So You Think You Need a New Car?

new carAre you currently driving around a hunk of junk that could puke on you at any moment? Or, maybe you’ve owned your car for a while and it’s just starting to nickel and dime you to death. Whatever the case may be, you may feel like you are in the market for a different car.

I think if you take the salespeople out of the mix, all of us love shopping for a new car. It’s a way for us to express ourselves in a whole new way. When we drive up to a get-together, we want to feel confident with what we drive. We want our car to say something like, “This is a picture of who I am as a person”. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s absolutely true. Guys don’t buy sports cars just because they’re fast. After all, we can only drive them as fast as the legal speed limit anyway. We buy sports cars because we want people to know that we still have fire in our belly. We still have some spunk in us that wants to be put on a mission. That’s why we drive sports cars. Maybe you’re a business man. Instead of pulling into your parking spot saying “I’m a grocery getter”, perhaps you want your car to express, “I’m a business man and I’m going to make this company some money today”.

Ok, so the examples above may seem a bit ridiculous, but a car can have a big impact on our confidence as a person, so it’s fun to be able to pick one out that expresses who we are.

So Should You Buy New or Used?

One of the greatest debates today is whether people should buy their cars new or used. Either way, many people choose to auto finance, so what’s the big difference between a car that’s made in 2013 and one that’s made in 2009? Are the prices really that much different? What about the dependability? Oh, and what about the warranty?

We all know that brand new cars are the most expensive, but are they worth the cost? I suppose that depends on how much you value owning something that no one else has driven. With a new car, you know absolutely everything that has happened to it. You can confidently say that it’s never been into an accident, it’s never gone more than 3,000 miles without an oil change, and the tires are rotated regularly. You know that the car has been well taken care of because you’re the only one that’s ever owned it!

While there are some good points above, I say that it’s absolutely not worth it to own a brand new car. Do you know how much a vehicle depreciates in the first 4 years? Over 50%. That means that if you pay $20k for your car and sell it 4 years later, you’ll only recoup $10k. You’ve essentially lost $2,500 every year that you’ve driven it. Even if you buy a used lemon, you still won’t likely spend $2,500 a year fixing it up.

The best way to purchase a vehicle is to find one that’s about 4 years old. It’s still quite new and might even be the most up-to-date body style. You’ll lose much less money because it’s depreciating at a slower rate. And, you know whether or not this car is built well because of the history of the vehicle in general. When you make the purchase, you can do it with confidence because your car model has repeatedly been one of the most dependable. If I had to choose between new or used, I would repeatedly take the used car.

Readers: Is your car more than just a way to get from point A to point B? Is a new car really worth the extra cost to you?

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