To spare you from over-thinking your next car purchase, we’ve boiled the new-or-used issue down to the very basics. If you love the idea of driving off the lot in a car with less than 20 miles on the odometer, then buy new. But if you’re a value shopper, buy used. Below are five reasons why a used car represents a better overall value than a new car.
- Depreciation. You’ve heard it said before: once a new car drives off the lot, it loses about 20% of its value. Say your neighbor buys a $40,000 car. As soon as she pulls into her driveway, that car is probably only worth about $32,000. What happened to that $8,000? It’s been absorbed by your neighbor, and she’ll never get it back. When you buy a used car, you avoid that initial depreciation hit.
- Quality. Today’s used cars are far more reliable than they used to be. According to a Forbes.com article by Jim Gorzelany, a properly maintained modern vehicle will last 250,000 miles or more. If that sounds crazy, take a quick look at local used car listings online. You’ll find many high-mileage cars for sale that are still running well past 150,000 miles. Certified preowned vehicles and used car warranties are also options if you’re very concerned about reliability.
- Hindsight. Carfax has revolutionized used car sales by giving shoppers the benefit of hindsight. Want to avoid buying a used car that’s been wrecked? Check the Carfax. Only interested in a car that’s had just one previous owner? Check the Carfax. At Knudtsen.com, you can view Carfax reports on our used car selection with just one click. This gives you peace of mind about your used car purchase.
- Insurance. Insurance providers determine rates, in part, by the value of the car being insured. Since used cars are worth less than new cars — mainly due to depreciation — you’ll pay less to insure a used car vs. a new one.
- Taxes. Generally, you’ll pay some form of tax or fee on the value of a newly purchased car. Depending on your state of residence, you might owe sales tax, use tax, registration and/or personal property tax. All are usually calculated, at least in part, on the value of the car. For information on Idaho state sales tax for vehicle purchases, see tax.idaho.gov. Information on Washington state vehicle sales and use tax is available at dol.wa.gov.
We can’t help you choose between paper or plastic at the market, but Knudtsen Chevrolet can help you feel comfortable and confident when buying a used car. Knudtsen, a fixture in Post Falls, Couer d’Alene and Spokane since 1939, sells new Chevrolets, GM Certified pre-owned vehicles and used cars of all makes and models. Knudtsen Chevrolet also recently launched the Northwest Consignment Center, where car owners can sell their cars for top dollar to the dealership’s used car shoppers. Residents of Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Spokane rely on Knudtsen Chevrolet’s trained sales and service staff to provide reliable advice on buying, selling and servicing their cars. For more information, visit Knudtsen.com.