Benefits of Buying a Used Car vs New Vehicle

someone lifting windshield wipers to put a "sale" sign to show buying a used car on sale

Buying a Used Car Vs Buying A New One

What are the key differences between buying a used car vs a new one? Well, for starters, it can be a smarter, more budget-friendly choice!

Not to mention that it will provide you with the foundation to keep your credit score tip-top.

There’s no point in getting your credit top-notch if the slightest breeze will send it all back down to the sub 400’s.

Without a good foundation, you could have the prettiest house with the hottest new finishes and furnishings, but at the end of the day, it’ll crumble and all of it will go to waste. Repairing your credit begins with establishing a proper financial foundation for yourself.

Buying a Used Car Vs New Car
– Table of Contents –

Why Buying a Used Car is Better than New

a woman holding her hands out to her sides to show the reasons why buying a used car is better

Let me start off by saying that the battle between purchasing new over used comes down to a simple argument; money.

A Car is Simply Transportation

All of the points about reliability, the newest features, the hottest new car, don’t matter when you think about what a vehicle does for you.

Yes, those new features would be nice to have and may make you feel like your life is easier at the moment, but in two years when they come out with the newest features, you’ll start feeling like you need those too. At the core, those features only give the illusion of making your ride better, but they only distract from what you really need out of the machine.

A vehicle is there to get you from point A to point B. That simple.

People often get caught up with the idea that they need to have the newest and best, but in all reality, an SUV/Truck/Sedan is there to transport you to where you need to go.

Our Experience With Buying a Used Car Vs New

We’ve been around since 2007 and have sold countless different brands, makes, models, and styles. We’ve driven the flashiest that pull you back against your headrest when you floor it, and also driven the head turners that sink you in your seat from embarrassment when you pass by and the belts squeal like a pig at a slaughterhouse.

I can tell you, both got me to the same locations. The rest was all in my head.

The moment I became aware of that was the moment when I was finally able to strengthen my financial foundation. That matters, because the next few points will show you just how much you save by purchasing used.

Let Someone Else Take the Hit by Buying a Used Car

I’m sure you’ve heard that a new vehicle loses value the moment you drive it off the lot. How much? Well, that depends on the type of vehicle it is, but according to Carfax, a typical SUV/Truck/Sedan loses more than 10% in the first month after purchase.

Doesn’t that sound terrible? Let’s put it into perspective.

Depreciation is so Much Better When Buying a Used Car

On a $20,000 vehicle, that’s more than $2,000 lost in the first month of owning it!

I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t feel that throwing $2,000 in the street is my idea of feeling good.

Topping this off, each year thereafter, your typical car will lose from 10-20+% of its value. So you’ll keep throwing money out into the street every single year. After only 5 years, that same $20,000 vehicle would only be worth $12,000.

Why not let someone else pay that initial amount and you pick it up after the bulk of the depreciation has been paid already?

Buying a Used Car: Just as Good, but Better.

the word "good" crossed out on a chalkboard with the word "better" underlined below showing how buying a used car is better

Now that you know that, you might be thinking that maybe it might be ok to pay a premium because the new ones are built better.

Is New Really Built Better than Buying a Used Car?

I always remember the little 1976 Suzuki 4×4 that my aunt had. She drove that thing around for over ten years without any issues.

What’s the kicker?

The woman never even did an oil change a single time while she owned it!

Looking at vehicles from now-a-day, they require an oil change every few thousand miles or we risk damaging the motor…

Why do I bring this up? Because newer isn’t always better.

No, New is not Better than Buying a Used Car

Some of the newer vehicles have new features that cause tons of problems that are only seen after the first few years of the release of the vehicle. Recalls and forced extended warranties? There’s a reason behind those.

By the way, did I mention that we provide a free warranty on our used cars? Yeah, 2 years! Talk about vehicle reliability…

Waiting a few years before purchasing the SUV/Truck/Sedan can let you vet the vehicles you had your eye on and make sure that you trust them after they have had their warming period.

You’ll be getting a much more reliable vehicle, with fewer unknowns, at a fraction of the cost!

Repairs, Repairs, Repairs

a mechanic working on the engine block of a car showing repairs that need to be done

Ok, so you’re getting something used. Fine. But what about the impending repairs you’ll have to do because it’s used? It’ll be up for maintenance soon.

Truth is, if you are budgeting correctly these repairs are already accounted for. You’re going to need to do routine maintenance anyway, no matter if it is new or used.

If you need help with your routine maintenance, start here.

Yes, New Vehicles Need Repairs Too

On a new vehicle, you’ll need to pay the premium by taking it directly to the only place in town that knows how to work on all those new parts. While you may have fewer unexpected repairs to do, your routine maintenance will be way more costly.

After a few years, outside mechanics will have already learned how to work on the newer vehicles and can do the same level of work for much less. Yes, there is always the risk of having to have unexpected repairs, but as I said, adding them to your monthly budget will help you avoid unexpected costs.

