Brand New or Secondhand Car?
Besides property, vehicles are one of the bigger purchases a person or business will make. But unlike property, cars are not investments. They are more like other appliances in that you use until they no longer work for you. Classic cars aside, you’re never going to get a greater return than you put into your regular-use vehicles.
When it comes time to replace a vehicle, there is always the question of buying new or used. The right answer is situation specific. There are several questions you can ask yourself before choosing to go with a new model or finding one secondhand.
How long do you plan on having the vehicle?
The moment you drive off a dealer’s lot with a new car, the value of the car loses between 20 and 30 percent of its value, some even losing up to 50 percent in the first three years. If you plan on driving this next vehicle until it is no good as a trade-in or for resale, then this deprecation factor probably doesn’t worry you too much. But if you want to use the vehicle’s value against another purchase in the future, you have to think about taking the hit for the depreciation.
How much maintenance are you ready for?
The flip side to depreciation can be maintenance. With age comes the need for more repairs, and you never know what you’re going to deal with in the future with used cars. With new cars, many dealerships offer free maintenance for a period after purchase, and they come with more warranties and guarantees. You can try to avoid some trouble with used cars by getting them checked out by a reliable mechanic prior to purchase, but all vehicles need more and more work as they get older.
Are you looking for something specific?
It may be that you need a piece of technology on board that only comes with new cars, or that there is a feature that you can only find on last year’s models. These types of specific needs will help you decide if you should be satisfying them with a new or used model.
Protect Your Purchase
Whether you buy used or new, its a smart idea to protect what you choose. Schedule regular maintenance and protect the interior with high quality gear like custom car RM Williams car seat covers so you won’t face the new-or-used car-buying dilemma sooner than you need to.