Choosing whether to purchase a new or used vehicle is a big decision for car owners. While each type of vehicle has its advantages, it all depends on what you want and what you can afford. We've broken down the most important advantages and disadvantages that come with buying a pre-owned or new automobile so you can make the best choice when it's time to shop for another vehicle.

New Car vs. Used Car Price

comparing buying used or new carsImage via Flickr by wuestenigel | Licensed with CC BY 2.0

The biggest factors impacting your purchase of a new or used vehicle depend on your current budget and future financial plans. If you're trying to avoid debt, paying for the cost of a used car outright instead of financing a new vehicle can save you from paying interest on a large loan and making monthly payments over the course of several years. Keeping the car for at least a few years after you pay for the vehicle is also cost-effective and gives you time to save money for your next purchase.

Buying a new vehicle may offset future costs for purchasing your next car, truck, or SUV. Depending on the used car you purchase, the price of a new car with limited options may not be vastly different, although you may need to sacrifice certain features to keep the price within range. Keep in mind that at most dealerships, price is negotiable whether you're buying used or new. When you go to purchase a vehicle, be prepared to discuss the cost of the car, truck, or SUV with the sales staff.

New and Used Car Value Comparison

Depreciation has the most impact on the value of a vehicle. Once you drive a new car off the lot, it immediately loses the value of a factory-fresh vehicle. That's why some buyers feel used cars have the advantage based on what you pay versus the worth of an automobile. Since most of the initial depreciation is finished, you're not losing that amount of money when you drive off the lot in a pre-owned vehicle.

According to Car and Driver, certain makes and models can lose up to 40% of their value in the first year alone. To avoid this, do your research and find out which brands hold their value the longest. It may cost you a little more upfront to purchase one of these models, but ultimately, this can benefit you whether you buy used or new.

New Car vs. Used Car Dependability

Both new and pre-owned vehicles can serve as reliable rides if you perform regular oil and filter changes, tire rotations, and basic inspections. New cars typically need less maintenance than a used car, especially in the first three years under warranty. If you're concerned about finding a dependable used car, you can always look for a certified pre-owned vehicle from a dealership. Certified pre-owned vehicles undergo a rigorous screening and revitalization process through the brand's own factory. These automobiles also come with a manufacturer's warranty, making them competitive with new cars.

Both new and used cars can offer long-lasting reliability for drivers as manufacturers continue to produce more efficient products. Many pre-owned vehicles that have been properly maintained can last well over 100,000 miles. Paying for an independent inspection at the time of the sale can also tell you if the vehicle needs any additional repairs so you can keep it running at optimal performance levels.

Buying or Leasing 

Another factor to consider when purchasing a new car is whether you plan to buy the vehicle or enter into a lease. Interest rates are typically lower for leased vehicles than when you purchase a new or used automobile, resulting in lower monthly payments. However, if you lease, you won't have a vehicle to use as a trade when you go to purchase your next ride.

Benefits of Buying New

Buying a new car can be an easier process. Instead of poring over websites and dealership listings searching for the perfect used vehicle, you can hand this part over to a sales associate to introduce you to several vehicles that meet your requirements. Financial organizations usually offer more loan options for those purchasing a brand new vehicle and dealerships offer incentives to help offset some of the costs of the new model.

New vehicles also come with updated technology including, infotainment systems and customizable driving options. You can also alleviate concerns about wear and tear from driving over many miles when buying a new car. New vehicles typically come with a three-year or 36,000-mile warranty and a factory guarantee for all parts during your initial year of driving. While you can purchase a warranty for a used car, you will have to pay extra and it typically offers less extensive coverage.

Benefits of Buying Used

Pre-owned vehicles offer drivers the chance to save money they would have spent on long-lasting loans. If you drive your used car for at least a few years, you can use that time to save money for a down payment on another used vehicle. Buying a used car also means you can pick from a wider variety of inventory. Want a vehicle no longer in production? Find a used model in good condition and the vehicle is back in action under your control.

Many pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs are in prime condition. Gently used and vetted by a dealership, used vehicles offer a viable solution to purchasing a new vehicle with all the fees attached. Most contain a lot of the same safety features available in newer models while still costing less. Another overlooked factor that benefits used car buyers is the cost of insurance. Newer models cost more to insure while used vehicles come in at much lower insurance rates.

At Apple Auto Source, we're proud to offer a large selection of quality used vehicles, including a wide range of trucks and SUVs. We also help you get into the vehicle you want with our bad credit financing. No matter your financial situation, we can offer you the necessary financing for your purchase. Shop our current supply of used vehicles online or stop by the showroom to browse and speak with our expert staff members. We can't wait to get you into the perfect ride.