How to Spend Money Wisely » Shopping

New car or used car: 6 people make the choice

Buying a car is the second-largest purchase most consumers will ever make. If you are in the market for a vehicle, one of the primary questions to start with is whether to buy a new car or used car. (Or did you forget to even ask this question?)

Different situations – effectively, different people – dictate different actions. Here are six individual situations on whether to buy new or used:

Two people who should buy new cars

1. The techie

Someone who needs the latest and greatest will usually not be happy with a used car that doesn’t have the latest technology. For these individuals buying new is usually the only option as last year’s model is not going to cut it for them.

2. The business owner

Write-offs should always be factored in any decision – as long as you’re business is profitable. If you purchase a used car you can only write off a small percentage of the cost of the car. Most Dealerships will only lease brand new vehicles. As a result, it might make sense to lease a brand new vehicle, since your lease payments are 100% deductible in most cases.

Four people who should buy used cars

1. The do-it-yourselfer

Usually always making a mess. Lugging stuff in the back seat and trunk. A new car will get all scratched up in a hurry. For these individuals getting a used car is usually best, as there is no need to worry about messing up the used car.

2. The 20-something

Usually, money doesn’t come easy. As a result, the money savings in buying used can usually be the difference in driving or taking transit. Also, most students fresh out of school will find getting approved for financing a new car next to impossible. Used cars can be very cheap for first-time car buyers.

3. The over 65 crowd

Depending on how well you did in your life will determine which avenue is best to take. If you did great in the stock market and want to splurge, going for that brand new Bentley might be the ticket. That is if money is no object. However, if you are a pensioner and living month to month a good used car may do the trick. Saving thousands in depreciation a new car would have the minute you drive off the lot.

4. The free spirit

Maybe you don’t want to be tied down to car payments on a new vehicle and would like to travel the world without a care. Buying a good used car for cash can give you the freedom to roam the countryside and not be tied to strict maintenance requirements of a new car, while still providing necessary transportation.

Whether you decide to buy a new or used car, you should always do your research. There are many sites that will help you along the way to purchasing that great new or used car. It’s always a good idea to check insurance rates while you’re at it, they can fluctuate wildly depending on the make and model you choose.


  1. Car Negotiation Coach

    I’d throw “teenage driver” into the used car category as well. Aside from fact that most teenagers can’t afford a new car (unless it’s bought for them), new drivers are so much more likely to beat up a car. So why not just beat up an old one.

  2. Scott Neumyer

    I always thought new cars were the way to go. It was just customary to have a car payment and buy something new. I mean, who wants something used, right?

    Nowadays, I can’t ever see myself buying another brand new car (unless I become a millionaire and money is no object). There’s just way too much wasted money in the equity disappearing as soon as you leave the lot.

    Now, it’ll always be gently used cars. They’re just as good and you can usually get a nice car that the crazy lease people bring back. 😉

  3. Barb Friedberg

    Actually, in the USA today, due to the difficult economy, there are some new models are more affordable than used. In either case, keeping your car a long time is a good financial decision.

  4. A.Rajah

    I don’t fit in neither category but planning to buy a new car since i have no clue about car repairs.

  5. Kannan

    Agree that used cars will save lot of money, but we simply shouldn’t opt for used cars; I prefer to buy new cars as we can’t expect the original owner to maintain the car well as we would.

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