The Value of a Used Car

New car smell is one of a kind, but a used car can be a great deal, and a worthwhile relationship if you know what to look for.

The Value of a Used Car

It’s the end of the year (or the beginning of a new one depending on how you look at it) so it’s time to reward yourself with a new (used) car. While new cars are great, offering fresh and shiny paint jobs, and slick warranties, they’re often much more expensive and can come with a host of other stipulations and unforeseen things down the road. Whether it’s for fun, for commuting, a project, or just getting from A to B, a used car offers many perks of a new one but with less money overall and perhaps a story to tell. Here are some reasons why we think a used car deserves a spot in your driveway.

New Cars Depreciate Fast

Some new cars will depreciate as much as 30-percent the moment you drive off the lot. Thirty percent! Even most cars will be about 10-percent as soon as you touch tarmac. While new cars drop in value like a stone, a used car offers the peace of mind that you get for what you pay for and aren’t affected by depreciation on such a high level. Hell, some cars even appreciate! Though, don’t count on it unless you’re buying used 911s.

Your Choices Are Much More Vast

Compared to what’s available new, you literally have endless options. Want a neon pink Dodge Viper? Chances are it’s out there. Have a knackering for an Audi S4 with a 6-speed manual and surf racks? Yup, definitely out there. Used cars give so much range of choices to potential buyers that you could be in for an almost endless search if you haven’t narrowed down the category of car you’re looking for. Not only are countless years available to you, but special models, one-offs, and every sort of optioned-out variant can be had. If you like variety, a used vehicle offers it in spades.

Budget Friendly

If you’re paying cash, you won’t have to worry about interest, sales tax (if you go through the private sale route), dealer fees or finance costs so you can focus more time on just enjoying the car. And even if you do have to get a loan, the time and money spent paying it off should be significantly less since you could get through the loan quicker because of less capital owed.

Most Recalls Are Ironed Out

Recalls do happen, and if you’re buying a used car, you can do the research and suss out what they were and how much it affected overall vehicle values, performance and safety. With more time on the road, recalls are going to be fixed, so by the time you get into a used car, you’re good to go with a perfectly safe and knowingly reliable vehicle. New cars won’t have the sample size or time in market to have problems recalled, so you could potentially be investing in more of a headache.

They Have Character

Depending on what year or type of car you’re searching for; the potential vehicle could have an interesting story baked into its life offering charm and charisma. Some newer cars are also very stale and numb thanks to driving aids and electronic interaction. Most new cars come with electronic steering, differentials, throttles, and more—giving the car a bit better gas mileage—but sacrificing feel. Not to say new cars are any less fun, but there’s a mechanical connection with older cars that gives you the sense of really knowing what the car is doing. It’s like choosing between a Stradivarius and a violin iPad app: which one gives you goosebumps?

Buying Tips
Michael CrenshawMichael Crenshaw

Currently the full-time Editorial Director and Content Manager for RxSpeed.com, & contributing writer for Scout.com. He also loves photography, videography, his Shiba Inu Mia and driving sports cars.