Purchasing your first car, whether new or old, can be an exciting and stressful time.
My first car was a 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer with over 100,000 miles.
It was black, had a spoiler on the back, and was a bit retro to me. I liked it.
The car only cost me $3,000 to own. But the maintenance that came afterward shocked me.
Most people don’t tell you that getting a used car means more maintenance. However, this is something to consider if you’re considering the best option financially and safety-wise.
Pros of Used Vehicles
- It’s typically a lot cheaper than buying a brand new car. You can pay it in cash without taxes and extra BS involved in a purchase.
- Any damages that may happen to your used vehicle won’t break the bank. Of course, you’ll have to buy a new one, but at least you didn’t drop a lot of money on it.
- Depending on your car taste, you may like the more retro/vintage style cars from years prior.
Cons of Used Vehicles
- Your car won’t be the newest, most incredible, or most desired car out on the roads, but it gets you from point A to B.
- Maintenance costs can rack up simply because it’s old and beat down. Don’t be surprised when you have to drop a couple hundred bucks on repairs throughout its lifespan.
- There will always be things you wish were better — it had better air conditioning, better speakers, or wasn’t so bumpy on the roads.
Pros of Owning a New Vehicle
- You get a fresh start. Nobody else has put wear and tear on your vehicle, just you. So everything from this point on is your responsibility. Take care of it, and it’ll last you quite some time.
- Everything is new! Your vehicle has all the bells and whistles that an up-to-date vehicle could possibly have. You may feel like it’s a low-key flex too,
- Maintenance repairs are less frequent (assuming you’re safe). If you take good care of your car, you’ll save a lot of money despite paying a high price tag for the vehicle itself.
Cons of Owning a New Vehicle
- Car payments are now a thing for you, interest, and higher auto insurance. You pay these premiums to own a safe, new, reliable vehicle.
That’s it. Just car payments. Other than that, it’s pretty sweet to own a new vehicle.
The Big Takeaway
Start with your financial situation. Do you have a fair amount of money saved up? ($5,000 at least) where you can put a significant downpayment in the beginning?
Great. Head to a dealership, sign for one on your own or cosign with someone who trusts you, but don’t make them regret it.
Are you happy with a used vehicle? Then, go for it — Especially if you enjoy working on cars.
Safety is the main priority. If you can get from point A to point B safely, that’s what matters most.