It’s a question that’s perplexed scientists and philosophers since the beginning of time: should you buy a new or a used car? Some people have their minds firmly made up on which option is better and only buy new, or only buy used. But other people aren’t as sure about which direction is better for them.

In order to decide whether to buy a new or used car, there are a few factors you should consider. Here are five questions that can help you decide on whether you should buy a new or a used car.

1. How much can you afford to spend?

Your budget will play a pretty significant role in helping you decide between new and used. However, there are plenty of affordable new cars on the market, and flexible financing options can make them even more affordable. But there’s no doubt that you can get more car (or truck) for the money if you go used. So if you’re watching every penny, you’ll either have to go lower-end new, or stick with used.

2. How long do you plan to keep the vehicle?

Consider how long you’re planning on keeping the vehicle for when making this decision. A used car will almost by definition not last as long as a new one. However, most cars on the road these days are very well designed, which means a used car can still last quite a long time. In either case, think about your future plans when deciding between new and used.

3. What kind of features do you want?

If there are some new or cutting-edge features you really want in your next vehicle, you’ll likely have to buy new to get them. Technology is moving at a rapid pace, and every year there are more and more incredible features being added to new vehicles. So if there’s something you’ve absolutely got to have, you’ll have to buy new or wait at least a year.

4. Do you care if someone else has owned a vehicle before you?

Does it matter to you if someone sat in, drove, and probably ate in your car before you? Some people couldn’t care less, but others hate the thought of not being the first ones to break in a vehicle. There are also the maintenance considerations you need to think about, as pre-owned vehicles were under someone else’s care for the duration of ownership. Most vehicle owners keep up with maintenance, but there’s always a small risk that someone did not.

5. Would you rather save on depreciation or incentives & warranties?

There are upsides and downsides to buying new or used. An upside of buying used is that you save some money on the depreciation that a vehicle experiences in the first year of ownership. The downside is that you don’t get to take advantage of some of the amazing discounts and incentives that manufacturers offer on new vehicles. Similarly, a used vehicle may not come with a warranty that a new vehicle comes with.

If you’d like more information on buying a new vs. used vehicle, please don’t hesitate to contact me.