Q. What are the advantages to buying a new or used car?

A. According to the National Institute for Consumer Education, the average price of a new car is about $18,000. Some carbuyers can afford to pay this, but many must find less expensive alternatives, so they look for a used vehicle.

In addition to the lower base price, there are many advantages to buying a used car, including:
Insurance generally costs less for an older car than for a brand-new one.
Used cars depreciate less after purchase than new cars do.
It may be easier to negotiate with an individual owner than with a car dealer.

There are, however, important disadvantages that you must consider as well:
A used car will generally require more maintenance and repairs than a new car.
A used car often comes with no warranty, whether you buy it from an individual or a dealer.
The previous owner may not tell you everything there is to know about a car.

If you are willing to spend the money for a new car, you will be able to get the color you want, the options you want, and a decent warranty. However, if you take a few basic precautions, you can find a used car that is affordable and right for you.

Published: Aug 22, 2005