If you’re curious about what the true cost of owning an SUV/Truck/Sedan is, you can check out our post on what it costs to own a used vehicle here.

Even then, the added cost of these repairs to your budget will be much lower than the cost of owning a new vehicle over the year.

Over a five-year period of purchasing a new vehicle for $20,000, you are paying over $40,000! And that’s not even including car taxes, down payments, or additional products that are pushed on you!

Even worse if you take it to a new car dealer onsite repair shop.

Don’t think it’s true? Let’s break it down.

Let’s Compare Used Car Maintenance vs New

New VehicleUsed Vehicle
Interest @ 2.39% for 60 months$346/monthInterest @ 6% for 60 months$232/month
Total Per Year$7,147.00Total Per Year$6,651.00
Total Over 5 Years$35,735.00Total Over 5 Years$33,255.00

Where’s the over 40k? Depreciation…

Remember how I said that after 5 years that $20,000 vehicle was only worth $12,000?

Total after 5 years and after depreciation: $43,735.00


Strategies for After Buying a Used Car

Some notes on the above plan:

  • Adding an additional $100 per month on repairs is very extreme on a 5-year-old vehicle. At Westland Auto Sales, we sell vehicles with an average of 100k miles and are roughly 5 years old. We rarely see that level of repair needed. Most vehicles that year would be under 100k miles and would likely only need some routine maintenance done on them.

You can check out our article on how much it costs to own a SUV/Truck/Sedan which covers routine maintenance here.

  • A vehicle that is 5 years old would still qualify under prime terms with nearly every lender in existence. That 6% interest rate is over double the amount that someone would likely pay. If you qualified for 2.39% on a new loan, you’d likely qualify for 2.59% for a 5-year-old used SUV/Truck/Sedan.

So what’re the total numbers after depreciation for a 5-year-old vehicle in…5 years?

Total after another 5 years of depreciation: $36,255.00

Depreciation is a lot less when you have an SUV/Truck/Sedan that someone else has already taken the impact on.

If you learn to calculate car depreciation, you’ll be cutting costs left and right!

This brings me to one of the biggest points.

Recoup Your Cash by Buying a Used Car

a happy woman holding hundred dollar bills as she recoups cash after buying a used car

When it comes to making sure you own a brand new SUV/Truck/Sedan, chances are you’ll be trading your car back in to get the newest model. You’ll be lucky if you get the $12,000 if you’re trading it in, but let’s just say you do.

You’re still out the 8k immediately.

Hold Up, Deprece-What?

When you go to sell your car or trade in the used SUV/Truck/Sedan you got, it’s already gone through the bulk of its depreciation and, therefore, you can sell it for pretty close to the amount you actually bought it for. This helps you not take that big of an impact when the time comes.

Not only did you save a massive amount of money throughout the time that you owned your vehicle, but you also were able to make a huge chunk of it back to help you allocate toward the next one.

Sooooo…Should I Buy New or Used?

an elderly man and woman hugging each other showing they have been together a long time as you should after buying a used car

This is where I feel forced to throw in a little advice for you.

Love It Long Time

Being in car sales, obviously, I want to sell. It’s how we make our money! However, I can honestly tell you that whether you choose to buy new or used, the bulk of your savings will actually come from keeping your vehicle for as long as you possibly can.

That’s right!

Even with our flexible payment plans, credit reporting, and low down payment options, I still recommend keeping the money in your pocket and driving that thing to the ground!

A gently used vehicle of around 5 years old will be the best option for anyone who cares about saving money and getting their financial house and credit in order. But what makes a lasting savings is carrying that car for the long term.

Keeping a used car is one of the smartest and most efficient ways to achieve financial freedom.

There’s no need to get rid of a car just because it hit a certain year or certain miles. That would be the equivalent of living like the late Hugh Hefner and dumping a woman just because she turned 26!

Good Mileage for Used Car

A car still has tons of life left at 100,000 miles. We’ve sold SUV/Truck/Sedan with over 200,000 miles that are still on the road today!

It comes down to maintenance and keeping a mindful eye on it.

Ditch the car payment and drive until you can’t drive it anymore. Only then should you consider getting yourself another gently used vehicle.

Remember, let someone else take the hit. You have nothing to prove to anyone other than yourself.

It’s Time to Get to Buying a Used Car

a smiley face, neutral face, and sad face showing the choice to make when buying a used car

Choose a Smart Car Shopping Approach

When it comes to buying a used car, choosing the right approach is crucial.

At Westland Auto Sales, we believe in providing a hassle-free car shopping experience for our customers. With our extensive inventory, in-house financing, and commitment to customer success, we’re here to help you find the perfect used car that fits your budget and needs. We’ll make your auto loan approval chances high!

Buying a Used Car
FAQs – 

Did you think I’d leave you hanging without answering all of your questions about buying a used car?

