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In these tough economic times, finding ways to cut costs is critical, especially on big ticket items like a car. The fact is that a new car depreciates at an alarming rate. Buying a used car over something brand new means someone else pays for that depreciation. Money is not the only issue, however. Look at some of the reasons used is a more practical strategy when it comes time to buy a car.

Certification Programs

One argument offered by new car enthusiasts focuses on the term “buying someone else’s problem.” Back in the 1970s and 80s, this was a valid argument. Today, dealerships offer pre-owned certified inventory.

Manufacturers are dealing with an unstable economy just like everyone else. They recognize the advantages found in a late model used vehicle. To increase sales of these viable units, companies like Honda offered limited warranties on cars that meet certain standards such as low-mileage and no history of accident.

Avoiding New Car Kinks

Buying a new car is like upgrading an operating system. There are always bugs the first year or so. Vehicle recalls are far too common. By the time a model is two or three years old, most of the little annoying, and potentially unsafe, problems have been identified and fixed.

Getting Proper Feedback

Consumers have the opportunity to go online and get feedback on a car prior to buying. Information is a powerful tool to have, and feedback is the most eye opening. This is a benefit whether buying new or used, but the information will be more comprehensive with an older the car. It takes time for drivers to start chatting up the good and the bad about a particular model.

Buying used allows a person to get detailed feedback on the performance of a vehicle at different stages of ownership too. With a new car, there may be reports, but with a used car, comments cover seasonal performance and other issues that show up later.


History Reports

The Internet provides another advantage to buyers not available years ago – the car history report. It is easy to clean up things like flood damage and accidents, but these disastrous events impact the lifespan and performance of the car.

Obtaining a car history report allows the buyer to get a complete and accurate picture of that car’s life prior to purchase. Consumers know upfront about maintenance schedules and problems that may lessen the value.


Ultimately, it all comes down to money. The depreciation on a new car can buy better features on a used Honda Accord. A sports package might cost several thousand dollars above base price but already comes on used vehicle. The bottom line is someone car shopping on a budget will probably get more when buying pre-owned.

A lower purchase price means less money spent on fees and interest, as well. Someone paying 30,000 dollars over five years might rack up 3,000 dollars in interest. That same buyer could get a similar used car for half that amount and only pay 1,500 interest dollars.

When money is not an issue, maybe a brand new car makes sense, but that is not the reality for most people. The living expenses in LA are high. Saving by getting a used car means more money for other things.

Mike is an expert in the automobile industry and has always gave advice to those who are making a vehicle purchasing decision.