In recent history, there’s been a stigma against buying used vehicles. Buyers have viewed it as risky, shrouded in mystery, and some may even look down on purchasing a used car. But, while there is technically a greater risk in buying used versus new, buying a used car is probably worth it in the end. Here’s why.
For one, cars last longer than they did twenty or thirty years ago. What sounded like a lot of miles back then (say, 100,000) is nothing to today’s cars, which are running for more like 200,000 comfortably. Today’s manufacturers are designing cars that are built to last. So, there’s nothing to fear in a car with 50,000 or even 75,000 miles.
If a car has 50,000 miles on it, a buyer may still wonder what this vehicle’s life was like during that time. For questions like these, there are services like CarFax and Autocheck. These companies take the guessing out of the game for you. They use vehicle identification numbers to give you a history of owners, repairs and other pertinent information.
Now that these concerns are put out of the buyer’s mind, here is the biggest reason to buy used: the savings. A new car’s value declines very, very quickly—as in, the moment it’s driven off the lot. The minute the papers are signed and a new car waves goodbye to a dealership, that car’s value decreases by an average of 20%. One year later, that same car has decreased in value by a total of 30%. In other words, buying a car that’s one or more years old is going to cut your costs back significantly. And, since insurance, sales tax and registration are all calculated based on vehicle cost, you’ll save there too. As long as you do your homework when buying used, the slight risk is worth it.