It’s such a cliche, but seriously, who doesn’t love that new car smell? Although it’s hard to define exactly what makes up that unmistakable aroma, slipping into a new car, or one that’s immaculately maintained, conjures up feelings of accomplishment, pride, and a clean start to the day. Most of us enjoy that new smell and take on the world feeling for the briefest of moments before fast food odors, stale coffee spills, gym bags, and for those of you with kids – all manner of sticky and sickly sweet fragrances saturate the once pure space.
But really, that sensory perk aside, new cars are kind of a drag. Starting with the maddening reality of depreciation – the financial free fall your new car embarks upon the very moment you turn the ignition and drive it off the lot for the first time. Yay! Who doesn’t love hemorrhaging money you’ll likely never recoup?
Then, of course, there’s the requisite insurance for this new money sieve. Basic rule of thumb holds that the newer (read: more expensive) the car, the more money you’ll need to fork over to insure it. Fantastic. And while new cars – particularly those of the electric and hybrid varieties – are constantly built to be more and more fuel efficient – the money saved at the pump will never offset the depreciation and insurance premium one-two punch that still smarts way on down the road.
New car payments can also be tricky to manage and slipping up on those bad boys lands you in credit trouble that is often very difficult to remedy. Think of this as three strikes, you’re out. Strike one: new cars depreciate. Strike two: increased insurance payments. Strike three: new cars are more costly, which makes strike one all the more frustrating. Consumers will bad credit, especially those of you determined to boost your credit score, will do well to keep the three strike rule in mind and consider the more cost-effective, viable alternative.
Used cars. The used car marketplace is vastly improved over what is was. In fact, some used vehicles are even sold as certified pre-owned, which means they are accompanied by impressive warranties closer in line to those you would expect when purchasing a new car. So, whether you pursue the pre-owned or certified pre-owned route, you can do so knowing that these cars have replaced the clunkers and lemons that used to lurk on used car lots.
Buying a used car means you’ll automatically shell out considerably less money, and in some cases, this is even true of the most recent model years. What that amounts to is driving a car that is on par with the latest model, regarding safety, tech, and convenience features, but at a fraction of the price. What’s more, used cars have already depreciated, so you won’t risk finding yourself upside down should you ultimately decide to sell your vehicle. Insuring a used car is also more cost-effective compared to protecting a vehicle purchase brand new.
This information is crucial for consumers who struggle with bad credit and are working to right the ship. It’s imperative that you visit a reliable used car dealership, rather than risk a private seller, as you’ll want to take full advantage of any available dealer and/or manufacturer-backed warranties.
And let’s not forget, you can always hang that “new car smell” fragrance tree from your pre-owned rearview mirror. With a smart used vehicle purchase, it is entirely possible to have it all.