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Should you buy used or new?

Shopping for a used car can be exciting—but with so many options out there, it can also feel daunting. To make the process easier, it’s helpful to break your decision down into these three steps

More bang for your buck

When you’re buying a new car, the little extras can really blow up the price. Features like leather seats, upgraded stereos or all-wheel drive might put you out of your budget. But when you’re shopping for a used vehicle, those same features can often be found in a model that’s just a year or two older.

The savings can extend beyond the purchase of the vehicle, as well: insurance rates are typically lower for used cars.

Less depreciation

In addition to giving you more for your dollar up front, a used car can also offer much better value over its lifetime. A typical new car loses around 20% of its value in the first year and around 15% every year after that. Over the first five years of ownership, the total value can fall by as much as 60% of the original purchase price.

By choosing a used ride, you can dodge those years when the car loses the most value and come out ahead financially in the long term.

Proven reliability

When you buy a car fresh off the assembly line, it’s not always clear how that particular model’s build and features will perform over time. (After all, it hasn’t had a chance to be tested for very long!) A few years later, if you buy that same model used, you have access to several years of reports, data and consumer reviews that speak to its reliability and performance over time.

A used vehicle also typically comes with specific information about its maintenance and repair record—as you’ll find in the Carfax reports we provide at ClearCar.

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