Why do so many people buy new cars versus slightly used?

Jul, 30 2023

The Allure of 'New'

Picture this: I'm sitting near the window with a hot cup of tea, my dog Biscuit comfortably snuggled on the rug beneath my feet. My son Marlon is at the dining table grappling with math homework while my daughter Zara is completely engrossed in her sketch pad. Suddenly, the tranquility is interrupted by the revving of a new car engine followed by a child-like triumph, "Guess who got a new car?". This is my neighbor, Jim, proudly standing next to his brand new, shiny SUV. Sound familiar? I bet it does. That's because new cars are a status symbol and are often associated with financial stability and success. The 'new car smell' is a tangible representation of achievement for many.

The 'De' Value of Depreciation

Depreciation is the polar bear in the Arctic, the elephant in the room, the bald eagle in the sky; it's there, stark and direct. Cars, unlike property, value or anything involving wine, depreciate. From the moment you drive a new car off the lot, its value decreases substantially, up to 20% or more. Yet, people buy new cars instead of slightly used ones that have already depreciated. Maybe it's the fear of buying someone else's problems. What if that car was an accident magnet? Or, possessed by a spirit? Just kidding. In reality, buying a slightly used car eliminates this initial depreciation hit. It's like buying a slightly scratched but perfectly functional iPhone. Now, that's smart buying.

The Safety Assurance

Safety is a significant aspect of the car-buying process. Think about it, it's not just about you; it could involve your family too (Biscuit included). New cars usually come bundled with the latest safety features like lane departure warning, automatic braking, and airbags on all sides. While you could find slightly used cars with these features, new car models typically outdo them with improved and additional features. So if the stars align and you've some bucks to spare, splurging on a safer new vehicle wouldn't be a bad idea.

The Thrill of Customization

Remember those hot wheels we all had as kids, where we could have any color, design, and feature we wanted? Well, new cars are the adult-version of hot wheels. With a new car, you can choose your vehicle exactly how you want it. Want a metallic blue color, leather seats, a panoramic sunroof, or an advanced infotainment system? Most manufacturers offer these options, and you can avail of them when you're buying new. Taking home a vehicle that screams 'you' is an exciting thrill!

The Reliable Factor

Next comes reliability. To be honest, as much as I love old antiques (don't even get me started on my ancient typewriter collection), I'd much prefer a reliable, trouble-free ride for my daily commute. With new cars, comes enhanced reliability. You can be assured that no one has mishandled or neglected your vehicle. It's like bringing a newborn puppy home as opposed to an adult dog. Both have their charms, but the puppy is a blank canvas, all ready for you to paint it with your care.

The Powerful Perks of Warranty

Manufacturer's warranty is like the superhero backup that's there to save you when your car decides to have a day off. New cars come with extensive warranty coverage lasting several years and offer peace of mind. And what's better than a carefree drive on a beautiful sunny afternoon? With a used car, in most cases, the warranty period will be shorter or may not even exist. Ensuring that your investment won't let you down while you're cruising down the highway, is a powerful persuader for going new.

The Maintenance Magic

New cars generally require less maintenance than used ones. They're untampered, untouched, and unspoiled. Although used cars these days are more reliable than before, new cars often beat them in terms of reduced maintenance efforts. Plus, some manufacturers offer free maintenance for a specific period, another attractive feather in the new car cap. Imagine my surprise when Marlon, my usually messy son, tidied his room. The relief was overwhelming! That's exactly the kind of relief less maintenance effort brings.

The Magical Gloss of Latest Technology

Last but definitely not least, is the irresistible gloss of the latest technology. New cars are often symbols of the most up-to-date tech gadgets. From touch screens to satellite radio, and from voice-activated systems to smart safety systems, new vehicles are high-tech delights on wheels. And who doesn't want a car that not just takes you places but also does it with style! The love for the latest technology is one of the primary reasons why many opt for a new car rather than a used one.

In the vehicular world, like in our lives, both new and used cars have their own charm. The charm of new cars lies in their attractiveness, safety assurance, customization capacity, reliability, warranty, less maintenance, and the ultimate gloss of the latest technology. It's all about understanding what you want, what you need, and what you're willing to pay for it. Either way, with the right research and practical considerations, your decision can be a smart one. Just remember, whether new or slightly used, a car's true value is in the journey it takes you on and the memories it helps you create.