3777 S Redwood Road West Valley City, UT 84119 801-904-2809
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Compare Costs Buy New Car vs. Used

Buying used can save you thousands upfront and over cycles of ownership, but buying new has other advantages.

While buying new cars is enticing, you should take a cold, hard look at how much you could save over time by buying used cars instead.

The average person owns 13 cars in a lifetime, each costing an average of $30,000, according to a report by the National Automobile Dealers Association. If each of those cars was 3 years old, instead of new, you could save nearly $130,000 during your lifetime.

The real money-saver in buying a used car is wrapped up in a sinister-sounding financial word: depreciation.

Car buying’s dirty little secret

Once you fully understand how car depreciation sucks money out of your wallet, you’ll learn how to save boatloads of cash over your lifetime. You often hear that a car loses 20% of its value as soon as you buy it. Yes, in just one minute, a $30,000 car will lose $6,000 as you gleefully drive off. By the end of the first year, mileage and wear and tear could bring that to 30%, or $9,000. Why don’t you feel this big hit? Because it takes effect much later, when you sell or trade in your car.

Take a look at two similar cars, one new and one used.

New-car depreciation: You buy the car for $30,000 and sell it three years later for $15,000. The car has cost you $15,000 in depreciation.

used-car depreciation: Now let’s say you buy the same car, but it's 3 years old when you buy it. You could buy the car for $15,000. Three years later you could sell it for $10,000. So the used car depreciation cost you only $5,000.

Now, if you’re paying attention, you would quickly say, “But driving a brand new car is much better!” You’re absolutely right. So, if driving a new car is worth an extra $10,000 to you, go for it. But don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Forget the old used-car stigmas

It used to be common for people to put down used cars by saying that it was just a way to buy someone else’s problems. That’s not true anymore. Here are two updates on old knocks against used cars of recent vintage.

Reliability: Cars have never been more dependable than they are today. It’s not uncommon for some cars to deliver more than 100,000 miles before needing major repairs.

Maintenance: All cars require regular maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotation, brake jobs. But you can drive today’s cars much farther in between these scheduled maintenance visits. Even tires and brake pads last much longer than before.

More used-car advantages

So it’s pretty clear that buying a used car is much cheaper and that cars in general are more dependable. But take a look at these other advantages:

Lower car insurance rates: When a vehicle is worth less, it costs less to insure it when you're buying collision and comprehensive coverage. You can also drop collision and comprehensive coverage, which pay for repairs to your car, and save even more.

Registry renewals are cheaper: The cost of registering a used car goes down every year.

Move up to a luxury car: Because you can save 30% or more, you can shop in a higher class of cars.

Less stress: Got a ding in the door? Who cares? But when it’s the first dent in your new car, it’s a huge bummer.

New-car advantages

While nearly everything about used cars costs less, buying a new car has its advantages.

New-car shopping is easier: All new cars are assumed to be perfect, so evaluating the condition isn’t a factor. No need to take it to a mechanic. Also, it’s easier to figure out what you should pay for a new car, even if the negotiation process is still a pain.

More used-car options: Automakers offer plenty of incentives to lure buyers, such as cash rebates. New car loans have better interest rates. This means you'll likely pay thousands of dollars less than the frightening sticker price once you negotiate a final price and apply the incentives.

Advanced technology: New features for comfort, performance and safety are introduced in new cars every year. You’ll need to wait several years to get them in used cars.

Peace of mind: A new car will likely be more reliable than a used one, even though pre-owned cars are much more dependable than in the past. If a new car breaks down, you can have it fixed for free under the included factory warranty, at least for the first 36,000 miles or three years that most carmakers offer.

Prestige: Let’s put it this way: You don’t hear many people bragging about the used car they just bought.

An exception to the rule

Not all cars depreciate at the same rate. Some brands are known for holding their value exceptionally well. When you add in possible new-car incentives and low-interest used-car, there are times when buying a new car doesn’t cost much more than buying a 1- or 2-year-old car.

