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Ask the Expert: buying a new vs. slightly used vehicle

Buying a car is no easy task and it brings up a lot of questions, like is it better to buy a new or slightly used vehicle? Jeff Smrcka, TruStone Financial Senior Vice President – Director of Consumer Lending, is here to help walk you through that decision. That way whatever route you choose, you’ll be informed and set up for financial success.

Think About Mileage

It’s important to think about how many miles you plan to drive your car each year. For example, if your job requires you to constantly be on the road, a somewhat used vehicle may be a better option. This is because the more miles you put on your vehicle, the faster the value depreciates. As a previously owned vehicle, the value has already depreciated some.

If you are looking for a vehicle to get you to and from work, home and other short distances, a new vehicle may be a good option. That’s because if you keep your mileage low, your vehicle will keep a higher value for when you choose to sell or trade-in.

Think About Extra Costs

Purchasing a vehicle is more than just the monthly payments – it’s the cost of gas, maintenance and insurance. The older the car, the more mechanical issues you may have which can add up very quickly.

On the other hand, the newer the car the higher the insurance will be because the vehicle is worth more. So while you have fewer maintenance issues to worry about, your insurance could raise the monthly expenses of owning the vehicle. You will ultimately need to review your financial situation and decide which option suits your current lifestyle.

Think About How Long You’ll Have The Car

If you are someone who plans on driving their car for 10+ years and repeat the buying process decade after decade, a new vehicle is a reliable and stable option. A newer vehicle is a dependable choice when thinking about longevity.

If you are looking to drive a car for a short amount of time before getting a new one, purchasing a slightly used vehicle will give you that flexibility. A used vehicle is also a less expensive option, which gives you the chance to save up for your dream car.

Think About Your Overall Financial Health

Before you even step foot onto a car dealership lot, take some time to review your financial status including debt, credit score and current monthly expenses. At TruStone Financial, we are here to help you with all of life’s big financial moments – like buying a car. Want to speed up the car buying process? Get pre-approved for a faster, pain-free buying experience.

Think About Where to Stop for Your Next Vehicle

Whether you’re in need of a functional family van or a brand new sports car, TruStone Financial can put the keys in your hand. Take advantage of TruStone Financial’s AutoSmart site and stay in the comfort of your own home while searching for the right vehicle and dealer. Visit TruStoneFinancial.org and get started today!

No matter your ride, new or used, simple or fully-loaded, TruStone Financial is the credit union that will help get you in the driver’s seat.