Why You Should Buy a Used Car
Buying a used car is a much better deal than buying one new for many reasons. A used car depreciates much slower than a new one. A high-quality used car can be thousands of dollars cheaper than a lower quality new one. Modern vehicles (ones built in the 2000s and later) are built to last.
Let’s take a closer look at the reasons you should buy a used car.
New Cars Depreciate Quickly
There’s an old saying that used cars lose half their value as soon as you drive them off the lot. That logic is truer than you may realize. As soon as you buy a new vehicle and said car leaves the dealership’s premises, it is now a used vehicle, regardless of how few miles are on it or how well maintained it is. That means it’s worth less. Excluding the rare exception, cars do not gain value. It’s estimated that, after just four years, a new vehicle will be worth 46% of what was paid for it. Statistics suggest that most people keep a car for around six years. You do the math.
Pay Less for a Used Car
Since new cars lose monetary value so quickly, you can often scoop up a lightly used vehicle for thousands of dollars less. Usually you can upgrade to a higher quality vehicle with a fantastic trim level that’s just two or three years older than the current year of regular cars and still get those savings. For instance, at the time of writing, you can pick up a 2016 Volvo S60 Platinum AWD under 50k mileage for about $22,000. The fresh-off-the-boat 2020 Honda Accord Sport FWD starts at $26,530. For comparison—again, at the time of writing—a 2016 Honda Accord Sport FWD under 50k mileage typically goes for around $17,000.
Used Car Reliability
Modern cars are built to last. That might seem a little optimistic, but it’s true. If it weren’t, warranties wouldn’t make sense economically. If new cars weren’t built to last, then comprehensive warranties would severely cut into manufacturers' and dealers' profits. Most companies bet on you not needing to have anything major done to your car for the first 100,000 miles (hence why so many warranties end before that). Consider too that the average driver puts 12,000 miles on their car a year. Knowing this makes that 5-year/60,000-mile warranty a lot less appealing. Not only that, but parts for older cars are widely available and mechanics have more experience dealing with model specific problems on older vehicles.