When you’re looking to get your first car, it can be tough to choose between a new and used car. New cars are extremely intriguing and exciting, but used cars are much cheaper.
Before you get lost with the prospect of buying a car, you should make sure to pass your driving permit test first. According to Epermit Test, you shouldn’t take your permit test “until you take AT LEAST one sample exam that mirrors the real permit test and gets a score of 90% or above!”
After passing your test, you’ll be ready to tackle the challenge of finding a good car to drive. Don’t fall into the trap of purchasing a brand new car because there are several negative consequences you’ll experience if you do!
We’ll breakdown why you should never buy a new car below and why you should opt to purchase used instead!
Brand New Cars Are Incredibly Tempting
One thing you certainly can’t deny is that a new car is incredibly tempting. There are few things more appealing than a shiny coat of paint, that new car smell, and an odometer that registers in the single digits.
There’s also the phenomenon that new is always better. After all, why would there be a new iPhone released every year unless people always want a newer, better version of what they already have?
Unfortunately, this is a logical fallacy. Newer products are not always better, nor is there ever a physical need to upgrade right away.
In reality, new products, cars included, tend to be a waste of money. This is particularly true when you already have a product that works well and has demonstrated reliability.
New Cars Are a Financial Disaster
Speaking of wasted money, the purchase of a new car is a downright financial disaster. This is by far the biggest drawback of buying a new car.
If you’re unfamiliar with how the process of buying a new car plays out, then you might not understand why this is.
New cars often cost boatloads of money, typically $20,000 or more depending on the make, model, and any added features.
Few people have that much money to shell out upfront, so they instead opt for financing. This means monthly car payments with added interest.
Depending on the terms of your new $20,000 car, your total cost can easily exceed $25,000 when factoring in loan terms, taxes, and added insurance.
Making matters worse, you’ll be locked into this agreement for years. Do you want to pay several hundred dollars each month for five years or more just to drive a new car?
They Are a Poor Investment
Another thing to consider is that your brand new car is one of the worst investments you could ever make.
Unless you buy a car with excellent resale value, like a Honda, you’ll find it incredibly difficult to get much value for your car when you try to sell it 5-10 years down the road.
Additionally, the second you drive your car off the lot, it begins to lose value. Most cars depreciate by 20-30% just within the first year.
Some new car buyers try to justify a purchase by saying it’s an investment, but that’s entirely false. A new car will lose more than half of its value by the time you fully pay it off if that ever does happen!
Reliability Is Not Guaranteed
Another misconception with new cars is that they are more reliable than a used car. In some situations this is true, but not always.
The problem with new cars is that they don’t have years of experience on the road to identify major issues, like faulty engines.
Many new cars are reliable, at least for the first few years. But what happens when your warranty runs out? That’s when expensive problems tend to crop up.
New cars have improved features relating to power output, fuel economy, and handling, but reliability is often another story.
The one caveat to this rule is that trustworthy manufacturers tend to produce reliable new cars. A brand new Toyota or Honda will generally be a dependable purchase, but this is not always true. New cars are always a gamble.
Constant Worries About Minor Damage
With a new car, you’re also going to worry about every minor scratch, scrape, dent, nick, and any other imperfections that occur.
It’s incredibly difficult to keep things in brand new condition and it’s entirely impossible when you’re talking about a car. You can control how you treat your car, but you can’t prevent people from door-dinging or crashing into you.
If you’re driving a brand new car, you’ll feel a heightened sense of anxiety in response to driving your new car. You’ll always be wondering if it’s safe in a parking lot and praying that nobody ruins your impeccable paint job.
That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t (or won’t) care about scratches and dents on a used car, but it’s far less impactful when it already has some and you paid far less for it. A new car will inevitably get damaged in some fashion, it’s just a matter of when.
Used Cars a Much Better Choice
With all of this in mind, a used car is an exponentially smarter purchase.
When you buy a pre-owned car, you tend to pay upfront in cash. This means no financing and no monthly payments. They’re also far less expensive.
Unlike a new car, a used car is typically a solid, low-risk investment. Your initial stake in the vehicle will be much lower than a new car and it has already experienced much of its depreciation by the time you buy it.
When you go to sell your used car, it will very likely still be worth what you already paid for it. This assumes that you take good care of it and don’t hold onto it for decades.
Pre-owned cars are also old enough to identify and work out any kinks the model has. Say a certain model year is known to have several issues, you can research and learn not to buy that model rather than having to experience it first-hand to know.
On the other hand, you’ll know what model years are good and reliable. You can search for those specific cars and ensure that you’re getting a great daily driver.
Finally, you’ll have less fear about someone scratching up your car. Used cars tend to come with plenty of “character” already ingrained into them.
Any damage to your possessions is sure to hurt, but at least they won’t stick out like a sore thumb. It will give you peace of mind and lets you focus less on how your car is doing and more on what you’re trying to do!
As tempting as new cars are, you should do your best to avoid purchasing one. There are several major downsides to buying a new car.
New cars are a financial fiasco and serve as terrible investments. There’s also no guarantee about reliability and you’ll stress over every minor cosmetic imperfection that happens.
Alternatively, a used car entirely relieves you of the pitfalls of a new car. You can appreciate a low purchase price, a healthy retained value, a better chance of reliability, and few worries about dents and dings.
Buying a new car is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, which is why you should stick to a pre-owned car. Even if it’s just a few years old, it will still feel new but at a significantly reduced cost!