You know that it’s time for a new car. Your current vehicle spends more time in your mechanic’s parking lot than it does in your driveway. You’re beginning to factor in an extra $300 to $600 every month in car repairs.
But knowing you need to buy a new car and actually doing it are two different things. Buying a car is never easy. You’ll have to deal with pushy salesmen, misleading vehicle ads and countless test drives.
You’ll also have to answer the question that every buyer faces: Should you buy a new car or a used one?
Not surprisingly, there are pluses and minuses to each choice. A used car, of course, is cheaper. However, you never know exactly what problems you’re going to face. After all, there’s usually a reason that the car’s owner is selling.
A new car costs more. But the odds are good that it won’t need many, if any, repairs soon after you buy it. But, you never know. You might get stuck with a lemon. That’s an expensive problem to have.
The key to deciding between buying a used and new car is to take a long look at your own situation, both financial and personal.
Look at the finances first. If you don’t have a lot of money to spare on a new car payment each month, a used car might be the better choice. If you’re not sure if you’ll still have a job next month, then a used car is definitely a better purchase.
However, if you do have a stable stream of income, and if your job is solid, you might consider buying a new car. New cars are more reliable. You won’t have to worry about waking up to find out that your car doesn’t feel like starting. If you need to commute to your job every day, a new car is less likely to let you down.
Whichever way you go, though, make sure to do your research before buying any car. You’ll need to test drive your vehicle, even if it is being sold by your neighbor down the street, before making an offer on it. And you should visit online car-rating sites. There are plenty on the Internet, and most of them will list the positives and negatives of any car you bought.
Don’t forget to consider getting a warranty, too, even if you’re buying a used car. You can usually convince a seller to sign a contract stating that a purchase is null if the car needs a major repair in the first three months or so after the sale has been made. If a seller won’t agree to this, that might be a bad sign that all is not well with the car.