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  • Buying a Car, New or Used

    When it's time to purchase your next car, you may ask yourself: Should I buy used or new? Along with choosing the make and model, determining your needs and wants, and examining your budget, deciding whether to buy new or used is another factor to consider when purchasing a car. There are many options available in today's market. However, with planning and research, you'll be able to decide if buying a new or used car is the best option for you.

    Whether you buy a new or used car, each option comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. We've highlighted a few points to consider when deciding to purchase a used or new car.  

    Buying New 

    Choosing to purchase a new car has many benefits. In most cases, shopping for a new car is easier because you don't have to research the individual car's history. After all, there are no previous owners. There's little to no mileage with a new car, and it's usually in perfect condition.

    Purchasing new also opens more finance options for you. For example, most car dealerships have special incentives to entice you to buy a new car. Also, new car loans typically have better interest rates and terms. 

    New cars offer the latest technology, style, and comforts. With the current technology like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and hands-free technology, your phone and car mesh together perfectly. Usually, this technology is packaged together with other upgrades within the car. Ask if any dealer-installed options you do not want have been added to the car. These unwanted upgrades can add thousands of dollars to the final sale price.  

    Another perk to choosing new is that your car may offer better gas mileage and lower emissions, saving you money and trips to the gas pump. Consider also the benefits of purchasing an electric or alternative fuel car; you have several reliable options in today's market. 

    Although purchasing a new car has many benefits, there are a few disadvantages to purchasing new. As soon as you drive the car off the lot, it depreciates. The biggest depreciation typically occurs within the first two years of owning the car.

    A new car may have higher insurance costs due to replacement costs being more for new cars, and annual taxes are typically higher.

    With the reduction of cars being delivered to dealerships, you may have a delay in getting the new car you want. In some instances, it may take a few weeks for the car to arrive at the dealership. Also, some dealers require a deposit to be made to place a hold on the car when it arrives. 

    Buying Used

    Purchasing a used car may offer some great financial savings. The cost of insurance is typically lower, and the cost of annual taxes also tends to be lower.

    With a used car, it's resale value can also be pretty close to how much you originally paid for it. 

    Another option to consider is purchasing a certified pre-owned car. A certified pre-owned car provides you with a nice compromise between a used car's lower price and the dependability of a new one.

    Deciding to purchase a used car could also have some disadvantages. If you choose to purchase a used car, you may find yourself worrying about factors like reliability. The car you are buying may not be as reliable as a new one and may require more trips to the shop for repairs. 

    Even if you research the car's history, you may not truly know the complete background. For instance, you won't know how the previous owner drove or cared for the car.   

    Also, by opting for a used car, you may have to compromise on what you really want regarding the features, colors, and luxury options you desire. Your options may be limited, and you may have to shop around to find what you want. 

    Do Your Research

    A car is an important purchase, and you want to make sure you're making the best choice for you. Research is especially important if you're planning to purchase a used or new car. Here are some tips to get you started:   

    • Figure out what you can afford; knowing your budget and prequalifying for an auto loan can give you an advantage when negotiating a sales price.  
    • Shop around; visit multiple car dealerships or search online.
    • Review the car's history through online websites.
    • Check the title; if you're buying from an individual and not a dealership, you want to make sure that they are the legal owner and can sell you the car.
    • Have the car examined by a mechanic for any issues before purchasing it.
    • Read reviews and ratings for the car you want to purchase. Look for what people liked and did not like about the car.
    • Research MSRPs (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price) and invoice prices to make sure that you are paying a fair price for the car.  
    • Look into the cost of ownership for the car. The cost of fuel and insurance are just a couple of several costs to consider. Foreign or luxury cars often come with a higher cost in terms of maintenance and repairs.
    • Take it out for a test drive to get a feel for how it handles. Then, spend some time in the car adjusting seats, experimenting with controls, determining passengers' comfort, and if your cargo will fit.  

    When looking for a new or new-to-you car, it's going to come down to whatever option brings you peace of mind. While a newer car may cost more, it does come with all the bells and whistles. On the other hand, you may find a more budget-friendly option by going with a used car. Decide your priorities and what choice is right for you, and be on your way to enjoying your new car.

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