Reasons to Buy a Used Car Over a New Car

October 16th, 2015 by

Many consumers and potential car buyers often focus on new cars when they’re looking to buy a vehicle. However, there are a number of reasons why you should consider purchasing a used car, since the numerous positive advantages make opting for a used vehicle worth your time. Whether it’s the value of the car or the positive environmental impact, there are certainly several things to consider when you’re deciding whether you want to go used or new.

Before you head out to car lots in Lexington, Kentucky, see why you should be narrowing your focus to used cars…

Environmental Impact

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This is an easy concept to understand. Instead of purchasing a new car that will just negatively contribute to the environment, you can opt for a used vehicle that has already established it’s place. This sentiment has been proven to be scientifically true, as studies (via Cliff Weathers of Alternet.org) have shown that anywhere from 12 to 28-percent of the carbon dioxide emissions created during a car’s lifetime can be attributed to the manufacturing and shipment process. A used vehicle, meanwhile, has already been through this ordeal.

Logically, you’d assume that you could opt for a hybrid, juggling your desire for a new car with your ability to help the environment. In fact, Weathers notes that the “lithium-ion, lead-acid, or Nikel-Metal Hybrid batteries” actually don’t help the environment. While you’d think that the car’s electrical power is coming via a renewable source (like solar or wind), the vehicles will more likely be relying on a “coal- or natural-gas burning power plant.”

So yes, there hybrid cars are certainly better for the environment than you typical, gas-guzzling ride. However, there are still harmful environmental effects during the production and shipping, and you can help prevent the carbon dioxide emissions by choosing a used car.

Value

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This is fairly obvious, isn’t it? It’s obvious that used cars would be cheaper than new cars, but there are a variety of additional financial advantages that accompany purchasing a used vehicle.

If you’re interested in getting future value for your ride, you’ll get the best bang for your buck by opting for a used vehicle. It’s generally accepted that a vehicle loses 15-percent of its value the moment it’s driven off a lot. The price of the car will continue to drop over the next five years, until the depreciation rate slows down considerably. That’s when you can capitalize.

By targeting used cars that are at least five years ago, you can’t expect your purchase to retain the majority of the value. Assuming you take care of your vehicle, you could realistically lose little to no money by purchasing a five-year old car and selling it a year later. As Weathers notes, the depreciation rate is slowest during years five and six, so you’ll want to take advantage while you can.

Furthermore, you can expect a lower insurance cost, as it’s much more lucrative to protect a new vehicle. Since you may not be particularly concerned about the car’s well being, you could even opt to avoid collision or theft coverage. Finally, you’ll be saving money on repairs (mostly due to the lack of logic surrounding fixing an old car). As Weather writes, it’s a rule of thumb to not put money towards repairs when they account for more than half your car’s value. You may be taking a bit of a risk here, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Trustworthy

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This might not make much sense upon first view. How could a used car’s dependability ever compare to a new car’s dependability? Well, it can’t. However, you can now trust your used vehicle much more than you could have only a decade ago.

Weathers says a five-year-old vehicle is “likely to have about a third fewer problems” than a five-year-old vehicle from the mid-2000s. The writer attributes this partly to the improvements to essential parts (like the engine, transmission and exhaust), and he believes a car built in 2011 or later should last at least six years before it requires any essential repairs. With cars generally lasting 150,000 miles or longer, what may seem like a near-retirement vehicle may actually be a hidden steal.

If you’re skeptical of a used vehicle’s ability and dependability, you could always decide to opt for a certified pre-owned car. These vehicles do cost a couple of extra grand, but they’ve also been signed off by the company for their reliability. Furthermore, certified pre-owneds are usually accompanied by an updated warranty, granting you with even more protection. Keep in mind that certification is especially important in regards to older used vehicles, but not as much with newed used cars. You should trust that you won’t come across an issue for a car that’s six-years-old or younger, making the certification not necessarily worth the extra money.

Furhtermore, just to be sure, take your potential purchase to a local, trusted mechanic. They’ll help you identify any hidden (and potentially serious) issues, and you can use this info to potentially negotiate a better price for the car. If the car ends up having some serious, potentially unfixable issue, you’ve at least caught the problem before you committed any money.

Safety/Technology

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Similar to the example above, you won’t necessarily find a safer or luxurious vehicle when you opt for used over new. However, you can be safe in knowing that a used car nowadays is much safer and luxurious than a used car from ten years ago.

With newer used cars hitting the market, many of these vehicles contain the innovative safety technology that wasn’t around only five years ago. This includes stability control, revamped anti-lock brakes, and even side-curtain air bags (all features we’ve taken for granted in new cars).

Stability control is of particular importance to Weathers, who proclaims the function as one of the most “critically important safety feature[s]” in the industry. The system, which keeps your car on course and prevents it from sliding or swerving, has led to a 50-percent decrease in fatal-single car accidents. As the writer notes, nearly half of these accidents could have been prevented if the car had been equipped with the stability control.

This also applied to the technology that’s found in a particular vehicle. You’re not going to be able find an infotainment system that’s compatible with the new iPhone in a 2000 model, but you’ll surely find that from a 2013 car. You sometimes have to pay an arm and a leg to get these add-ons included in a new vehicle. When you buy used, some of these features may just conveniently fall right into your lap.

 

That all makes sense, right? There are a number of positives that accompany purchasing a used vehicle. While you may not be receiving the “new car experience,” at least you can take comfort in knowing that you made the logical decision. Not only do you save a boatload of money by opting for a used car, but you can occasionally find yourself driving a luxurious vehicle for half the money.

If we’ve convinced you that a used car is the right choice for you, head down to Dan Cummins used dealership. The helpful staff will find the perfect car for you, and you could be driving off the lot in a different ride in no time!