Buying A Car Shouldn’t Be Scary | 3 Key Things To Consider Before Buying New Or Used
Buying a car is a BIG deal. Whether it’s your very first car or your 5th car, signing off on a brand new set of wheels is a big responsibility in more ways than one. While it’s always a wonderful feeling to roll out of the car lot in that brand new ride, is it always worth it to buy brand new? Should you consider buying a used car for cash, or a least a much lower monthly payment? There are a ton of options out there when it comes to purchasing a car, so how do you decide what’s right for you?
Let’s talk about some pros and cons to buying new vs used and hopefully make your decision a little bit easier.
New – buying a car brand new off the lot is obviously going to come with a hefty price tag. So your budget should be the first thing to consider when it’s time to buy a car. You could end up with a big monthly payment for a long time (like 5+ years) so be sure you can afford that payment. Think long term and worst case scenario too…if you lost your job, are those payments still going to be manageable?
Used – You can purchase a “new-used” car from a dealership and still end up with a monthly payment, but one that is significantly less than a brand new car. So this is always an option to consider. When we say “buying a used vehicle” it doesn’t always mean handing over $2000 cash to a guy you found on Kijiji. Most car lots have used vehicles in all different price ranges, including vehicles that are only a year or two old, so be sure to shop around.
Ultimately the cost comes down to your budget. Can you afford brand new, new-used, or only a straight up cash transaction?
New – if you are the only person to drive this car (except the guy that backed it off the truck and into the lot) then that car’s history is going to be non-existent, in a good way! You know it doesn’t have any liens, it was never in an accident, doesn’t have a history or poor (or no) maintenance etc. As the one and only owner of that car, that car’s history is in your hands.
Used – buying a car that’s used or new-used, means you need to ask some questions. Whether the vehicle you’re looking at is on a dealership lot or someone’s driveway, you should be asking a list of questions before even taking it for a test drive. You’ll want to know:
- Accident history/repair history
- Does it have a lien against it?
- Ask for records of maintenance (even oil changes and tune-ups)
- Make sure there is no money owing on the vehicle
- What work has recently been done?
- What is the tire tread like?
- Are they selling it “as is”?
- Be sure you take it for a test drive and check for bad tires, funky sounds or anything else that may not seem right.
- Bring along a mechanic friend if you have one and have them check for possible mechanic issues that the seller might not disclose.
Even when you are buying from a dealership, don’t just take their word for it when it comes to a used vehicle. You can pull a full car history report using programs like Carfax to make sure you are getting what you are being told you’re getting. The Carfax report will show things like any money owing, accident history, possible vehicle recalls and the current value of the car in used condition.
New – when you buy a new vehicle it’s going to come with a warranty and you’ll often pay for an extended warranty at the time you purchase the vehicle. While this sounds ideal, you need to consider the rules with the vehicle warranty. If you’re someone who enjoys doing your own maintenance, like routine oil changes, in most cases you cannot touch the vehicle or it voids the warranty. This might not seem like a huge issue, but the cost of oil changes at the dealership can add up. If you bought the vehicle at a dealership farther away, you’d need to make that drive every time it needs maintenance or repairs, so keep that in mind when buying a new car as well.
Used – Buying a new-used car from a dealership means that you can usually get some kind of warranty along with it but, like a warranty for a new car, it means you can’t do any of the work yourself. On the flip side, if you privately buy an older vehicle there is 0 warranty and all the maintenance and repairs are up to you. So decide if you like a bit of a project or if you prefer the ease of just handing it off to the dealership.
While there are many other things to consider when buying a car, these are just a few key points that are at the top of the list for importance. The last thing you want is to end up with payments you can’t make, or a beater car that is falling apart every time it leaves the driveway. Every person is different and for some those payments don’t matter, for others they would prefer a car that needs work so they can spruce it up and modify it to their own taste.
New or used, buying a car is a big commitment and it means spending a lot of money so be sure you’re making the right choice for you and your situation. Don’t be frightened away by the process and enjoy your new (or used) ride!
If you chose the route of a used or new-used and you want to spruce it up a little with a new coat of paint or you want to fix that busted up windshield, you can always trust CSN JD Collision to straighten it out. Contact us today and have your “new to you” ride looking like it just rolled off the truck.