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When Should You Choose a Used Car Instead of New

Shopping for a car in Kansas City can be a time-consuming endeavor. Researching different models, reading reports on performance statistics, and talking with friends about their top picks and experiences take up a lot of time. In the end, you may be left with more questions than answers. One of the biggest questions that people end up with is whether it’s smarter to buy a new car or a used one.

Used cars have many benefits over new ones, and it’s to your advantage to consider a used car if you’re in the market for another car. Of course, any decision you make should take your personal needs and lifestyle into consideration first and foremost; there are times when a new car makes sense. But take a look at some of the benefits of choosing a used car over new and see what you think.

Pay Less

For those who are budget minded, used cars are a no-brainer. Nearly any make and model car will be less expensive when purchased with a few years and a few miles on it (the exception might be antique collectors’ editions). If you have your eye on a specific car, it makes sense to check out local used car dealerships for a used version before running out to buy it brand new. You can save thousands of dollars by purchasing used. Folks who are watching their pennies will find themselves with a solid, reliable car that looks nearly as good and performs just as well as their neighbors’ brand new model. But they’ll sleep better at night knowing they paid much less for it.

Let Someone Else Take the Depreciation

used cars kcNew cars immediately drop in value the second you drive them off the lot. Most experts agree that a new car will lose between 15% and 25% of its value per year simply because of wear and tear on the engine and other parts of the car. At the end of five years, you could end up driving a car that’s only worth about a third of what you paid for it. Of course, these figures vary based on make and model, but it’s smart to consider the depreciation element when you’re shopping for a new car. Used cars have the advantage because the majority of the depreciation has already been absorbed by the original owner. When working with a used car dealer, make sure you factor depreciation into the negotiation. You should be paying a price that’s close to what the car is actually worth now, not what it originally sold for.

Forego the Bells and Whistles

If you’re one who is focused on getting from point A to point B safely and you’re not concerned about having all the latest technology in your vehicle, used cars are a great option. Many of the later-model used cars you find at used car dealerships do tend to have some luxuries which have become nearly standard in modern cars - options like power windows and heated front seats. If you’re okay with not having a sunroof and using your cell phone for navigation, buying used versus new can save you a lot of money.

Make Smaller Monthly Payments

Since used cars typically start out at a much lower price than you’d pay for the same car brand new, chances are good that your monthly payment will also be lower. This makes budgeting easier. Many used car dealers also offer lower down payment options. In addition, depending on where you live you may experience a lower tax rate, lower registration costs, and lower insurance rates on a used car versus a new one. Put all these together, and the savings from buying a used car really start to add up.

Buy Reliability, Safety, and Performance

With the use of the Internet, it’s easy to do research on any car you’re interested in from the comfort of your sofa or easy chair. The beauty of considering used cars instead of new is that it’s so easy to research performance and safety ratings. Websites like Consumer Reports and Kelley Blue Book give consumers all kinds of statistics about used cars - from test drive results to safety ratings to consumer testimonials. Doing the research ahead of your visit to the used car dealership helps you narrow down your focus to only those cars with a good safety and performance record. Once you get to the dealership, you’ll already have a good idea of the cars you want to look at which will save you time in the long run.

When Credit History is an Issue

If bad credit is an issue for you, a buy here pay here used car dealer may be the way to go. These dealers specialize in financing the purchase of used cars for people who are starting over or are just starting out and haven’t established any credit history yet. Buy here pay here used car dealerships typically handle all the loan paperwork in-house, which gives us more flexibility in working with customers to purchase a car they can afford. The credit approval process is quick and easy, and these dealers typically have a great selection of quality used cars to choose from, all of which have undergone a thorough inspection for safety and reliability issues before being put on the lot. A buy here pay here car dealership is an excellent option if credit issues have plagued you in the past.

There are lots of reasons to consider buying a used car over a new one. If you still have questions about whether a used car is the right choice for you, stop in at Auto Bank of Kansas City. We’ve been serving the Kansas City metro area for over 30 years, and with two convenient locations in the Northland - one on East Front Street and one on Truman Road - we’re easy to get to for a large portion of the KC metro area.

If you’re in the market for a new car, make sure you consider used first. And if you live in the Kansas City, KS, or Wyandotte County area; or in Independence, Gladstone, North Kansas City, or Kansas City, MO, Auto Bank of KC is a great place to start your used car search. Our top-notch staff is fully trained to answer all your questions, and we’ll be happy to help you weigh the options and make the car-buying decision that’s best for you.