Q: Can I get approved for a car loan with bad credit?

A: Absolutely! Bad credit auto loans are within reach for you! There are plenty of bad credit car dealerships out there that specialize in working with all credit types. You can also find no credit car dealerships that may have similar options available. At Westland Auto Sales, we specialize in helping credit-challenged individuals get approved for car loans. Our in-house financing allows us to consider factors beyond just your credit score, giving you a higher chance of approval.

Q: How does buying a used car save me money?

A: Buying a used car saves you money in several ways. Used cars generally have a lower purchase price than new cars, and they depreciate at a slower rate. Additionally, used cars often have lower insurance premiums and registration fees. These are just some of the ways a used car can save you tons more money than new cars.

Q: How do I maintain a used car?

A: Proper maintenance is essential for keeping your used car in top condition. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, including regular oil changes, tire rotations, brake maintenance, and fluid checks. It’s also important to address any repairs or issues promptly.

Q: Can I sell my used car in the future?

A: Absolutely! When you buy a used car, you retain the option to sell it in the future. Since used cars have already experienced the bulk of depreciation, you can often recoup a significant portion of your initial investment when selling.

Q: How do I choose the right used car dealership?

A: Choosing the right used car dealership is essential for a positive car shopping experience. Look for a dealership with a good reputation, transparent financing options, a wide selection of used cars, and excellent customer reviews. At Westland Auto Sales, we check all the boxes and strive to exceed your expectations.

a gift that is neatly wrapped with a string

That wraps up our ultimate guide to buying a used car. We hope this information has been helpful in your car shopping journey.

At Westland Auto Sales, we’re here to assist you every step of the way. Visit our website or contact us today to explore our inventory and start your used car buying adventure!

Shameless Plug –
Contact Us Today to Get Approved For Your Pre Owned Vehicle

If you’re in the market for a used car, truck, SUV, or van, and you’re worried about your credit score, we are here to help. 

Our team will help you get the pre-owned vehicle you need. With timely payments, it can improve your credit as well.

Thousands of other happy customers of the Fresno area just like you have already been approved and are on their path to a better future. With low down payments starting at only $500, great premiums for your trade-in, and a free warranty, you’ll be set up to succeed from the start.

Contact us today! Learn all about our selection of pre-owned vehicles and bad credit car financing options.

Extra Resources To Help On Your Journey

We love to share the wealth! Here are some resources and trusted vendors that we personally use. They can help you take care of your vehicle as well as keep your credit and finances in tip-top shape:

Car Parts

High Quality and Affordable Car Parts: Advance Auto Parts

High Quality Dash Cams and Car Accessories: Rexing USA or VanTrue or Nextbase

Car Audio & Sound Systems: Eonon 

Premium Wiper Blades & Accessories: Clix Auto

Easy Key Replacement & Programming DIY: Car Keys Express

High-Quality Orignal and Custom Car Lighting: LASFIT

Quality Car Parts/Accessories (mats, covers, assemblies): Oedro

Premium Car Detailing Supplies: Chemical Guys

High-Performance Car Parts & Air Filters: KN Filters 

High-Performance Parts: Max Speeding Rods

Speed and Performance Parts: Spectre Performance

Air Intakes: Airaid

Original & Aftermarket Wheels: OE Wheels LLC

Battery Tenders: Deltran Battery

High-Quality Tires Of All Types: Priority Tire or Discount Tire

DIY Car Extras

In the event your dealer doesn’t provide you a history report: VinAudit

To learn to recondition your old car battery: EZ Battery Reconditioning

For DIY Ford vehicle repair: Ford Shop

To learn to take some knicks out of your car’s paint: High Quality Car Spray

If you find yourself in need of a car rental: Discover Cars or Airport Rental Cars or Holiday Autos

If you’d like to see what public car auctions are like: Gov Auctions or Gov Seized Auction

Personal Finance & Credit

To help you improve your credit: Axion Credit Repair or Coast Tradelines

For a DIY credit repair course: DIY Credit Repair

To help you get free of debt and increase your credit: What Lies In Your Debt?

If you’re in a bind and need cash quickly: Bad Credit Loans or Cash Advance

For personal loans of higher quantities: Fortuna Credit or Personal Loans

For a high cash-back credit card (make sure you only use it as if it’s a debit card!): Laurelroad 

We will keep sharing all our vendors that we have a great experience with. Only the ones we see align with our values as time goes on, both locally and nationwide.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not financial advice. Always consult with a qualified financial professional for personalized guidance.

Our Vision

Empower those in need with the freedom of transportation and the tools to obtain financial stability.

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Dealership Information:

Westland Auto Sales – Fresno's Buy Here Pay Here Car Dealer

(559) 444-0123
Service Department
(559) 981-2535
Accounts Success Department
(559) 233-0107

Business Hours:

Mon - Sat :
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sun :
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM