Advantages & Disadvantages of Buying a New Car
Keep your overall budget in mind if you’re debating the advantages and disadvantages of buying a new car. Look beyond the sticker price when weighing a new car’s cost–consider items such as insurance costs, which are higher for a new car.
A used car will come with a cheaper price tag, but it can cost you in other ways–for example, if it’s a gas-guzzler or if it frequently breaks down.
One big disadvantage of buying a new car is that it starts depreciating (losing value) as soon as you buy it–Car & Driver notes that a car can depreciate as much as 40 percent in its first year. There’s not much you can do about that, but you can control some costs associated with buying a new car.
Research pricing to make sure you’re getting the best deal and check with organizations such as the Better Business Bureau to be potential dealers are reputable. Contact your auto insurer before you purchase a vehicle to find out if the model you want to buy will significantly increase your insurance rate. Consider buying another model that can be insured for less if it does. Avoid paying for unnecessary add-ons at the dealership.
For example, sealants applied to paint and fabric to protect a car’s exterior and upholstery can add several hundred dollars to the cost of a vehicle. You can purchase fabric sealers and waxes at discount and auto-supply stores and apply them yourself for much less.
Repairs and Reliability
New cars are covered by manufacturers’ warranties, so buyers generally don’t have to pay for major repairs for the first two to three years after they buy a new vehicle. However, it may be cheaper to repair an old car than buy a new one, even if the old one needs frequent repairs.
Still, a new car’s reliability can be worth its cost, especially for people who need reliable transportation to run their businesses or hold down jobs where their presence is essential.
More fuel-efficient vehicles have entered the market in recent years, so you can spend less on gasoline if you buy a new car instead of driving an old one.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a vehicle that can gets 30 miles per gallon (MPG) of gas will cost $718 less in fuel annually than one that gets 20 MPG. That calculation is based on driving 15,000 miles per year and paying $2.87 per gallon of gas; if prices go higher, the savings will increase.
Automakers continue to improve the safety of new vehicles. Some improvements are voluntary while others are due to more stringent government safety standards. For instance, consumers can benefit from competition among automakers who are adding side airbags, blind-spot monitoring systems and other safety devices to vehicles to attract buyers.
Side airbags offer better protection in a collision, and blind-spot monitoring systems alert drivers to other vehicles located at the side or rear of their car. Older cars will likely include fewer safety devices than new cars.