New or Used: What Should I Do?

Buying a car sometimes starts with a simple question of either getting itbrand new or a used one. While there are plenty of good vehicles out thereeither way, the decision to buy new or used, boils down to what you canafford and what will give you peace of mind.

The Case for Buying New

For some people, buying used isn’t an option as they just want a brand newcar. They want to select the color and the features in it. There’sdefinitely a pride of ownership and peace of mind in being a vehicle’sfirst owner. Some other advantages include:

  • Reduced maintenance expense – A new vehicle will not need anymaintenance for the first several thousand kilometers, and then only anoil change and tune-up will be required. More manufacturers are coveringthe cost of those routine maintenance items.
  • Warranty coverage – The manufacturer covers its new vehicles underwarranty for at least three years, and some warranties last much longer.Under a manufacturer’s warranty, if something goes wrong with the car, itis the responsibility of the dealer and manufacturer to fix it.
  • Roadside assistance – In addition to a comprehensive warranty, allnew cars come with some level of free roadside assistance while thevehicle remains under warranty. In addition, some automakers reimburseyou or provide alternate transportation if you are stranded.

The Case for Buying Used

If you don’t mind not buying a new car or simply can’t afford, usedvehicles have their own appeal:

  • Improved reliability – Although used vehicles typically don’t carrythe same warranties as new ones, the original factory warranty on a new car is often transferable to a second owner. Buyers of certifiedpre-owned cars from an authorized dealer can purchase a late-model usedcar and get the balance of the original warranty. Often, a manufacturerwill offer a longer-term warranty for certified cars, or some buyerschoose to add their own extended warranties. Of course, cars have beengetting more reliable over the years.
  • Just like new – Another trend that makes buying used a better optionis the proliferation of certified pre-owned programs. The idea startedwith luxury brands such as Lexus and Mercedes-Benz and has become apopular alternative for car buyers.
  • Tight budget – Buying a used car gets you the most vehicle for themoney. For less than half the price of the average new car, you can buy a3- or 4-year-old used vehicle that is larger and loaded with morefeatures than a small, bare-bones new one.