There are more than 25 million registered road vehicles in Canada today, highlighting the central importance they play in our daily lives. Canada ranks 16th in the world for motor vehicles per 1,000 people, with 730. Cars not only allow us to get from Point A to Point B, such as for daily office commutes, but also afford real independence and freedom.
If you are planning to purchase a car, then you may be wondering whether to buy a new car or a used car. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at buying a new vs used car so that you can make an informed decision. We’ll look at the pros and cons of both buying a new car and a used car—let’s get started!
New Vs. Used Car – Pros & Cons
Buying a New Car
There were 1.6 million new motor vehicles registered in Canada in 2021. This represents a 6.5% increase from the previous year. Let’s take a look at both the pros and cons associated with opting to buy a new car.
In every part of society, technology has made our lives easier. This is certainly true within the automotive industry, which has seen great advancements in terms of technology in recent years. The reality is that today’s modern cars utilize technology far more than cars in previous decades did.
Navigation interfaces and multimedia systems are now commonplace in new cars, which help to make car journeys more comfortable and straightforward. Available technology in new cars includes lane keep assist, smartphone integration, automatic emergency braking, voice recognition, Wi-Fi, adaptive cruise control, parking cameras, heated seats, and much more. This technology also contributes to making new cars far safer than older models.
New cars are also highly reliable and, even in the case that something does go wrong, have excellent warranty protection. There won’t be any concerns about how the vehicle was treated before you purchased it either, given that you will be its very first owner. Many new cars today also come with free roadside assistance, saving drivers on the cost of paying for coverage on their own.
While new cars are more expensive to buy, car dealers offer a range of financing programs with either low or no interest. This makes buying a new car a good idea when seen over the long term.
Modern cars are also becoming more and more fuel efficient, meaning that stops at gas stations are more infrequent. Within today’s new cars, there are many options of clean diesel engines as well as EV and hybrid cars. If you are concerned about your carbon footprint, it’s worth noting that today’s new cars generally create far fewer emissions than older, used cars.
Finally, new cars can be made to order, so that you can spec a car just the way you want it.
Naturally, new cars are more expensive to buy than used cars. Vehicle prices in Canada have hit an all-time high, costing in excess of $40,000. It goes without saying, therefore, that purchasing a new car is hard on the wallet, with many people simply priced out of a new car without applying for finance.
Another con of new cars is that they depreciate quickly. The reality is that once you drive a new car out of a car dealership, it has lost a sizeable portion of its overall value. So, even in the first few seconds of owning a new car, a large chunk of its value has been lost and this continues over the first few years of ownership.
This is because, as soon as the car has been driven out of a dealership, it is only worth its lower, wholesale price (which is the amount that a deal would pay if you tried to sell it back to them). This is certainly something to keep in mind.
New cars are also costly to insure, more so than used cars. There are a number of reasons for this, including the higher value, risk of theft, cost to repair, and other factors.
When buying a brand new car, you will also have less choice. With only a limited number of models each year, you may not be able to find an option that fits both your needs and your aesthetic preferences.
Buying a Used Car
The other option is to purchase a used car. In 2021, used car sales increased by 5% compared to 2020, highlighting the steady appeal of cars that have had previous owners, particularly in response to the pandemic. Let’s now look at the pros and cons of buying a used car.
For starters, buying a used car is going to be considerably cheaper than buying a new car. There are many different price points and options to match every budget.
There will also be less depreciation to worry about, given that much of that has already happened (and been paid for by the first owner). Mental depreciation is also less of a worry when it comes to used cars. You are far less likely to stress about a parking-lot ding in a used car than you would be in a brand new car.
As we have noted above, it is generally less expensive to insure a used car. This is because the repair cost is less, the overall value is lower, and they use older technology.
Many used cars today also come with some type of warranty. A certified pre-owned car from a dealer is likely to come with a warranty that extends the manufacturer’s warranty. Note that a certified pre-owned car is usually more expensive than a regular used car, though it has been inspected to a high standard.
When browsing for a used car, you are going to have far more options to choose from, given that you are not restricted to cars from this year only. You won’t be able to build a used car to order, of course, but you can choose a model that perfectly matches your needs and aesthetic preferences.
There is always some uncertainty about purchasing a used car, simply because it is not known how the car was treated by its previous owner (or why the decision was made to sell it). This is true even if the car is still under warranty.
In general, a used car is likely to have high mileage, which means that its lifespan won’t be as long as a new car. Buying a used car means you may have to replace it sooner rather than later. There may also be more frequent repair costs associated with a used car compared to a new car.
Used cars also come with older technology and many of the impressive features in new cars may be absent. If you simply can’t live without some of the snazzy new features in today’s modern cars, you may struggle with the basicness of an older, used car. You may be stuck with an outdated CD player rather than a Bluetooth connection (or, worse still, a cassette player!)
We have highlighted above that modern cars have a host of excellent safety features. These may be absent in an older car, which could mean that it is less safe to drive.
A big selling point of new cars is that they are more fuel efficient. New models can achieve upwards of 40 miles per gallon, something which isn’t feasible with an older, used car.
If you are planning to purchase a used car, it’s recommended that you first have it looked over by a mechanic who can give you an honest assessment of its condition. This step can help you to avoid making a mistake that proves costly in the long run. And remember, whether you are buying a new car or a used car, always be sure to take it out for a test drive before making the decision to purchase it.
New Vs. Used Car: Which Is Right For You?
With the above information, you should be able to make an informed decision when it comes to buying your next car. The bottom line is that both new and cars have their share of pros and cons. When it comes to new vs used cars, it’s important to weigh up what you need the car for and what your available budget is.
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