Car Shopping? Should you Buy Pre-Owned or New?

Aerial Shot of Car Buyers Chinese Shopping Mall

Credit: Ivan Walsh

If you’ve recently experienced a car accident, you may be in need of new vehicle to help you get back on your feet, back to work, and back to your daily life. But if that insurance reimbursement check isn’t matching up to the sticker price on a new set of wheels, you may want to take another look at the “Certified Pre-Owned” options available. Here’s why:

1) You’ll pay less for close to the same quality as a new car.

2) The dealership will generally offer a full certification inspection and warranty.

3) You may pay less for insurance & taxes.

4) You’re pre-owned car may have a very similar look and feel to the newest model on the market.

5) That “new car smell” doesn’t last as long as the higher payments on the current year’s model.

The caveats?

While there are many benefits of purchasing a new vehicle, there are also several limitations, so you’ll want to weigh the costs and benefits against your own personal situation before deciding. For instance, the warranty you’ll likely receive with a pre-owned vehicle will likely be more limited in length and coverage than with a new model. And if new features were introduced in later models, you likely won’t have access to those.

But for the most part, a Certified Pre-Owned car can be a great option to save costs while ensuring that you have a safe, reliable means of transportation to get back to your routine after an accident.

4 Responses to “Car Shopping? Should you Buy Pre-Owned or New?”

  1. Robert says:

    I bought two cars from car rental companies. Both had about 12-15,000 miles on them, were one-year old, and went for about half the cost of the car new. And both were reliable. I’ll never to to a dealer again….except for service.

    • Cautious says:

      But I’ve heard that rental cars are beat up by the care rental customers who do not care for them because they are just rentals. Yours were in good shape?

      • Robert says:

        They were perfect. One of them still smelled new. My theory is that if the rental car company has a customer who is a real cowboy and he is really tough on a car, how much damage can he do the car in the three or four days he is driving it? Most rental cars are rented by businesspeople on business trips or families on vacation, and they are by-and-large reasonable and responsible people. You are taking a greater risk buying a used card off the lot not knowing who owned it, how he drove, if he abused it, and whether or not he ever changed the oil!

        Also look for “program cars” that are driven by car company executives. They are also usually just a year old and low miles.

  2. Coach_Joe says:

    However….most car companies are now offering 0% or almost 0% financing, that that really brings down the cost of a new car if you are not a cash buyer.

    I just traded in a three-year-old car on a new car, and my payment actually went down thanks to the cheaper financing. And now I have a new car back under warrant.

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