7 Reasons to Love That Used Car Smell

By Craig Ford on 23 April 2013 (Updated 4 June 2014) 2 comments

If you love that new car smell and aren't willing to settle for a "new car smell" scented air freshener, you'll need to be prepared to pay a hefty premium for your new car. If, however, you're willing to allow another owner to drive the first 15,000 miles or more, then you'll be able to save thousands of dollars. (See also: Save on Car Maintenance With These 5 DIY Tips)

As an extra benefit, you'll probably also find that there are a couple of non-financial benefits to buying a used car, too.

1. Less Depreciation

Until they are considered an antique, every vehicle depreciates as time passes. However, the depreciation is more intense the newer the car. Edmunds.com reports that a new car will typically depreciate 11% the minute you take it off the lot. Furthermore, after the first year your "new" car is typically worth 19% less than you paid for it.

That's a lot to pay to be the first person to have the honor of spilling coffee all over the center console.

2. Lower Purchase Price

Do you like driving newer cars with fewer miles? Why not focus on buying cars that are about a year old and have 15,000 miles? There's still a lot of good car left, and you can save yourself 20% compared to buying the car new.

Typically, if you're looking for newer used cars, you can find great deals because people who are selling cars after a year are usually just coming to the realization that they cannot afford the vehicle any longer. Their motivation to sell and your desire to get a great deal on a used car is a perfect combination.

3. Lower Insurance Costs

There is a direct correlation between the value of your vehicle and the amount of insurance you'll pay. Thus, if you buy a car that is at least a year or two old, you'll pay lower insurance premiums.

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4. Reduced Taxes and Registration Fees

Depending on your state, you may not be required to pay sales tax on a used vehicle. New Hampshire, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana don't charge sales tax for a new car. In Georgia, you'll pay sales tax if you buy a car from a dealership, but not if it is a private sale.

Every state has different registration fees, and those fees can vary based on the age of a vehicle. For example, in Montana if a car is 0-4 years old, you'll pay $217 to register the car. However, if the car is older than 11 years old, you'll pay $28.

5. More Money for Real Investments

Opportunity cost dictates that the more you spend on a vehicle, the less you'll have for something else. If you have $4,000 tied up in a vehicle, then you don't have $4,000 to use towards retirement, college savings, or any other worthy savings goal that has the potential to increase in value.

6. Door Dings Are Not Your Problem

Some people who have new cars insist on parking a long way from the entrance to the store. Why? They are afraid that their new, shiny, glossy car might get a nick or a ding. But you're not worried. Not in the least.

7. And Neither Is Spilled Juice

A colleague may spill coffee on the upholstery. A kid might write on the door panel. A stone may ding your windshield. Your dog will leave dog hair all over the back seat.

When you buy a car that already has a little personality, your spills, marks, and stains will just become another chapter in the story of that vehicle. Sure, it will be frustrating when something happens, but being the first to witness the desecration of a perfect car is even more frustrating.

Do you usually purchase new or used vehicles? Can you think of any additional benefits of buying a reliable used car?

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As long as you plan to keep your car at least 5 years, the older, the better, for cars in terms of cost--even taking repairs into account.

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Bryan

I tend to buy new (i know it's the best thing to do). However, I don't change cars until the other one is costing more to repair that what it is worth, or someone totals it in a wreck (which is what happened to one of my vehicles). My oldest vehicle is a 99, and only has 60k miles on it, so it will still last me another 10 years.