Buy New, Buy Used, Or Lease: Pros & Cons

    Posted by Ben Davidson about 4 months ago

    So, you’ve made a decision: it’s time for you to replace your car. Perhaps your old motor is past its best, your family is expanding, or you’re just looking for a change - whatever the reason, it’s time for the old car to go, and a new one to be welcomed into your life.

    Unfortunately, when you’ve decided to buy a new car, you now have to make a tough decision: should you buy a new car, a used car, or lease your vehicle? Deciding which is right for you depends on a number of different factors, all of which have to be carefully considered - which can substantially elongate the process of choosing the right option for your needs.

    So, let’s simplify things. Below, we’ve looked at the pros and cons of each of the three options, so you can see - at a glance - which might be the most suitable for you.

    Buying a new car


    • Complete knowledge of the car’s history. Buying a new car means you’ll have been present for every moment of that car’s life, so you are in complete control and are ensured you can be 100% confident the vehicle is safe, is maintained well, and completely trustworthy from the get-go.

    • Manufacturer’s warranty. New cars tend to include a manufacturer’s warranty or guarantee; if you discover a fault on the vehicle, then the matter will be rectified at no extra cost to you. As a result, buying a new car can be seen as a way of protecting your finances for the next 12 months.

    • Easier resale. When it comes to selling your car in the future, selling a car you bought as-new will be far simpler than selling a car that was already used when it came into your possession. Furthermore, you’ll also be able to ask a higher price for a newer vehicle, which can then be used to finance your next car purchase in a few years.


    • Expensive. The biggest downside of looking for new cars for sale is the expense; new cars are easily the most costly of the three options we’re discussing, which can stretch budgets significantly.

    • Voyage into the unknown. A car that has been on the road for a few years is something of a known quantity; its construction is sound, its design works well, and while it may have needed a few repairs, it’s covered thousands of miles without any issue. In contrast, buying a new car is something of a voyage into the unknown; the car has no history, which in some ways is a benefit, but it also means that the vehicle may have significant, unknown issues you will have to deal with in the future. Yes, a manufacturer’s warranty helps somewhat in this regard, but you’ll still have to undergo the hassle of actually getting the car fixed - which can be disruptive and time-consuming.

    Buying a used car


    • Lower cost. The eternal benefit of seeking a new car is that you’re far more likely to get a great deal, as even a one-year-old vehicle will be substantially cheaper than a brand new model. A used car is therefore the best choice if you want to ensure you get the most bang for your buck, so to speak.

    • Easier research. Every person buying a new car knows that they need to research their purchase, but if you’re buying a new car, doing so is somewhat challenging. While you can refer to professional reviews, there’s nothing quite like direct user experience of what it’s like to live with that specific model of vehicle on a day-to-day basis.

    • Wide range of choice. While there is usually a range of different new cars to consider, the sheer volume of options available is simply incomparable to used car options. When browsing used cars for sale in your area, you will be able to explore literally decades worth of options, rather than the smaller, newer ranges that dealerships tend to focus on. As a result, you’re more likely to find a car that truly suits your needs and budget, rather than having to see what works within the relatively narrow confines of the “brand new” market.


    • Lack of history. A used car will be a car with a past, which can potentially be problematic, especially if the car has been in an accident. This problem is most commonly found if you buy a used car from a private seller, as most reputable dealers will supply significant histories of the car in order to provide extra peace of mind to the buyer.

    • Potentially more difficult to source parts. Repairing used cars can be more time-consuming than fixing new cars, as fewer auto shops will carry a stock of older parts. As a result, if your new vehicle takes longer to repair, the process may take longer.

    Leasing a car


    • Flexibility. If you opt to lease a car, you’re not tied to that car - when the lease period has expired, you can switch to a new model without having to go through a laborious selling process.

    • Simpler repairs and maintenance. Leasing a car means that much of the work of owning a car is completely outsourced; if the car breaks down, or needs maintenance or servicing, then you simply call your provider and wait for them to rectify the issue in due course.

    • Manageable ongoing costs. Leases can be broken; there may be a penalty, but if your finances have changed and you need out of the contract, then you can do so. In contrast, a car you have purchased is still your car, even if your circumstances have changed and you can no longer afford it. There are ways and means of managing such a scenario if you own your car - the most obvious being to simply sell the car - but ending a lease is usually a far more straightforward process.


    • Use limitations. Many lease agreements will have clauses and stipulations regarding how the vehicle can be used, particularly in regards to business usage. As a result, leasing is inherently restrictive, as you’re essentially having to abide by the rules of the company you have leased from rather than setting your own path.

    • Car does not become an asset. Leasing a car is a convenient choice, but it’s similar to renting a property: you will spend a lot of money with nothing to show for it at the end of the agreed contract, which is far from ideal.

    In conclusion

    Hopefully, the above information should help you decide which option - buy new, buy used, or lease - is the right choice for you. Good luck!

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