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New or Used Vehicle Purchasing?

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Have you ever been let down by your old jalopy? It simply refuses to start when you need it most. You figure out, its now time to purchase a new car.

New car advertisements tend to stick to your face and you are left with the decision of whether to go for a brand new car or in most cases if you are in Africa, an overseas pre-owned vehicle which in countries like Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, The carribean etc are almost new cars previously only used in the original manufacture’s country usually Japan, Singapore, Germany or UK

It’s a tough decision to make. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of buying new and used vehicles to help pick the car that is right for you.

My Sister used to say

“never keep an open mind, your brains might fall out,” but clearly she had never gone to purchase a second hand vehicle before

The Glorius New

There’s just no denying the appeal of a brand new car, from that new-car smell to that shiny paint, the clean interior to the “ooohs” and “aahs” when your friends see it for the first time. In our consumer culture, a new car is an undeniable status symbol that lets everyone know you have arrived (often literally). Cosmetics aside, purchasing a new car also comes with a host of other positive attributes

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Pros

It’s new! Most new cars have good reliability records, and if anything does go wrong, it’s probably covered by the warranty. Buying new also means that you have no concerns about how the vehicle was treated before you bought it.

Many new cars also offer roadside assistance. This provides peace of mind and saves you the cost of paying for a roadside assistance program on your own, or for towing expenses to your home if you are stranded on the side of the highway.

New cars are also likely to offer the highest fuel efficiency standards and the latest safety features, such as side-curtain airbags and structural reinforcements. Many companies even offer financing programs with low or no interest rate if you have good credit, making it less expensive to finance a new car than a used car.

Cons

Buying a new car is hard on the wallet. Not only do new cars cost more than used cars, but they depreciate in value more quickly, too. A vehicle loses the most value in the first few years of ownership. It actually loses a huge chunk of value in its first few seconds off the lot. In other words, when you purchase a new car, you pay the retail price – the price a dealer charges for a new car. As soon as you’re off the lot, the car is worth wholesale price. This is the amount the dealer would be willing to pay if you turned around and tried to sell your car back.

Buying a new car means that you are both incurring higher debt and losing value more quickly than if you had purchased a used car. New cars also come with higher insurance costs than used models, as replacement values are higher.

Finally, new cars don’t stay new for long. In a day, a week, or a month, you’ll get your first scratch or nick. By the end of the first year, the floor will be stained, the doors will be dinged, and that sweet new car smell will be ancient history. Of course, the monthly payments will linger for many more years.

Used, Humble Used

While “pre-owned vehicles” (marketing jargon for used cars) lack the mystique of new cars, they sure are hard to beat when it comes to practical financial reality. Buying a late-model, low-mile vehicle can be a bargain hunter’s dream come true

Positives

Buying used is an opportunity to get the best car for your money. You can often find a late-model used car priced at less than half the cost of a new one. Pre-certified dealer programs offer strong warranties, often including the remaining balance of the factory warranty and the opportunity to purchase an extended warranty. For all practical purposes, low mileage, late-model used cars are basically new  Buying a car that has 40,000 miles on the odometer is likely to result in 60,000 or more miles of trouble-free driving. Some vehicles now offer drive-train warranties that cover the most expensive components of your drive train for 200,000 miles.

If you are handy with a wrench, buying a car that needs a little time and attention can dramatically reduce your cost

Negatives

Despite the warranties, used cars still come with that unknown reliability stigma. Because you don’t know how the car was treated by the last owner or why it was traded in, there is always that fear of buying somebody else’s problem. Even if the car is perfectly sound, you will need to perform required maintenance sooner than on a new car. This maintenance includes things like radiator and transmission flushes, new brakes, and new tires.

On a more practical level, it may be challenging to find a used vehicle that comes with the exact options and features that you want. You also have less recourse if you have purchased a lemon, as lemon laws often apply only to vehicles under a certain age and with less than a certain number of miles on the odometer.

New or Used?

The decision to purchase either a new or used vehicle should be based on a number of factors. You need to be comfortable with financing options, as well as the long-term implications for your personal financial situation. You need to feel safe, and you’ll need a vehicle that is reliable. Finally, you need make sure your new car meets your needs in terms of comfort features and amenities.

Buying a car is major financial decision. Aside from the purchase of a home, it often qualifies as one of the largest purchase many people make in a lifetime, so make sure to research and enjoy the ride!

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