Whether you’ve exhausted your current vehicle to the end of its limit, or you think it's finally realistic to make a fun and exciting upgrade, you might find yourself wondering “is it worth buying a new car just yet?”
There are all kinds of myths surrounding buying a new car, from ways to save money, increase your safety, and getting as much value for your money as possible. While there are certainly a plethora of ways to save money, and spend it, it can be tough to tell where fact stops, and fiction starts.
In this guide, we’ll navigate the myths, tips, and best practices to help you decide whether it's time to buy that flashy new Honda or stick to your old Toyota, at least for now. Buying a new car is a major purchase at any age, and it can be great fun, so long as you feel like you got a great deal!
Should I Buy a New or Used Car? The Myths Explained
There are a ton of myths surrounding purchasing a new vehicle, perhaps the most prevalent being that a nice car will get you all the ladies. If it’s women you’re after, you’d find way more success in learning how to be confident around the ladies, plus you’d save a killing!
More realistically, you may have heard about how “buying a car online is more economical”, or that you should ”wait until the end of the month to buy.” Sometimes these can offer better deals, but one of the best ways to shoot yourself in the foot is to stick strictly to these kinds of “rules” as opposed to just negotiating for the best deal you can.
Without further ado, here are three common myths you may have heard, and why you shouldn't take them too seriously.
Buy now or lose the deal
There’s no better way to sell than to put pressure. If you think the only way to get such a fantastic deal is to buy right now at this very moment, then you’re already halfway sold. In reality, new cars are coming out all the time and making older models obsolete. If you aren’t one hundred percent certain about a vehicle purchasing decision, sleep on it, and give it a week or two.
In 2021, 80 million motor vehicles were produced worldwide, which represents an increase of 3% from the year before. There’s no shortage of cars being made to replace older models, further driving down prices and making room for great deals.
There will almost definitely be just as great a bargain, for an even newer model, if you just have a bit of patience. As one deal leaves the showroom, another inevitably takes its place. Never feel rushed into such an expensive purchase, especially when its value essentially halves the moment it leaves the lot!
Used cars are hard to maintain
Used cars can be no harder to maintain than brand-new ones, it totally depends on the state of the car at the time of purchase, and how well the previous owner maintained it. However, there are things to keep in mind that can make an old car harder and more expensive to maintain.
Used cars don’t have a warranty for maintenance and repairs, which means that an unreliable second-hand car could take a hefty chunk out of your pocket. Naturally, however, you’re likely to get car insurance, and car insurance doesn't discriminate between new and second-hand vehicles. It costs more or less the same to insure a secondhand car as it does to insure a new one, it can even cost slightly less to insure an older car, as parts tend to be cheaper. What about the simple answer? Should I buy a new or used car when looking for something easier to maintain? New cars tend to, on average, require less maintenance.
New cars often have better safety features
Here’s a “myth” which is actually entirely true! According to the NHTSA, “newer cars are safer than ever”. With 1.3 million deaths each year as a result of road traffic crashes, its imperative to take safety into consideration when shopping for a new vehicle.
Modern data and advanced engineering has allowed car manufacturers to develop vehicles that provide more in terms of safety features. Backup cameras, driver assistance, blind spot detection, and other features make navigating your surroundings all the safer, and older vehicles just might not offer these technologies with the same degree of accuracy, if at all.
By the way, some people mistakenly believe that older cars are safer, as they often seem far less damaged after a crash. Modern vehicles are actually purposely designed to deform, as this significantly extends the time over which acceleration decreases. This means that the car takes the majority of the crash, and saves the passenger inside. Physics saves lives! When asking “is it better to buy a new or used car”, one answer is that it’s better to buy a safe car.
Is It Worth Buying a New Car?
Ok, so old cars may have some pros and cons to consider, but overall is buying a new car worth it? If you can find a fairly recent model, around three to four years old, for a great price, then that could be a great deal. The reason for that is that these models are still relevant, but have also experienced a significant amount of their depreciation.
