The Difference Between Pre-Owned and a Clunker

download (60)When purchasing a vehicle, the first question a driver may find themselves asking is, “Should I get a new or used car?” Pre-owned auto purchases are more popular than ever, and rightfully so. Whether this is your first or your fifth auto purchase, the question will always come up. Going with a pre-owned auto has a number of benefits and advantages.

Lower Cost

The most obvious benefit of purchasing a pre-owned vehicle is the reduced cost. As of 2015, shoppers saved on average $10,000 by purchasing a pre-owned vehicle as opposed to its factory-fresh counterpart. When purchasing from a reputable car dealership, these savings are much more appealing, as the vehicle is fully inspected, and warranty and repair guarantees are available. Knowing that you are not getting a clunker is an important consideration of the pre-owned car-buying process, but when it is done right, the savings are especially difficult to pass up.

Low Commitment

Savings are important, but so are options. A drawback of purchasing a new auto is that the value depreciates by roughly 40% the second you drive off the lot. If you realize soon down the road that you are not in love with your new purchase, you’re either stuck with it or going to have to take a substantial loss on the re-sell. With a pre-owned vehicle, this is not the case. If you don’t break even, you can at least expect to sell for very close to what you spent on the car, assuming it is in the same condition. This is appealing to anyone who likes variety and wants to retain the possibility of trading in for a new auto without paying an arm and a leg.

Wider Variety

In addition, pre-owned car shopping offers more variety. Instead of only having the recent catalog to select from in the new auto market, purchasing a pre-owned vehicle opens the door to a much wider selection. Today, it is not uncommon to find autos dating back as early as the 70s waiting for you on a car dealership’s lot. If you are looking for a classic, a used vehicle can help make that a reality.


While these reasons may be appealing, it is important to remember the trade-off. A new vehicle offers more guarantees in terms of quality. Since you will be the first driver behind the wheel, there is less of a chance for something to already be wrong with your car, as well as a reduced risk of necessary repairs in the near future. If something does go wrong, a new auto is going to offer better warranties for repairs and replacements. You will also benefit from better and more advanced parts and materials in your auto, reflecting modern safety regulations and the latest technology of the time.

It may not be an easy decision, but the choice to buy a pre-owned or new vehicle is one you will be faced with when you arrive at a car dealership. If savings and variety are what you are looking for, taking the second-hand route is for you!