Van Nuys Auto Repair & Service Center

Is It Better to Buy a New Car or a Certified Pre-Owned Car? Ask Your Repair Guy

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid

Has your car seen better days? Or do you just want to upgrade sooner rather than later? Either way, it’s time for a change. Is it better to buy a new car or a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicle? There are pros and cons to both. Our advice at AutoAid is always to ask your repair guy or gal first. We keep up with our industry news and can explain about electronic, computer-based or model changes, and what they will mean to you both on the road and in the repair shop. Below are some advantages and disadvantages to buying new or certified pre-owned.

New Cars: What to Know

There is nothing better than purchasing a new car or truck and trying out all the latest technology installed in it. And nothing beats that new car smell! Other benefits include:

You get what you want. When you purchase a new car, you can usually get the extras you desire, such as leather upholstery, heated seating, or those chrome wheels you have always admired. You’ll also get the most up-to-date safety innovations and technology.

Perks. Dealers typically offer perks when you purchase a new car, which in some cases add up to thousands of dollars in savings. Be aware that if the dealer doesn’t have the vehicle you want in stock and it has to be special ordered, the overall price will increase and the perks may not apply.

Factory Warranty. New cars come with a manufacturers warranty and extended warranties from the dealership. You may never need it during the first few years of owning your automobile or truck, but in the long term it can be useful.

Improved Fuel Efficiency. New cars usually offer better fuel efficiency than their older counterparts, although it depends on the individual car.

No Previous Owners. No one possibly outside of test drivers has touched your car. No accidents, no replacement parts, etc.

Better Finance Rates. If you’re paying cash for your new or used car this section will not apply. However, if like many people you are taking out a loan, you’ll notice that the rates for new cars are lower than older cars. Why? Because new cars are worth more and provide the bank or financial organization with a stronger base of collateral, and since the body and internal workings are new and there is little that can go wrong.

Higher Insurance Premiums/Registration Fees. What you save in finance rates may be spent in higher insurance costs. The reason: The more recent the model, the higher the cost to insure and register it because of its higher value.

Value. A significant downside to purchasing new is the loss of value. I recently read a report from Power Information Network (J.D. Powers). They provide real-time automotive information on new and used vehicles. The report noted that new vehicle purchasers lose over $3,200 once they leave the car lot, and after a year on the road may have lost an average of more than $7,200 in value. Having said that, the more popular cars (the ones known for their dependability and sustainability) also will retain their value longer. This may not be a concern to you if you purchase a new car every few years--the average consumer purchases a car every six years--but if you’re planning to hold onto it for a while then the decrease in value can be a hit to your bank account.

Re-Certified Cars

CPOs are used vehicles with low mileage, backed by a warranty and usually other extras from the original automobile manufacturer. They can cost more than other used cars, but at least you know that they’ve been checked over with a fine-tooth comb and everything is in working order. The main advantage to CPOs is that you’re getting a car that is a few years old but in excellent working order for less than it would cost for a new version of that vehicle.

Other advantages include:

Warranty. Most dealers offer a certified pre-owned vehicle warranty.

Better Quality. For the most part, CPO’s are higher quality vehicles, usually have not been involved in major accidents, and their brake systems and tires are in good condition.

Roadside Assistance. As in the case of brand-new cars, dealers often offer roadside assistance with their CPO purchases.

  • Lower insurance premiums, lower registration fees; lower taxes.
  • Studies on reliabilities on that car model.
  • Higher finance costs.
  • Reliability issues. Check to see if there were any issues with this car model in the year it was issued.

How to Keep Your New or Used Car Running at its Optimal Capacity

Whether you purchase a new or certified pre-owned car, it’s essential to adhere to regularly scheduled factory-recommended maintenance. When you bring your car or truck in for a scheduled or unscheduled appointment, we will always perform our Car & Truck Courtesy Check, a visual inspection of 38 points on your vehicle. We’ll also determine the life of your tires, when your next oil change should be scheduled, etc. You’ll receive an electronic report from us that will give you the results of our testing. If further diagnostics are required, we will advise you of it and the attached charge for doing it. In cases where the repair costs exceed $299, AutoAid offers our AutoPass program with six months of interest-free financing. All our repair work is covered by a two-year, 24,000-mile warranty.

Contact us today at (818) 305-6632. We are conveniently located in Van Nuys near freeway exits. We invite you to also visit our website.

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