When you’re in the market for a change of vehicle, the first question on your mind is often: do I buy used or new? Whether you buy new or used is up to you — and there are pros and cons to both approaches.
Besides that new car smell, there are a number of benefits to buying new. For one thing, there’s no guesswork involved in a new car. No checking the CarFax or looking into the VIN, a new car is pretty much guaranteed to run well — at least for the first 50,000 or 100,000 miles. And since it’s new, you should be able to drive your car for 10, 15, even 20 years or more.
Buying a new car also gives you the full car dealers’ experience — whether you’re buying a new Ford in West Valley City, Utah or a European sports car on the West Coast.
New cars also come with all the newest safety features and technology, which can help keep you safe and lower your insurance rates. With a new car, you also have your pick of vehicle options — whether you want your new Ford in red, white or black or want a particular trim level, your local Utah-area dealers are bound to have every option you could need.
Of course, all these nifty perks of buying a new car come with a few drawbacks — most notably the higher price point. They say a car loses a significant amount of its value the moment you drive it off the lot, and that couldn’t be more true.
Buying a brand-new car also means that you’ll get less if and when you decide to sell it back and get a new one — whether you sell it back to one of the dealers in Utah or sell to a private party.
The main incentive for buying a used car is the price point. Used cars are significantly cheaper than their newer counterparts — often to the tune of $5,000, $10,000 or more. Buying a used car also means that you can purchase an older model, or a car model that has since been discontinued — if you just have to have that Ford Bronco, you’re going to have to buy it used.
Other car models may have received upgrades or changes in body style you’re not 100 percent sold on — if you’re not a big fan of the aluminum body on the new Ford F150, you can purchase an older steel frame model instead.
Finally, buying a used car means that you can purchase privately and skip the car dealers altogether. Purchasing a car from a private seller in Utah is often even cheaper than buying used from the dealers’, and without all the unnecessary hassle.
The main drawback to buying used is the level of uncertainty involved. When you purchase a used car, you know how many miles are on it — but you don’t know how many of those miles are city vs. highway.
Buying a used car means doing more background research: Checking the CarFax, looking up the VIN, checking for scratches and dents and checking under the hood, etc. If you purchase your used Ford from your local Utah-area dealers, they will typically provide the background information for you — but you still have to be careful. Always run a background check and look into the title — buying a branded title instead of a clean title vehicle could cost you in the long run.
If you buy a used car from a private seller in Utah instead of going to the dealers, you’ll also have to put in more work to secure the title, get the safety and emissions checks and register the vehicle with the state. Buying that Ford Focus privately can have its advantages, but it definitely involves more effort on your part.
It’s Hard to Go Wrong Either Way
At the end of the day, buying that Ford F150 new or used is up to you — and it’s hard to go wrong either way. Cars these days are made to last, so you should be fine whether you hit those Utah back roads in your 2016 or 2010 model vehicle. It’s all up to your priorities.