Home > Ask Gary, Jaffarian Toyota, Jaffarian Volvo > ASK GARY: Should I Buy a New or Pre-Owned Vehicle?

ASK GARY: Should I Buy a New or Pre-Owned Vehicle?


The answer to this question is: it depends. There are several considerations to think about when deciding whether to buy new or pre-owned. Here are four questions that can help guide you through the decision-making process: 

  • What model year and price point are you interested in?  If you’re interested in a newer model, then a pre-owned vehicle could cost you more in the long run, factoring in maintenance fees and the higher financing costs of pre-owned vehicles.  While new vehicles carry manufacturer warranties, pre-owned vehicles in Massachusetts are only covered for 90 days, and those in New Hampshire are sold “as is” without any warranty.  In contrast, for example, Volvo is currently offering a 5-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty on new vehicles covering all manufacturer-recommended maintenance and wear and tear items (e.g., brakes), with the exclusion of tires. That translates into thousands of dollars of savings for new vehicle owners, not to mention the peace of mind and reliability that new vehicles offer.  On the other hand, if you have a very limited budget and are looking for an older vehicle, then pre-owned would make the most sense.
  • How much driving do you expect to do?  If you’re planning to drive a moderate amount – less than 12,000 miles per year – then leasing might be a good option.  In this situation, leasing often carries lower monthly rates than the monthly fees to finance a late-model (newer) vehicle – providing you with better cash flow.  In addition to cost considerations, if you’re putting in a lot of miles, then you’ll likely want the reliability of a new vehicle. 
  • How long do you expect to own the vehicle? If you plan to drive a new vehicle for 10 years, then it’s more economical to buy a new vehicle.  If you plan to drive it for fewer years, you might consider a pre-owned vehicle – or depending on the model year and price you want to spend – you might want to lease a new vehicle every few years.
  • Do you consider your vehicle more than just a mode of transportation?  Many people have an emotional attachment to their vehicle and see it as a way to express their interests and personality.  They get joy from driving a brand new vehicle with all the features they want.

So whether you opt for new or pre-owned – or you’re considering leasing instead of buying – it’s important to work with a dealer who will discuss all your options and help you find the vehicle that’s right for you.  If you’re buying pre-owned, be sure to review the vehicle history and safety record – something that we always provide you with at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion.

Happy and safe driving!

–          Gary

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