3 Questions Before Buying a Used or a Brand-New Car

Woman smiling about getting a new car

The argument between those who prefer buying a used car and those who promote only brand-new ones will probably never come to an end. For a regular car buyer, however, the matter is more personal. It’s a financial as well as a lifestyle decision for most people.

So, are you supposed to go with something someone has used before, or spring a bit more for a brand-new model? Here are some questions you should answer first, and your answers may lead to a winning decision.

Do You Have Down Payment Money?​

Or perhaps a car with some equity that you can trade in for a brand-new car. And perhaps more importantly, do you have an excellent credit score? If you have that kind of credit, you might be able to take advantage of the incentives many dealers offer brand-new car buyers with good credit, including zero down payment.

A sizeable down payment, however, can lower your monthlies and of course, you get to pay off the car that much quicker. If all of this is you, then you should seriously consider buying a brand-new car.

Do You Understand Cars?​

Or do you at least know a mechanic (someone who can be honest with you) and a place to buy car parts in Auckland? If you’re pretty good with cars — you understand almost every sound, have an idea what’s wrong if something is, can manage some basic maintenance — you may stand a better chance of buying a good used car. You can choose safely and have the knowledge to maintain the car you buy.

Can You Afford a Used Car’s Maintenance?

There’s no question that a used car costs less to buy than a brand-new equivalent, but you can’t say the same for the car’s maintenance. A brand new car typically comes with several free checkups and maintenance, and perhaps some free consumables like motor oil, in the first several visits for periodic maintenance.

With a used car, you don’t get that benefit. Plus of course, a brand new car is less likely to break down in the first few years of ownership. Even if it does, if it’s still within warranty, you can get it repaired for free or for a minimal fee. With a used car, again, no dice. Unless you can live with a used car’s more frequent maintenance (which defeats the savings you got when you bought it), you might be better off going brand-new.

Your takeaway here is, before making a decision, consider every aspect: cost to own, insurance, maintenance, and long-term value.