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Used Versus New Cars: The Pros and Cons

If you are in the market for a vehicle, you might be trying to decide between a new car and a used one. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, depending on your situation. Consider these pros and cons of new versus used cars to help make the right purchasing decision.

Used Cars: The Advantages

If you are thinking about buying a used car, consider these advantages:

  • You may be able to pay in cash if you buy an older used car. This can be a good feeling because you won't be in debt. Even if you do have to take out a loan, you generally won't owe as much and will often have a much lower payment.
  • Many used car dealerships offer in-house financing if you need help buying a car but don't have good credit.
  • Used cars have already depreciated in value, so you can get a better deal, and you will not have to worry as much about being upside-down in your loan.
  • You may prefer an older style that is no longer available, and buying used will allow you to buy the style that you want in this situation.

Used Cars: The Disadvantages

Even though buying a used car can be a smart decision and can come with its own advantages, there are a few disadvantages that you should consider:

  • You may not be able to enjoy all the newest safety features by purchasing a used car.
  • Used cars do not have the same technology as new ones, so if you like to have the newest and greatest technology, you may not be satisfied.
  • A used car might not have the best history — it could have been involved in an accident, or a previous owner may not have maintained it properly. Typically, a used car will require maintenance sooner than a new car such as: tire and brake maintenance, and radiation/transmission flushes.
  • A used car might not come with a warranty and may not be as reliable as a newer vehicle. Some used cars do come with warranties, but they are often not as extensive and do not last as long as new car warranties.
  • Your car payments will generally be higher than if you purchased a used car.

New Cars: The Advantages

If you like the idea of a brand new car, consider the advantages of buying one:

  • There's nothing quite like owning a car that no one else has ever owned before.
  • You'll be able to enjoy the newest technology and safety features such as blind spot monitoring and brake assist.
  • You'll have a car that is sure to be reliable; if it isn't, problems should be covered by the warranty.
  • You'll know that the car does not have any negative history, such as a previous owner that did not take good care of it or a wreck that you might not know about.

New Cars: The Disadvantages

Of course, there are some disadvantages to buying a new car as well:

  • Because of the higher price, it can be more difficult to secure financing on a new car if you do not have good credit.
  • New cars depreciate a lot in the first year, so you could end up upside-down in your loan. This means that you might owe more on it than it is actually worth if you don't make a large down payment.

As you can see, there are both pros and cons for buying new and used cars. Shop around and consider the benefits of each. Look for the car that you like the most and that comes with a fair price and you are sure to be happy no matter what you decide.

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