New or late model used?

When we decide to buy a vehicle we should think about whether to look at a new unit or a late-model used unit.  A late-model used unit can be a great value.Read more….

There are a few circumstances where a pre-owned car or truck can save the buyer a lot of cash without sacrificing value.  In fact, they may save you a bunch of money.  If you are paying cash you don’t have to worry about the higher interest rate usually associated with used vehicle loans.

Used vehicles that are a year or two old may have been traded because the buyer’s needs changed or they didn’t like the vehicle.  Another common reason might be they saw something else they liked better or so on and so on.  There are also the reasons I call the dark forces. The vehicle was repossessed or it there was a lemon law issue they couldn’t fix fast or even worse, the vehicle has been in a wreck.  There are companies to help you with checking for a wreck. Car Fax is one of the best known. The dealer should be willing to show you the Car Fax record of any unit they have in stock.  The only problem that would hold me back is a serious damage Car Fax report or a lemon law issue.

Sometimes the issues brought up by a lemon law problem can never be fixed so I recommend you avoid those units

Other then the issues I mentioned, a one, two or possibly a three year old unit can be a great value.  If you drive 25000 miles a year or more,  this is definitely the way to go.  When you trade the unit in no one is going to pay any attention to whether you bought it new or used.

A late-model used purchase will avoid the immediate depreciation that happens when you take ownership of a new unit and will save you some cash for the next unit.

In the case of some banks, late-model used units receive similar interest rates to new units so the late-model used vehicle can have a lower payment by as much as 50 or 60 dollars a month and a lower balance to pay off for the future.  You will be starting with higher mileage but look at the savings.

As far as a new unit, there are advantages.  leasing is one and we went over that a few blogs ago.  With a new unit, sometimes you receive a special interest rate if you are financing.  the difference in rate over 4 or 5 years can make up a difference in price. Another point about new units is that you break the car or truck in the way you drive, you put all the miles on it and you get a better selection as far as exactly what options and what color.  If you trade every 4 years or so a new vehicle can void some maintenance costs as well

Bottom line “What’s my call on new verses used?”  Do you drive 25000 miles a year or more?  Strongly consider a late-model used no matter how long you keep it.

Keep it 8 or ten years?  Consider both types 

Trade every 3, 4 or 5 years?  Go with new and consider a short-term lease

About Geoffrey Jerome

I am a 35 year veteran of the automobile and motorcycle industry, author of seven books, soon to be nine, Both fiction and nonfiction. I have three super kids, actually adults, and a wonderful Jack Russell Terrier named Lucy Lynn. I am Formerly from upstate New York, Ithaca. I ride a Harley, like photography, technology and I know climate change is the worlds biggest problem.
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