Common sense says if you can afford a new car you should buy one, right? With new cars being all shiny and nice looking, it stands to reason that there is no legitimate reason to buy used. However, unless you can walk into a dealership, drop some serious cash, and walk out with a fully paid for car, you are going to want to keep reading. Buying used is smart for your wallet, which means its smart for your future and your health.
What many people don’t realize is that just because you buy a new car, it doesn’t guarantee that the car will last any longer than a used one. Depending on the make and model of a car, even brand new cars can have plenty of unforeseen technical issues. On the other hand, you can look at a lot of used cars as almost a guarantee that the car works. Now of course there is always the possibility that the car being sold to you is not working properly or has serious defects. You should always test drive any car before purchasing, and you should be up to date on your state’s lemon laws (laws that protect consumers from buying malfunctioning cars, AKA lemons). Doing your research on the different models you are looking at can also pay dividends. Toyotas, Hondas, and Subarus all score extremely well on reliability and can be found for relatively cheap on the used car market.
This is a big one. Why go in to debt when you can purchase a functioning car for less? Car loans are only going to be another bill you have to worry about. For new drivers especially, a car loan is only going to set you back from using your money in other areas. Instead of spending potentially hundreds of dollars a month for your new car, you can put that money to use for school, food, or housing. While the appeal of a new car is powerful, especially when you see flashy commercials on TV, there are plenty of hidden costs. Buying used allows you to pay not only less, but once.
One of the biggest reasons people look to buy new cars is because of their appeal as a status symbol. New cars make you look like you are successful, or are attractive, and for some people it may be true. But really a car is just a machine to take you from point A to point B. A well kept used car is just as valuable as one that is brand new so long as it does what it is intended to do. For new drivers, that is all that should matter. Besides, old cars have character, they have miles under their wheels that can’t be replaced. You can buy a flashy car when you have the money to do so, but for the most part saving a few dollars on something that will still get the job done is a good investment.