather Edition from Payday Motors Wichita KS

How Much Are You Willing to Spend on Car Insurance?

New cars are more costly to repair or replace than used cars. In general, the more you pay for a car, the more it costs to insure. If saving money on insurance is important to you, a used car may work out best. The Insurance Information Institute says agents can estimate how much your insurance will cost before you make your purchase. So, check with your agent before you start the process to get a better idea of how much your coverage will cost.

How Well Do You Understand New Car Depreciation?

Depreciation of a new car begins the moment it’s driven off of the lot. On average, a new car loses 11% of its value as soon as it leaves the dealership. From there, vehicles will typically depreciate between 15 and 20% each year over the first 5 years. Because of this, it’s not unusual for car owners to owe more on new car purchases than what they could get by reselling it. If you’re not prepared to face this possibility, consider purchasing a used vehicle instead.

Who’s Going to Be Driving the Car?

If you’re in the market for a car for your teenager, a new car can add on more expenses than just the sticker price of the vehicle. Due to the fact inexperienced drivers are more likely to be involved in collisions, insurance rates tend to be higher for these types of drivers. Add that onto the price and insurance rate of a new vehicle and you may end up paying more than you’d like.

However, if safety takes more importance over price, maybe a new car is what you’re looking for. Due to improvements in safety technology found in new cars, many parents are intrigued by the idea of purchasing a new vehicle for their child.

Pre-owned - Luxury Buick Leather Interior from Payday Motors Wichita KS

How Much Time Are You Willing to Spend Shopping?

Buying a new car is usually simpler and less time-consuming than buying used. Because a new car hasn’t been driven yet, there shouldn’t be any mechanical issues, damage, or maintenance to be done. With the purchase of a new car also comes the choice to add a limited warranty (usually of at least 3 years) and a powertrain warranty (usually of at least 5 years). With these warranties you won’t have the need to consult a mechanic before the purchase.

Buying a used car, however, can tend to take a little more time. A more detailed inspection of the used car, as opposed to a new one, should be done before you commit to a purchase. Oftentimes many visits to many car lots take place in order to compare your options and find the best deal. So, if you’re looking to buy used, don’t forget to account for the extra time you’ll need to put in.

Are You Willing to Deal with Maintenance Issues?

Yes, while used cars cost less than new ones, they also typically require more maintenance. The older a car is, the more likely you are to need to schedule regular maintenance for it. Luckily, there are steps you can take to help avoid purchasing a used car with serious maintenance issues. Consulting a mechanic and obtaining a vehicle history report through agencies like Carfax or AutoCheck all help to prevent buying a car that turns out to be a huge headache.

New cars, on the other hand, require less maintenance – at least from the start. However, as we mentioned before, new cars start depreciating as soon as they leave the lot. Eventually, your new car will need something fixed or tuned-up, too. How often you are willing to arrange for maintenance appointments will be what helps you to decide which type of car is right for you.

Before You Buy a Used Car, Check For…

Before you purchase a used car, make sure you check that the following common repairs have recently been addressed:

  1. Oil/oil filter changed
  2. Wiper blades replacement
  3. Replace air filter
  4. Scheduled maintenance
  5. New tires
  6. Battery replacement
  7. Brake work
  8. Antifreeze added
  9. Engine tune-up
  10. Wheels aligned/balanced

If you are concerned that any of the above has not been done, try negotiating with the salesman to have it repaired before you buy.

Domestic or Import – Which Should You Buy?

A lot of people will say imports, such as Honda or Toyota, are typically more reliable than American cars, but this is not necessarily true. Don’t underestimate the affordability and reliability of domestic cars.

Domestic models are often newer and have fewer miles than a similarly priced import. For example, let’s say your budget is $8,000. Your average Honda Accord at that price will have around 80,000 to 100,000 miles. But, for the same price, you could buy a Chevrolet Impala with only 50,000 to 70,000 miles.

Whether you choose between domestic or import cars all comes down to research. Use the countless resources available to you, such as Consumer Reports, to find reviews and ratings on a particular car’s reliability.

Pre-owned - 2010 Toyota Tundra Grade Pick-up Truck from Payday Motors Wichita KS

Research, Research, Research!

Taking the time to do research on a particular make or model is the most important part of the car buying experience. It is usually those who choose to skip this step that often experience unexpected problems down the road and frequently experience buyer’s remorse. People will often spend hours researching the performance of a vacuum cleaner, but won’t do the same before buying a car – which is a MUCH larger purchase. Don’t make this mistake!

This is especially important if you’re looking at a luxury or exotic car. These types of vehicles often come with expensive parts and repairs, so knowing what you’re getting into before you buy will help with any surprises down with road. This also applies to pre-owned cars, as well. Since most used cars are out of warranty and have miles put on them already, it’s even more important to know what to expect in the future.

A great resource that you should use at the beginning of your shopping experience is Kelly Blue Book. KBB allows you to value your trade-in, read reviews, find local dealers, and even check the fair market value of both used and new cars. Also consider checking sites like Consumer Reports (as previously mentioned), TrueDelta, and researching the car’s Long-Term Quality Index. If you know a qualified mechanic, take the time to ask them some questions about the typical performance of the car you’re looking at.

Pre-owned - 2011 Toyota Sienna XLE 8-Passenger from Payday Motors Wichita KS

To Recap…

If cost is a top priority when it comes to choosing what type of car you’re looking at buying, a used or certified pre-owned car may be your best option. Due to depreciation, used cars are less expensive than new ones. However, used cars usually require more maintenance, as well. Many people choose to purchase new cars because they enjoy the idea of being the first and only owner of a vehicle, as well as the improved technology that comes with it.

Know and understand what you can afford, how much time and effort you are willing to put in, and what your intentions are before deciding whether to buy new or used.

Payday Motors – Serving Wichita, Kansas and Surrounding Areas

If you’re looking for a quality used or certified pre-owned vehicle, Payday Motors in Wichita, Kansas has just what you’re looking for. Our knowledgeable team prides ourselves on providing excellent service and a no-pressure environment during your car buying experience!

Our website gives you access to the most up-to-date car buying tools. You can check out our used inventory, search for used car specials, and even apply for a loan. Needing to get your car in for a service appointment? We can handle that for you too!

If after considering all of your options you decide a used car is the best fit for you, come give Payday Motors a visit!