That essentially translates to “a great deal”. When you decide to resell, you’ll be able to get back a significant portion of the buying price, far more than you ever could have hoped for when buying a brand-new car. Over three years, a typical car depreciates in value by about 60 percent. Why not let someone else take the loss, and pick up a great new vehicle after they’re done with it?
Is buying a new car worth it, well, with the thousands you’ve saved buying second-hand, you’ll get the privilege of losing it all somewhere else, like on fun dates with your girlfriend or wife! If you aren’t totally sold on a secondhand car, however, here are some reasons you might opt for a brand-new vehicle.
The possibility to go electric
Is buying a new car worth it in the end, if you go electric, the answer is yes. Electric cars cost around 30% less to maintain than a comparable vehicle with a combustion engine. Not only that but maintenance costs less too. This can save electric car drivers hundreds over the course of a year. More than that, you’ll have a less guilty conscience, as you’re doing far less harm to the environment through emissions than you would have with a secondhand combustion engine vehicle.
If you’re something of a ladies' man, you’re sure to impress those who’ve never been in an eclectic car, and environmentally-conscious women will likely respect you more as a man too. Women aside, the boys are bound to find your new electric toy cool too!
You could opt for a secondhand electric car, but the technology in these vehicles is changing so quickly that it just doesn't make much sense. So, is it better to buy a new or used car when going electric? New all the way!
This car is for the long run
If you’re looking for a car that’ll last you the next 10 or more years, it makes sense to go for a brand-new car. The technology will stay relevant for longer, and the depreciation won’t really matter that much in the end, as you’ll have made the most of it. You’ll also have to deal with less hassle in the beginning due to your extended warranty, so any problems can be handled under that protection.
After the protection of that warranty, you’re still likely to have a vehicle in greater condition than a secondhand option, so long as you’ve treated it right. You never know how a secondhand car has been abused, but your new car has only ever been yours. So, should I buy a new car when looking for a long-term vehicle? We believe so, yes.
It won't impact you too heavily
At the end of the day, if buying a new car simply for the peace of mind and it doesn't burn too large a hole into your pocket, then why not go for it? It makes sense to go for a secondhand vehicle if it means a lot to you financially to save the difference, but we’re all in different situations.
On the other end of the spectrum, if buying a new car is the difference between reaching your financial goals, or taking out heavy financing, then clearly you should opt for a secondhand vehicle until your situation allows you to get a new car. There’s certainly no shame in buying second-hand, in fact, it could be the smartest financial decision you make in years! Don't ask yourself “should I buy a new car”, ask yourself “will buying a new car cause a lot of financial stress?” If the answer is no, and you actually want it, go for it.
However, if you ask yourself “is buying a new car worth it”, and feel like you need to convince yourself that it is, maybe it just isn't. Whether you can easily afford it or not, some people just need something to take them from point A to B, and that’s ok!
Should I Buy a New or Used Car
There are also a plethora of reasons to buy a used car, as every side has pros and cons.
Perhaps you’re looking to get a model that’s just a little too pricey brand-new at the showroom. Why not get it secondhand, who’ll judge you, or even know you got it secondhand unless you tell them?
If you’re looking to make a great first impression on a date, at least in terms of your sense of style, then a nice second-hand car could do way more for you than an average but affordable new car. Is it worth buying a new car just to impress women, definitely not, but it’s a subtle thing she’ll notice and keep in mind.
More importantly, this is a vehicle you’ll be using a lot and need to feel comfortable with. If you need to go second-hand, get a car you enjoy driving around, and feel comfortable being seen in, then why not just go for it?
Secondhand cars just make sense for most people
Most of us are in somewhat of an average situation. Sure, you might be able to afford a new car, but nobody would blame you if that second-hand Chevrolet Camaro just looked too good to pass up. A car can act as an extension of your personality, and you have to be seen in it by your friends and family.
As long as it’s safe, stylish, has relevant technology, and is in great condition, why wouldn’t you opt for the more affordable second-hand option? If you’re worried about losing people’s respect, have no fear, here are some real ways to garner people's respect. Hint, it has nothing to do with your car!