The Pros & Cons of Buying a New vs. Used Car for Your Teenage Driver

By Blog

When it comes to getting your first car, it comes with the much-desired freedom and mobility a new driver dreams about, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility.  You must always consider your safety, the safety of others in your vehicle, as well as all other drivers on the road.  You must also consider your vehicle, itself, as it is an investment that will (if all goes well and according to plan) be with you for many years to come. 

So, you’ve passed your driver’s test, you’ve learned to be a defensive driver, now it’s time to go through the car buying process.  And, one of the very first decisions that you’re likely to encounter is whether or not to buy a new or used vehicle.  After all, can your vehicle make, model and year really effect road safety and longevity?  Well, actually, it may.

Here are a few things to consider when trying to decide between buying a new or a used car:

Buying a New Car

The Pros:  One of the most significant attractions to buying a new car is that when you purchase a new vehicle, it comes with a warranty.  A new car also means that you may be eligible for excellent financing options as well as other dealer incentives.  Some of these incentives may include, low interest financing, low annual percentage rate (APR), cash rebates, and even free scheduled maintenance.  These are great elements to consider for both your bank account as well as your car’s overall upkeep.

New cars are also guaranteed crash-free, which may make them more reliable.  These days, advanced technology also means that newer vehicles also tend to have better gas mileage, improved safety features and top-of-the-line tech.

The Cons:  The biggest and most obvious downside to buying a new car is that new car price tag.  Newer cars tend to be priced much higher than used cars, which, if you’re a young, new driver, may limit your selection.  If you choose to go the new car route, you may end up having to pay off that higher price tag over an extended period of time with accrued interest.  Also, as is inevitable, the moment you drive a new car off the lot it depreciates in value and will continue to do so, especially in those first few years.

Buying a Used Car

Pros:  One of the most attractive features of buying a used car is the simple fact that they typically cost far less than newer cars.  You’re often more likely to get a better deal on a used vehicle, too, as you’re able to avoid any additional costs, like processing, advertising and preparation fees.  So long as any used vehicle you’re interested in has been properly taken care of and had regular maintenance checks, it may be a great option and investment for a new driver.

Cons:  In looking to purchase a used vehicle, your options may be more limited depending on your budget and what you’re able to find.  The warranty on a used vehicle may also have fewer years left on it, which means that it will expire, perhaps even soon, once under your ownership.  Then, there’s the whole question of maintenance.  If a used car hasn’t been properly taken care of, you could get stuck with unforeseen issues and repairs down the road.

Choosing to purchase a vehicle is a major decision, and one that should be done with all things considered.  There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to buying a new car vs. a used car; it’s just a matter of knowing what you want, knowing what you need, and knowing what you can handle.


Featured photo credit: FranckinJapan via Pixabay, cc