MoneyDon't Waste Your Money


DWYM: Tips on whether you should buy a new or used vehicle

Posted at 2:28 PM, Apr 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-27 15:28:33-04

Have you seen how expensive used cars are getting this year?

It’s getting to the point where deals on some new cars are so good, it could be worth looking at new instead.

Consumer reporter John Matarese explains the in's and out's of current auto shopping so you don’t waste your money.

You probably remember your dad telling you this:

Always buy a used car, because they are so much cheaper than a new one.

But in this topsy-turvy year, that's not always the case anymore.

Conventional wisdom says a new car's value plunges the minute you take it home.

"We've all heard this, hey you lose 20 to 30 percent of the car's value when you drive it off the lot. You almost always want to buy a used car when you are going for pure value."

But Karl Brauer of the automotive website says that's not the case in 2021.

With used car prices at record highs, says used cars are so expensive, that the new version is actually a better deal.

"If it’s 2 percent cheaper to buy a one-year-old one, why not just buy a one-year-old one?" he said.

Among the vehicles where new can be a smarter deal:

  • Jeep Wrangler.
  • Toyota Tacoma pickup.
  • Toyota 4-runner.
  • Nissan Frontier pickup.
  • Honda Pilot.

In most of those cases, you can get a car for just $2,800 more than a one-year-old version, you get the full warranty and no spilled French fries.

But from the doesn't that stink file, some cars that still plunge in value quickly.

The survey says many luxury cars still drop 30 percent after a year: and that stinks!

So it suggests you buy used if you want a Cadillac XTS or CTS, Mercedes E Class or Lincoln MKZ.

So while used cars will be cheaper, if there's not much difference and a new one could be a better deal.

Be careful, diligent and thoughtful so you don't waste your money.