New vs. Used: The Car Buying Debate

You’re ready for some new wheels, but should you buy new or used? There are passionate arguments on both sides, so you have to take your needs, wants, and budget into account while making this important decision.  Below are the pros of buying a new car and buying a used car.  We’ll leave it up to you to decide which is the best choice for you.  Remember- all cars can come with “new car smell,” not just the new ones!

Brand New

You’ve been eyeing that brand new model that your favorite automaker has just released. Should you buy it?

New cars offer the following advantages:

  • You’re getting the latest and greatest technology and features that are on the market today.  Even though that technology is changing rapidly, you’ll at least be current for a bit.
  • Reliability. That new car is going to purr like a kitten (or whirr along, if you are in search of a hybrid!), and you’re not going to have to worry about maintenance or repairs for a few years.  Those expenses may be worth the higher sticker cost.  A bonus is if the car dealer offers free maintenance for a few years!
  • If you’re one of those people who keep their car until it dies, depreciation won’t be an issue.  You’ll get every last ounce of value out of that vehicle that you possibly can.
  • New cars often come with more financing options and better interest rates. If you have good credit and you can get good financing, you’ll pay less over the life of the car.  Having good credit may also mean a smaller down payment (or none at all)!
  • You know the car’s history – in that it doesn’t have any!  You won’t have to worry about prior collisions, incidents, or accidents.

Gently Used

You’re the type that doesn’t need all of the bells and whistles of the brand new car.  Why a used car is for you:

  • Depreciation won’t be a problem for you! New cars depreciate fast. A good part of the value (20 – 30%) of the car disappears the moment you drive off the lot. If you like to trade in your car for a newer model every few years, don’t buy new. You’ll throw a lot of money into lost value.
  • You’ll pay lower car insurance rates, and the cost to register your car will be less.
  • You may have to pay a larger down payment, but you’ll have to finance less of your purchase. Your trade-in will also help keep the cost of the car down.
  • If you buy a car with low mileage, you’ll be able to defer repair and maintenance costs for nearly as long as a new car. You may also be able to inherit part of the free maintenance package that originally came with the car!

Ultimately, you need to know what you’re comfortable with. Not sure what car you want?  Do your car research online using our free service, GrooveCar!

Once you find a car you like, text or call Auto Advisor Kevin Dunn at (617) 592-6468 or email him at Our Advisor can eliminate showroom and lot visits, high pressure sales tactics and an expensive trip to the dealership finance office.

Always remember to get preapproved for your auto loan and know what you’re able to afford before you step on a lot or talk to a salesperson.  Merrimack Valley Credit Union is a trusted lender and can often compete with or offer a better rate than a dealership can.