Better to Buy Pre-Owned Car, or New Car?

First time car buyers have a choice of buying a brand new car, or buying a used car. Which is better?

There are advantages and disadvantages to either choice. Most people would rather have a brand new car with its new-car smell and latest style, but there are reasons that a new car might not be the best choice. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of buying new and buying used.

Advantages of Buying New Car

  • You get a brand new car with new-car feel and smell
  • You get the latest style and technology
  • You get the latest safety equipment
  • You get a full manufacturer’s warranty
  • You get Lemon Law protection
  • You get lowest loan interest rates, if you qualify
  • You get the option to lease
  • You may get special manufacturer-sponsored pricing and financing

Disadvantages of Buying New Car

  • Value of a new car depreciates rapidly
  • Insurance rates may be higher than used
  • Taxes may be higher


Advantages of Buying Used Car

  • You avoid the high first-year depreciation of value
  • If you buy almost-new, you may get same styling and technology as new car, at a lower price
  • You get price flexibility by choosing between different model years, mileage, and condition
  • You may buy “certified” vehicles with inspection and warranty – at higher cost
  • You get lower insurance costs than same new model
  • You get lower sales tax and personal property tax

Disadvantages of Buying Used Car

  • You buy “as-is” unless some manufacturer warranty remains
  • Lemon laws don’t apply to used cars
  • You may be buying someone else’s problem, unless you have your vehicle inspected
  • You risk buying a wrecked or salvage vehicle, unless you run a CARFAX Vehicle History Report
  • You typically don’t have a lease option
  • You pay higher interest rates
  • You may get fewer safety features


To summarize, buying a used car can be a better value for your money but it comes with higher risks.

If you are looking for cheap used cars, read the article Finding Cheap Cars for suggestions on where and how to find them.

Find already-discounted used cars at dealers in your area at, the largest online used car source.

For online pre-discounted prices on new cars, see Price quotes are free and easy. Get multiple quotes so that you can compare deals.

Any used car purchase should include an extensive test drive, an inspeciton by a qualified mechanic, and a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. Also consider buying an extended warranty.

If you’re considering an almost-new vehicle, make sure you can’t get the same vehicle, new, at about the same price, which can happen if the manufacturer is offering special promotional deals. See Best Car Deals for cars that currently have special incentives, rebates, and low-interest loans.


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