So you bagged that promotion, or hit the Powerball, or perhaps your metal detector finally earned its keep. Whatever the case, you’ve now got the means to replace that old clunker, and now it’s decision time. Should you buy a brand new car, or opt for a pre-owned but more luxurious set of wheels? They’ll both cost about the same, but from an investment perspective, the pre-owned luxury car may be the smarter choice.
True, it feels pretty good to roll off the lot in a brand new car. However, it’s pretty well known that by the time you leave the dealership, your car is officially “used” and worth thousands of dollars less than what you paid just moments ago. So buying a pre-owned car means that someone else has absorbed that rather sizeable amount for you.
Also, luxury brands also tend to depreciate less over time. A cheaply built new car will plummet in value by the time you’ve paid it off, but higher-end vehicles will still fetch a good market price even if they’ve aged a bit. Luxury cars are built better, so the paint, wheels, and interior will look great for years to come when compared to lower-end vehicles with cheaper parts.
Unlock More Options
Some of the high-end options you might crave simply aren’t available in non-luxury new cars. Examples include multi-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, power liftgates, and advanced safety options such as lane departure assist. Plus, when you choose a pre-owned luxury car, perks such as heated power seats may already be standard in that model. Buying used will free up extra cash so you can pack in more options.
Keep in mind, however, that technology both improves and becomes more affordable over time. The gadgetry in your new car might easily support your smartphone, while the infotainment system in an older car may not. Navigation maps could be a bit outdated, or perhaps wireless connectivity may be limited. If this is important to you, it might be best to buy a pre-owned luxury car that’s somewhat newer.
Ride in Style
True, a new lower-end car will provide some short-term pride and satisfaction. Once the “new” wears off, however, you’re stuck with a less enjoyable car. With a pre-owned luxury car, you can have a more exciting driving experience. Also, certain status and prestige comes with luxury car brands. Let’s not kid ourselves — if you’re driving your clients around town, they’ll be less impressed with an uninspiring new car than with a luxury car with a couple of years on it.
What About Warranties?
Since a new car comes with a warranty, purchasing a pre-owned luxury car may seem like a risk. Therefore, you may want to extend the factory warranty. Better yet, consider purchasing a third-party used car warranty instead. While this expense comes straight out of your pocket, remember that the cost of providing a warranty comprises a large portion of the sticker price on a brand new car. Also, third-party warranties often include advantages that standard factory warranties don’t, such as loaner cars or roadside assistance.
Buying a brand new car is tempting, but often not the best financial decision. Instead, do a little homework and consider investing your hard-earned money in a pre-owned luxury car. You’ll have a car that will retain more value, and be a pride to own for years to come.