5 Reasons Why to Buy a Used Car

Fantastic. You went to the local body shop for an oil change, and you come out with an estimate for future car repair that could pay for oil changes for the rest of your car's life. Recently, I had a similar experience, and now I'm faced with a decision. What car do I want next? Before I can consider the model and the color, I have to be a practical adult and consider what I can afford.

Most loaning agencies want you to think that you can have any car of your dreams, but you know better. You know that buying a pre-owned car can be smarter.

  1. You want to build your own equity fast.

You usually hear this kind of advice when buying a house. You know, always go for a fixer upper so the value of the house will be in your pocket, not someone else's. A similar principle applies when buy a used car. Someone else has already had to pay for the natural depreciation of the car when it was BRAND NEW! You don't have to pay those costs! You're saving money by letting someone else have the privilege of a one-week new car smell, and once you pay your car loan off (or maybe you were smart and paid in cash!), you have equity!

  1. You understand that a little can go a long way.

Many people consider cars to be a big purchase. With the price tags of cars we see advertised online, obviously this is a natural reaction. Often times, your necessary ride doesn't need to be the price tag of a new car. If your daily commute is 10 minutes away, the likelihood of needing just the car basics is high. Though we want to look nice and presentable which reflects in our car choice, we don't have to drive the Prada of cars, and sometimes if we're lucky, we can find Saks Fifth Avenue at Walmart prices.

  1. You know driving a new car off the lot immediately depreciates the car.

According to edmunds.com, the average new car depreciates by 11%. During the first 5 years, your car can depreciate 15-25% each year for the first 5 years. By the end of year 5, your car is worth 37% what you paid for it initially!!! (As a grammar nerd, when I use three exclamation points, you'd better listen because I broke a rule!) This concept alone should convince those of us without high-paying jobs that buying used is the best use of our hard-earned cash.

  1. You need the car for a specific reason.

The classic example for this reason is a truck. You go garage-selling, your husband wants to haul big, manly stuff, and your kids want to go on hayrides. We. need. a. truck. It's anyone's natural tendency to want the best out there for themselves. It's easy to rationalize the need for a new truck, especially since everyone in the family seems to the need it. When buying a new vehicle consider your needs. In this scenario, would you really need a brand new truck (that you're probably scared to scratch and dent) to carry big furniture, haul leaves, and snotty kids? :) Most likely the more appropriate vehicle would be a used, around-town truck that you wouldn't mind getting roughed up a bit.

  1. You'll know more about the car.

Someone has already had the car and the problems. Buying a car with history means that you can know it's bumps and bruises before taking that high-price jump. I can remember my parents never buying a certain van type because it was known for transmission issues. They saved themselves a lot of heartache by knowing seeing what model trends were. Also, buying from someone you know and trust can bring advantages as well. One-owner cars are gems. The owner knows everything about the car and can pass that information down to you. When this information comes from someone you trust, then your deal just got sweeter.

About the Author:
Ashley is the owner and author of the blog Embracing Homemaking (//embracinghomemaking.net), where she writes about family, marriage, creativity, frugality, and more! Follow her on Facebook!


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