Why you’re not stupid if you purchase a new car
The finance bloggers’ version of keeping up with the Jones’ is, how old is your Toyota? It seems like if you want a seat at the money blogger “cool table,” you gotta be rocking a 20-year-old Toyota Corolla. Well, at the risk of getting banned from the club, I think it’s okay to buy new vehicles, and here’s why.
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What price would you put on your life? How about your family’s life? Well, this is an important question when selecting a new car. It may seem grim, but cars have drastically changed for the better over the last few decades. Safety should be your number one consideration when searching for a new car.
You often see finance bloggers preach about how they’ve had their clunker for two decades and they’re not about to give it up now. They spout frugality at every corner and make you feel guilty for even entertaining the idea that purchasing a new car may be a smart financial choice.
Well, they are all wrong. It may be nice to save money, however driving a 20-year-old car may not be as safe as investing in a new car. This may end up costing you not only your car but your life. So, here are some reasons you may want to trash your 20-year-old clunker and consider going with a new option to protect you and your family.
Enhanced Safety Technology
Technology has changed the course of the car industry. With technical enhancements, cars now monitor blind spots, have backup cameras, lane departure warnings, cruise control, and more.
You may not find these enhancements in used cars. The industry is always moving forward and increasing the safety features in each vehicle.
New Cars are Built to Last
If you are planning on trading your car in every few years, it may be okay to go with a used car option. However, the problem with purchasing a used car if you plan to keep it for a while is that you can never be too sure about the condition the previous owners kept it in. You don’t know if they were doing monthly maintenance, trying to unload a lemon or what was really going on. This could turn into a huge problem and safety hazard for you and your family.
If you plan to keep your car for over five years or 100,000 miles, you should probably purchase a new car. This will also ensure that you are the only owner.
“You can have a nice car, you just don’t buy the biggest car or all the options. You have to budget and plan.” – Rose, from Rentals with Rose
Increased Fuel Efficiency
An additional bonus to going with a new car is the increase in fuel efficiency. Many of the federal averages has increased from 27.5 MPG in 2010 to 39 MPG in 2016. In the past, smaller cars were only fuel efficient. Now car companies are broadening their horizons and improving the fuel efficiency of minivans, trucks, and other luxury cars.
It’s Not Always Economical to Buy Used.
Certain vehicles hold their value better than others, and buying used may not save much money as you would think. Especially if you can pick up an end of year clearance vehicle. A thrifty car shopper may be able to purchase a leftover model year vehicle for the price of a used one. This is particularly prevalent in trucks. Pickups tend to not depreciated as rapidly as cars, and they tend to get worked harder. Towing, and hauling around heavy items is hard on vehicles, brakes, transmission, ball joints, etc.
Recently, when we searched for a new truck, 3 to 4-year-old trucks were selling in the high 20’s and low 30’s, and the truck beds were pretty rough and the vehicles had 40k plus miles on them. We ended up going with a 2017 left-over Ford F-150. It ended up costing about 8k more than going used. However, we got the exact options we wanted, a more fuel efficient engine (30 percent more to be exact), and the convivence of knowing we do not have to deal with someone else’s problems. The truck we replaced had over 200K miles on it, so the increase in fuel efficiency alone, plus the decrease in fuel consumption, will pay for the increased initial cost.
Tax Credits and Incentives
Tax credits and incentives are constantly changing. Before purchasing your new car, do your research and compare different competitors to see if any government incentives are offered on the car you are in search of. If you own a business, oftentimes new vehicles qualify for enhanced depreciation that needs to be factored into the decision.
Before you shake your head at me, not everyone has the cash to buy the vehicle outright. Plus, new cars are often offered to be financed at a 0% rate. You can invest that money that you were going to put down on the car, and pay off your car without any cost or penalties for making payments. Why not have your money working for you? You aren’t stupid for financing at a rate less than what your investments could offer.
The last point I wanted to make ties into the safety features of new and newer cars. That twenty-year-old Corolla might be good on gas, paid off, etc., but you are paying for the car that doesn’t have today’s safety features, and that means you are overpaying on your insurance.
Recently, a friend purchased a new car (she chose one that was the right size for her family, as they already had a bigger vehicle). Her insurance decreased by almost $50/month simply because the car was safer. Dollar for dollar, the new car was worth three times the other vehicle’s worth, and yet, the insurance decreased significantly.
The Bottom Line
Don’t listen to the frugal bloggers. You’re not stupid for purchasing a new car. Do your research and find the perfect car to match your lifestyle and needs. Just don’t spend beyond your budget. With new technical enhancements, you can keep your family safe. After all, isn’t that the most important factor when considering a new purchase?
Life is about balance, it’s ok to have nice things if you’re willing to do the work to pay for them. – Michael
If you have decided to sell your current ride to purchase a new whip, check out or tips on how to sell your car privately.
If you need some help budgeting for a new car check out:
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