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9 Advantages of Buying a Used Car

By Shannon Sanford

When it comes time to purchase another car, you must make the choice between new or used. This difficult question may make you wonder what you would be gaining by buying a used car. To help you better understand why a used car is better, here are nine advantages of buying a used car instead of a new car.

It's no surprise that the price of a used car is generally going to be much cheaper than the price of a new car. Many used vehicles are going to be low-priced, with some even less than five digits. You could pay as low as $1,000 to $9,000 depending on the year, make, and model of vehicle you are looking for. You can potentially save as much as 30% by looking at some of the older versions of your favorite make and model.

Shorter Loan Terms
When you purchase a used or pre-owned vehicle from a dealer, you'll typically get a shorter loan term with less interest. Overall, it's a much better situation for you as the purchaser. You can even negotiate that the dealer pays the sales tax in some instances. It's a win/win.

Improved Reliability
One of the reasons that used cars are still on the road is that they are reliable. A new car may have several issues with it. There may be recalls on the vehicle, which can be life-threatening. Buying new leaves you to deal with these problems while buying used may avoid it all together.

Avoid Massive Depreciation
When you buy a new car, the depreciation will inevitably take a huge hit as soon as you drive it off the lot. But by buying used, you avoid this altogether. The original owner has taken the original depreciation hit. This is not to say that you won't experience any depreciation; every car deals with this over the years in some capacity. However, buying used means that you'll take a much lighter hit comparatively.

Fewer Sales Tax
The sales tax on new cars is outrageous. This is mostly because the price is so high. Exact sales tax is different for every state but it is generally calculated at 10% of the car's sale price. 10% of a $2,000 used vehicle will be a lot lower than 10% of a $20,000 new vehicle.

Cheaper Features
If you ever want to add new or upgraded features to your used car, such as a new radio or new upholstery, it'll generally be a lot cheaper than if it was a new car. New cars usually require parts that need to be purchased directly from the manufacturer, which can easily drive up the price. With used cars, you can put in new features for a lot less than you'd spend otherwise.

Lower Insurance Rates
Insurance is something that we pay every month, so it makes sense that you'd want this bill to be as low as possible. If you're buying a new car, your insurance rate can double in price. It could realistically increase from $100 to $200 just because you decided to purchase a new car. Used cars may also raise your insurance rates, but it could potentially be lower depending on what car you had previously.

More Choices
When you purchase a new car, you're limited to what is left. On the other hand, there are hundreds of thousands of used cars on the market every day. At dealerships, there are an endless amount of used cars that are being traded in constantly. Generally, dealerships will get their new cars at the beginning of the year, and that's just what they have. With used cars, you can choose based on features, make, model, year, color, and more.

Cheaper Repairs
If you have a used car, parts will be abundantly available. If you ever have to replace a part, most mechanics can find parts for a lot cheaper than new cars. New cars require special parts that have to come straight from the manufacturer, which means they will cost more money.

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Benefits of Buying a Used Car

CARS.COM — There are many good reasons to buy a used car, including ample selection and the improving reliability of older cars. But the big draw for used-car buyers? Affordability.
Buying a new car is definitely more expensive than buying a used one. Unless you decide to lease, your initial costs on a new car will be hefty. Financial institutions typically require down payments of at least 10 percent on a new-car loan (but it helps to add more). If you pay less money upfront, your monthly payment will be higher. Two other key considerations may tip the balance in favor of used cars: certification programs and new-car depreciation.
Certification Programs
One trend that makes buying used a better option is the proliferation of certified pre-owned programs. The idea started with luxury brands such as Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. Today, most manufacturers have instituted these programs.
General benefits of CPO cars include:
Manufacturers usually consider only late-model, relatively low-mileage used cars and trucks with no history of major damage for their certification programs.
  • CPO vehicles undergo a rigid inspection process of mechanical and cosmetic items before they obtain certification.
  • CPO vehicles are normally covered by a warranty that extends beyond the original factory warranty. The warranty often includes the same features as a new-vehicle warranty, such as roadside assistance.
  • Several manufacturers offer special financing on CPO vehicles, usually at lower rates than those on new-car loans or the typical, higher used-car loan rates.
Buyers should be aware that they pay more for a CPO car than for a typical used car, but the higher price should be worth it for the extra attention, coverage and peace of mind buyers receive. 

Avoiding Depreciation
Once you drive your new car off the dealership lot, its value will drop immediately in your early years of ownership. On mainstream vehicles, expect your new car to lose at least 30 percent of its value in the first two years of ownership. Consult used-car value guides to get an idea of what a particular model will be worth in the future. Leasing guides are another good source, even if you intend to buy instead. Lease payments are calculated based on residual, or resale, values.

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