If you’re looking for another ride, you might be wondering, “Is it better to buy a new or used car?” The right choice for you depends on what you’re looking for in terms of affordability, reliability, coverage, and efficiency. Many Kansas City drivers prefer new cars, but many also realize that used cars have the potential to be great buys. Learn more about the difference between new and used cars below, and what you should consider before you buy a pre-owned car.
What’s the Difference Between New & Used Cars?
New Car Benefits
- Latest Infotainment: If you’re a tech enthusiast, you might be happier in a new car, because you’ll get the latest features from the brand. Technology features are obviously available in used cars, but depending on the model year, you might get an older version of an infotainment feature.
- Greater Fuel-Efficiency: In general, new cars are more efficient than used cars, because of new developments in engine technology. It’s definitely possible to find a fuel-efficient used car, but it might not match the mpg ratings of a brand-new model of the same type.
- Full Warranty Coverage: New vehicles are safeguarded under warranty. When you buy a new car, you’ll get warranty coverage that’ll make repairs and maintenance more affordable. Used cars can also be purchased with a warranty, such as certified pre-owned vehicles.
What to Consider About New Cars
- More Expensive: New cars are more expensive than used cars — most drivers are well aware of this fact. When the warranty on a new car runs out, you may find that your service bills are more expensive than you anticipated.
Used Car Benefits
- More Cost-Effective: If you’re trying to save on your next vehicle purchase, buying a used car might be a smart option for you. You’ll pay less than you would if you bought a brand-new car.
- Slower Depreciation: After it’s driven off the lot, a new car begins to lose its value immediately. Compared to new cars, used cars don’t depreciate in value as drastically, because they’ve already lost a good portion of their value.
- Less Chance for Negative Equity: Negative equity is when you owe more on your car than what it’s worth. This is less likely to happen with a used car, because used-car loans are generally smaller than new-car loans.
What to Consider About Used Cars
- Higher-Priced Financing: Although used cars are cheaper to finance, they do often come with higher interest rates. If you plan to make greater payments to account for higher interest rates, you can pay off your loan early.
What is Good Mileage for Used Cars?
Low-mileage used cars are generally thought of as being late-model cars with fewer than 50,000 miles on their odometers. That said, you can still find a good pre-owned car with 50,000 miles or more. When you’re shopping in Merriam for a used car, keep the following points in mind:
- Age vs. Mileage: Drivers drive about 12,000 miles per year on average. A car that’s one-year-old with over 40,000 miles has been driven more vigorously than a car that’s four years old with 30,000 miles.
- Year of Manufacture: A lot of used-car shoppers try to find pre-owned cars from the last ten years or so. Regardless of its manufacture date, with proper maintenance, a car can travel well over 200,000 miles in its lifetime.
- Maintenance: With routine maintenance, a used car can go the distance. Avoid used cars that don’t have a documented service history, because you could run into mechanical issues that’ll affect the mileage of the car.
Other Tips and Tricks for Buying Used
- Model Generation: Use sites like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds.com to compare the different generations of the make and model you’re interested in.
- Vehicle History Report: Before you buy a used car, check the vehicle history report, which reputable dealerships provide with their used cars. On the report, you can check any service records, accident history, police records, and DMV records.
- Location: Climate has a significant impact on vehicles. Milder climates are gentler on vehicles than warmer and colder climates. You can see where the car was primarily driven on the vehicle history report.
- Foreign Luxury Car Brands: Foreign luxury cars can be exciting to drive, but servicing them can be an issue. It can be difficult (and expensive) to get repairs and OEM parts for a foreign luxury car. If you want a stylish, late-model used car, consider a certified pre-owned model available at Hendrick Chevrolet Shawnee Mission.
What to Look for When Buying a Used Car
If you’re shopping for a used car, you might not know where to begin. As a Hendrick dealer, we pride ourselves on offering a wide selection of great used car options. That said, we know it can be overwhelming choosing the right used car for you. To simplify your shopping experience, take the following steps:
- Make a Budget: First, set a car-buying budget. Determine how much you can afford to put down as a down payment, then figure out how much you can pay every month on your auto loan.
- Choose the Car for You: Make a list of the features you need from your next car, and decide which body style makes the most sense for your Shawnee Mission drive. Search for options that fit your budget and preferences.
- Test Drive & Inspect a Model: If you have your eye on a specific car, take it for a test drive. If it runs well, have a mechanic you trust inspect it.
- Finance Your Car: If the car is in good condition and it offers everything need/want, begin the financing process. For extra buying power, trade in your current car and put its value toward the cost of your next vehicle.
What to Ask When Buying a Used Car
If you’re shopping for a used car, asking questions is a great way to learn more about the car’s dependability and history. Here are a few example questions you can ask to learn more about the car you’re considering:
- Is the car as is, or is it under warranty?
- Does this vehicle affect your insurance premiums?
- Is there a history of maintenance?
- Is the vehicle history report available?
- Do the amenities and features work like they’re supposed to?
- What is the ownership history?
- What is the vehicle’s mileage?
- Are there any current recalls on the vehicle?
- How was the vehicle priced?
- Can I take the car to a mechanic for an inspection?
- Do you have the title in hand?
Steps After Buying a Used Car
To make sure you get the most out of your ownership experience, take these additional steps after buying a used car, which include:
- Get Car Insurance: It’s illegal to drive without insurance, so if you don’t have coverage, you can’t drive off the lot. You can call your insurance company to adjust your policy if you know which car you’re buying, or you can call at the dealership.
- Complete Registration & Title Transfer: Dealerships handle the registration paperwork and title transfer, so you can choose your car, secure financing, sign the papers, and head out the door.
- Find a Reliable Mechanic: Having a reliable mechanic in your corner can make all the difference. The service center at Hendrick Chevrolet Shawnee Mission is a cutting-edge facility, where you can get routine service and parts at competitive rates.
- Book Service: Even if the used car you’re purchasing has an impressive service record, you’ll still want to schedule service to the car looked at. It may need a few quick services, such as an oil and oil filter change.
- Read the Owner’s Manual: To learn more about your car’s features, read your owner’s manual. You also contact our technicians with specific questions about Chevrolet models.
- Check for Recalls: Recalls can affect anyone, whether they drive a brand-new or used car. If a recall is opened on your Chevy vehicle, for example, you can bring it to our dealership for repairs.
- Consider an Extended Warranty: Are you planning to hold onto your vehicle for several more years? If so, an extended warranty could make sense for your car service budget. An extended warranty will make certain repairs more affordable while you own the car.
Test Drive a Used Car for Sale at Hendrick Chevrolet Shawnee Mission Today!
Hendrick Chevrolet Shawnee Mission is your go-to dealership for used cars that have been vetted for quality. Test drive your favorite used car at our Merriam dealership today! Contact us online or call us at (913) 305-3320 to schedule a test drive in Merriam, KS. If you’re looking to further reduce the price on your new-to-you-car, take advantage of our pre-owned vehicle specials.