It’s very tempting to buy a used car. We have a great used lot that has lots of excellent vehicles on it—some are Kia vehicles, others aren’t. There’s no doubt that in many situations, the right thing to do is to buy the used the car. However, in the long run, there are plenty of reasons to opt for a new vehicle, rather than to pay nearly the same price for a car that has already been driven by someone else. Here are just some of the benefits of buying a new car over a used car:
No Shady History
While there are websites that both you and your dealership can use to check on a used car’s history, those websites will only show you the information that has been reported on that VIN. There are many situations in which accidents and repairs are not reported on that vehicle, meaning that neither you nor your dealership will know about them. While this is usually not a huge a problem (it’s relatively rare that a serious problem does not get reported one way or another), it is possible for a used to car to come with a shady history.
One of my best friends posted of Facebook just last week about how excited she was for the used Toyota Corolla she’d just purchased. The next day, she was posting about how she had to turn the car over to the police and get her money back because they’d discovered the car had been stolen and the VIN changed. There is a much smaller chance of that happening when you buy new than when you buy used.
If a car only has twenty years of to live (this is a generalization, many cars, when properly maintained, will run perfectly for far longer than twenty years), and you buy a five-year-old used car, you may only have fifteen years with that car. However, if you bought a new car, you’d have the full twenty years. While the lower price may sometimes justify this trade-off, because you can never really know everything that happened to or was done to that car while it was owned by someone else, in general, the new car is the more cost-effective investment.
Even in just the last two years, car technology has advanced so quickly that the difference between a Kia you could buy in 2013 and a Kia you can buy on our lot today is staggering. There are cars with parking assist, with backup cameras, cars that will actually break for you or avoid danger, that will warn you when you’re leaving a lane, that have advanced entertainment features, etc., etc. Many of these features were available on a car two years ago, but you would have had to pay through the nose for them.
Today, many of the features that were considered luxury are now the standard. This means that if you buy a car that is two years old, you probably will be lacking most of the newer features. For some, this may be a bonus. Maybe you don’t want a touch-screen infotainment system. If you do, however, you’ll still have to pay the higher prices to get the higher trim model on the used lot. Or, you could just buy the new car that has all of those features standard.
Today’s cars are also more reliable than they were even five years ago. You have far higher likelihood of having to deal with a serious car issue sooner when you buy used than when you buy new. New cars are unlikely to give you any trouble at all in their first four years, and only minor issues after that, if you keep them well-maintained. Older cars are more prone to breaking down, draining batteries, having engine issues, etc. It’s a difference in how cars are made and in how much that car has been used before it gets to you.
Long Term Savings vs. Upfront Savings
The most basic difference between a new car and a used car is this: long term savings or upfront savings. When you buy a used car, you do get a cheaper initial cost. You will probably also spend more on repairs, gas, insurance, maintenance, etc. over the time that you own that car. Gas mileage and reliability both start to drop off as the car ages, so if you buy an older car, you are already much closer to that drop-off date than if you buy a new car.
On the other hand, new cars cost more initially, but they will also save you money on insurance, gas, and maintenance, especially in the first five years. Because you are the one and only owner of that car, you have control over what kind of care it gets, which can seriously elongate the vehicle’s life. If you buy a car that has already been through someone else’s hands, you have no control over what has already been done to that car.
If you’re set on buying a used car, either to save money or simply because you would prefer an order car without all of the bells and whistles, make sure to shop around, test drive, and learn about the individual and model histories of the cars you are thinking about purchasing. If you’re not sure which is a better option for you, come into our Kia dealership and let us discuss the costs and benefits of each for your specific situation.