You can find how much cars depreciate on several automotive websites, such as Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own or Consumer Reports’ Cost of Vehicle Ownership.

What it means for you

Depreciation is a silent killer to your automotive budget. But by buying cars that hold their value, you can minimize the effects. If you’re still on the fence, use a car loan calculator to see how much less your monthly payment would be if you bought used instead of new.

Article Originally published on Nerdwallet.comBy Philip Reed

How to Find the Best Used Car for You

When looking for a second-hand vehicle, it’s important to get the right one. After all, it should be durable enough to make the purchase worth it. Keep reading to learn how you can find the right vehicle for you! You deserve to drive a car that will help you live your life to the fullest. One that will take you where you need to go—to your place of employment, to your child’s soccer games, and to adventurous destinations. Not every used car on the street with a “For Sale” sign or in our local ads will lead to a satisfactory experience. Here, we’ll discuss how you can find the best used car for you and your family.

First, Consider Your Needs

The first thing you need to do is consider your personal “why”. Why do you need a second-hand vehicle? There are a variety of reasons as to why you might need one. To help you find your reason, ask yourself these four questions:

1. Do You Have Bad Credit?

Your credit score could be bad for several reasons. You may be new to the credit accruing world or you might have landed on hard times. Either way, getting a used car could be very helpful for you. Some used car dealerships, like West Auto Sales, offer special financing options for those who are credit challenged. These dealerships often have vehicles you could pay for outright with cash or by setting up a payment plan. If you pick a vehicle where you’ll need to do a payment plan, this could be an opportunity for you to build your credit as well.

2. Is This Your First Vehicle?

If this is your first vehicle, you may come across issues with getting financing for a brand new car. Many dealerships will require that you have a good credit history as well as proof that you have been able to pay for a vehicle over time. If this isn’t the case for you, then a used car is certainly the best route. If you’re a new driver or aren’t confident in your driving abilities, then you’ll want to get an older vehicle.

3. Will You Be Using This Vehicle for Work?

One of the biggest things you’ll need to consider when picking out a vehicle is your job. Certain jobs may come with the pressure to maintain certain appearances. If this is your situation, a used car that is only one to three years old may be best for you. Now, not all jobs will come with this pressure. Another thing to consider with your job is the commute. Is your job just down the street or do you need to drive a long ways away? If you’re constantly having to drive for work, then you’ll want to get a vehicle that hasn’t used too many miles. After all, you want it to last you a while.

4. Are You Trying to Save Money?

One of the big reasons for buying a used car is to save money. Everyone’s financial situation is different, and so you’ll need to really look at your personal finances to determine what you can afford exactly. Think ahead before you go to the used car lot and ask yourself, “What is the maximum amount that I can afford to pay?” Being honest with yourself about your budget will help you find a vehicle that matches your budget. After asking yourself these four questions, you’ll be better prepared to find the best car for you.

Next, Research Used Car Lots

Now, we can’t really speak for all of the other car lots, but we can give you a hint about what we see from some of our happiest buyers—or, in other words, those who leave absolutely certain that they’ve made the best purchase. Here are some of the things they do before ever stepping foot on our car lot.

Finally, Visit Used Car Lots

While experience can vary from car lot to car lot, we can only tell you what to expect from West Auto Sales in West Valley City. Here, we love showing off our inventory to those who come our way. Our team will sit down and talk with you about the type of vehicle you’re looking for. Then, we’ll show you the best vehicles that fit your needs. You’ll be able to fully inspect the vehicles, ask any questions that you may have, and test drive them. Take your time if you need it. We understand this is a big decision for you, and so we’ll be patient. Our goal is to help you drive away with a vehicle that truly makes you happy.

Ready to Talk Cars?

Once you feel ready, come visit us and check our inventory in person. We’re open from 9am to 7pm Monday through Friday and from 9am to 6pm on Saturday. You can stop by or reach out to us ahead of your visit by calling (801) 904-2809 or texting 801-210-7095. We look forward to serving you!
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