If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, consider looking at used cars or leasing. They’re easier on the budget than purchasing a brand new car and can often have many of the same features you’re looking for in a new car. Leasing a new car is also possible, if you don’t want to lock into a car payment or can’t afford one at the moment. You can also take a look at certified pre-owned vehicles, which many car dealers offer now. These vehicles are backed by manufacturers and apply to newer used cars (generally no older than three years). There are many benefits to buying a used car or leasing but it’s always important to know your options before deciding what route you want to go so you can make the most informed decision.
Why Are Used Cars Such a Good Idea?
Used cars can often be a financially smart decision. If you’re a young person who’s been saving up to buy your first car, unless your parents are chipping in — or you’re a really good saver — you’re probably not going to have the money to buy a brand new car. Similarly, if you haven’t budgeted for a new car and something goes unexpectedly wrong with your current car and you find yourself needing a new car, your finances may be strained by buying a new model.
In 2015, the average for a used car was around $20,000 and older models went for much less. It’s also not just the purchase price that goes down however — insurance for a used car is often less and in some states, registration fees can also be lower with a used car. Furthermore, a used car will depreciate less quickly than a new car. Experts say that after you drive a new car off the lot, it’s already depreciated 30%.
It may seem odd to you that a used car might be as reliable — if not more so — than a newer model. However, the average age of a car on the road today is 11 years and new models are built to last longer. This means that you may see a longer life in your vehicle — and even if it’s a few years old, it still has plenty of gas in the tank, so to speak!
Get a Better Car
This too, may sound like odd logic. But think about it. You may be able to get a nicer used car — such an an Audi — that’s the older, but the same price as a newer car that doesn’t have as much name brand value behind it. Sure, it may be older than those newer models, but it’ll look fantastic and will in likelihood, run well for a long time.
What’s the Deal With Leasing a Car?
For those who need a car but aren’t crazy about locking into a car payment — or who don’t drive enough to make a car payment worth it — leasing can be a great option. Leasing can also give you more flexibility, in some ways and generally offers lower monthly payments than a car payment plan would. Think of it in some ways as renting, not buying.
With car leases, you lock into a term — usually about three years — and once the lease term is up, you return the car, and you can either continue the lease or choose a new car to lease. There are very strict guidelines about how many miles you can drive, what kind of maintenance needs to occur, and the condition it needs to be returned in. Failing to follow those guidelines can result in pricey fines when you return the car. However, it is another great option if you’re looking for an alternative to buying a car.
If you’re in the market for a new car, you don’t always have to head straight to the dealership to get a brand new car. If you’re interested in saving some money and still getting a great car, consider leasing or buying used.