This article is a part of our How-to Buy a New Car Series, part 1 of which can be found here.
When shopping for your next car, often the first question to come up is new vs. used. As you might have guessed, we at this site specialize in new cars exclusively. But luckily we are also partners with one of the largest used car marketplaces at Cars.com, which gives us some nice insight into both worlds. There are definite advantages to buying both new and used, which we will navigate:
- Longer Warranty: Buying a new car means you get a longer warranty than you would with a certified pre-owned vehicle. It also easily wins out against a private party sale used car (translation: sold by a person and not a used car dealer) which comes with basically no warranty. This means that if the car should encounter problems, especially mechanical ones, they will be covered and the manufacturer will foot the bill and pay for the repairs.
- Lower maintenance costs: In more and more cases, automakers are beginning to offer free standard maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations, etc.) for the first few years of ownership. Also, on a new car each of the components will be brand new so you won't have to worry about parts like the battery, tires, brakes, and hoses for thousands of miles.
- First owner: A new car is a clean car: you are first owner, you know where it's been, and it will have that signature new car smell. While CarFax reports have helped to keep track the whereabouts and repairs for used cars, they aren't always completely comprehensive or conclusive. There's still no substitute for being the first owner of a car with a squeaky clean title.
- Cheaper: There's no way to get around it — buying used is the most economical option. Not only do used cars start at a lower price, if you want to get the most car for your money than buying used is the way to go. Used vehicles that are a few years old will offer more features and you might be able to move up a class in size compared to a new car you can get for the same dollars.
- Cars are better: Over the past several years, universally cars have improved in every way from reliability and fuel economy, to materials and fit and finish on the inside. Buying a used car was once akin to gambling but that's no longer the case.
There are distinct advantages to buying both new and used; it really comes down to a battle of cost vs. convenience.
If you're looking to buy new, the best way to get started is by grabbing a free internet price quote from a local dealer. It comes with no obligation and you can choose multiple dealers in your area to see who offers the best price. You can get started by using the box on the right side of this page if you know the car you want, or if you need some help sorting through the options our Car Chooser is here to help.
Looking used? Our friends at Cars.com have some of the most comprehensive used car listings around for both certified pre-owned and private party sales.