When deciding to buy a new or used vehicle, there are many factors that can influence your decision. Many fear buying a new car because they see the value that diminishes as soon as you “drive it off the lot.” Others fear buying a used car because they are unaware of how previous owners handled the vehicle. In this blog post, we’re going to discuss a few things to consider when choosing whether a new or used vehicle is best for you.
By identifying any available dealership incentives, looking for recent trade-in opportunities, and doing research on a vehicle’s trade-in/resale value, you’ll be well on your way to deciding which approach is best for you.
While there are many other factors that can help impact your decision, paying attention to these three areas can help put you on the path to making the right purchase!
Depending on how “used” of a vehicle you are looking for, many times during the year dealerships are incentivizing customers to purchase new vehicles as the next year’s models are about to start taking over the lot space.
If you are considering a year-old model with minimal mileage (under 10,000), many dealerships will have factor and dealership-specific incentives that can make a brand new model, which is one year newer and has no previous owners, actually cost less than the used vehicle. Often end-of-the-year sales events are a great time to look for such opportunities.
There is a contingent of the population out there that every year (or two) trades in their vehicle for the newer model. This leaves dealerships with vehicles that have low-mileage, almost no visible wear, and, often times, a lot of bells and whistles.
During times of the year when great incentives (as mentioned above) are not being offered, finding a recently traded-in vehicle can afford you the opportunity to buy a gently-used vehicle with low mileage and great add-ons without having to pay the factory MSRP price of a brand new model.
If the dealership doesn’t already provide a free vehicle history report, pay the small fee to run your own on the VIN and you can find a pristine vehicle that the first owner already lost the “off the lot” valuation drop a new vehicle purchase incurs.
3. Resale/Trade-In Value
When choosing to buy a new or used vehicle, another important factor to keep in mind is the resale value or how well a vehicle holds its value over the years. Depending on if you plan to hold onto your next vehicle until it can’t drive another mile or you plan to trade in every handful of years, finding a vehicle that is projected to hold its value can help sway you on whether or not to buy a new or used car.
A new car with a great resale projection can many times be a better (or at least equal) investment as you know you’ll be selling it as a one-owner with highly-retained value and will recoup much of your upfront cost. On the flip side, if you are looking to purchase a vehicle which doesn’t hold it’s value as steadily, investigate buying used so that the upfront cost is minimal and you won’t have to worry about recouping as much of your initial investment.
There are many other factors that can sway your decision to buy new or used, including your preference on a particular model style that changed in the newest model year, add-on packages that are only offered on newer or older models, safety ratings for a particular model year, and more.
The most important thing you can do when choosing your next vehicle, new or used, is to identify the purpose of the vehicle, be aware of the “must haves” you need in that vehicle, and identify makes and models which satisfy those needs and purposes. If a particular make/model offers each of those “must haves” and serves the purposes you need, available as both new and used, use the items above to decide which approach is best for you!