This is the second installment in a four-part series of articles that will help you decide whether buying a new or used car is right for you.

Ask yourself what price point you want to be at, which includes the price of the car, the monthly payment, insurance, repairs costs and the like, said Matt Bonanno, general manger for Jim Keim Ford in Hilliard. “There are several new and late model vehicles to be had, many of which fall under the same price category.”

When looking at financing, there are still many advantages to buying a new car versus a used car, said Jack Nerad, executive editorial director for Kelley Blue Book. Many financial institutions consider used-car loans riskier than new-car loans, so they typically charge higher interest rates.

Financing is one of the biggest motivating factors for many a car buyer, so finding the best interest rate plays a big role in deciding how much car you can afford, Bonanno said. Banks and

manufacturers offer as low as 1 and 2 percent interest rates on used cars. Some new cars come with zero-percent interest and/or zero-percent down allowing buyers to drive off the lot with no out-of-pocket expenses.

Typically, the difference in interest rates isn’t huge, but it is significant.Often vehicle manufacturers also offer purchase incentives in the form of subsidized low-rate or zero-percent loans and/or cash-back offers on new cars that are unavailable on used cars.The government does the same thing — offering tax incentives on the purchase of certain new electric and hybrid vehicles, Bonanno said.

The cost of driving a late-model vehicle can be substantially less than buying a new car. Why not let someone else pay for the depreciation, Bonanno said. First off, the monthly payment would be less. The percent a vehicle depreciates depends on the make and model and the supply and demand for it, he said.

You also have to take into consideration how much it costs to insure a car and how much you will spend on fuel. The newer the car, the better the gas mileage — for the most part — because of better technology, Bonanno said.

But beyond that, when it comes to fuel economy, the size of the vehicle matters. The smaller the car, the better gas mileage it gets. Compacts and subcompacts get the best mileage, then midsize cars, including some small SUVs. If you need or want something bigger, then gas mileage will not make or break your decision, he said.

If buying new, you’ll also want to consider whether leasing or owning makes the most sense. With leases, customers are risk-free when it comes to depreciation, said Matt Bonanno, general manager for Jim Keim Ford in Hilliard. However, what the car is worth at the end of the lease will be factored into what you pay for it over the term. Bonanno attributes 20 percent of new-car sales to leases, and he sees that trend increasing from year to year.

For more information, call Jim Keim Ford at (614) 888-3333.