How To Buy a Car New or Used which is Best?

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    Honestly I don’t know why this is so much of a question today. There have been so many reports about buying new and used vehicles and how to get the best deal no matter what you are buying. However I guess there are a new crop of people that become first time car buyers that just don’t care enough to put the time in to research all of the issues. In that case they end up losing lots of money. They end up with a vehicle that they didn’t really want with fewer options, smaller engines and they are stuck paying for it for years and hating it.

    So, When I talk about car buying let me give you a little background. First I have never purchased a new vehicle in my life. Second I was a mechanic for about 10 years and worked at small garages up to dealerships so I know a bit about cars but maybe not as much as someone who has done it a lifetime. On the other hand the number of times I have brought my vehicle to a garage for repair other than to get new tires on it is about 3 times in my life. The only time I would allow someone else to work on my vehicles is when it was an impossibility for me to do the work myself. And this happens because some tasks just can’t be done outside a dealer or professional shop if you want them done right.

    Now I know the number of people that feel the way I do about this and the number of people able to repair their own vehicle is not that high. On the other hand I know that the work I do such as changing the oil, rotating tires,doing a paint job or touchup, repairing interior, replacing a timing belt or axle is something that most people can do.

    The difference is do you want to do it. Are you willing to learn how and are you able to learn. Lets face it there are a lot of things I would love to be able to do that I can’t. I would love to be able to bake Hoagie/submarine sandwich rolls.. seems simple enough just make some dough roll them up and bake them but they never come out that fluffy inside. My bread comes out like Rye Bread.. dense but good but not the same.

    So you have to first ask yourself what type of person are you? Are you willing to care about your car or is it something that you just need to hop in and abuse for a few years and trade in every 3 to 5 years. If you are that type of person then you are going to be buying the cars that I will be purchasing after they are recertified.

    See thats the thing as soon as you drive a car off the lot you lose about 15% of its value before you even put 100 miles on it.

    If you went out and bought a brand new car and drove it home maybe 15 miles then listed it for sale or tried to bring it to a dealer for a trade in you would lose a huge portion of its worth. That is pretty unfair but thats how it is.

    To understand this what you need to do is hit the NADA value website and research a few different vehicles. Find the make and model car you want to buy and instead of putting in this year put in 1 year before and check the price. Now do this again for the first 5 years and see how fast the value drops from the original sales price to the resale price and the trade in value. You will be shocked.

    The best option is to buy a vehicle that has low miles that has been traded in that is as new as you can get BUT remember that research you did. If you see that a Chevy Malibu drops in value after the third year and still has 2 or more years on its base warranty then that is when you buy it.

    Some model vehicles will hold their value. Where a Chevy Malibu may lose its value fast a Corvette might keep its value for a longer period of time because it is a luxury vehicle that is normally taken good care of. Now this is not about Chevrolet vehicles the same is true for every manufacturer but when you compare manufacturers of similar vehicles say a sedan or a mini van or compact with similar options and most important a similar sales price then you will see that between manufacturers some will hold value much longer.

    Final Note

    I would not say that you should never purchase a new vehicle. If I was purchasing a custom order luxury vehicle I would definitely prefer being the original owner and then putting the fewest miles on it and taking very good care of it because it would be an investment not a daily driver.

    If I was purchasing a car to drive to work in I would consider many factors especially if you are someone that might have to drive your vehicle into a city. Although crime and theft is a consideration so is the abuse of potholes, accidents and stop and go driving.

    I would not buy a new vehicle for basic use unless the situation required it. Are you entertaining customers? and even so if you are a sales person maybe you don’t want to be seen in the most expensive new car when you are trying to sell someone rather a nice clean 3 to 5 year old vehicle may get you better sales.. thats your decision.

    Buying from dealers vs third party used dealers vs individuals is all different.

    A dealer will know the value of the car they are selling, how much they paid for it and how much they want it off their lot.

    The last car that I purchased was a Honda that was sold by a Toyota dealer. They wanted that thing off their lot so much that it was in the last row towards the back of the building and no one would ever see the thing but I knew they had it and I offered them a low price and they took it. You may have a dealer like that or you may have one that has no problem having a brand new Shelby Mustang on their lot and they will never lower the price because its the owners car and it brings in people to look at it and then look at other used cars once they hear the price.

    The main thing about all of this is.. can you deal with owning a NEWish car for much less but one that still has good value and a warranty of a few years so you can work out all the bugs before you start caring for it yourself or bringing it to a local car repair place. If you can and you should be able to.. then never buy new.

    Because if you buy a used but well maintained vehicle you will be able to afford one with better options, larger engines and addons but in addition you will pay less for car insurance on that car that is just a couple years old.


    If you got more money than you have brains or if you need it to be flashy at work and it will make you money or if it is an investment vehicle you expect to resell for much more down the road.. then buy that new car.



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