This is the fourth and final installment in a series of articles that will help you decide whether buying a new or used car is right for you.
Keeping up your vehicle by taking it in for scheduled oil changes, tire rotations and routine check-ups benefit the car — and you — when it comes time to trade it in or sell it. Expect to pay for nominal maintenance for new or late-model used vehicles. And if you choose to purchase an older model, don’t be surprised by the repair costs that you will incur.
A used car with 50,000 miles on it might well have another 100,000 miles of reasonable use remaining. However, buying a used car that doesn’t come with a warranty is a risk some are willing to take.
“But it’s next to impossible to offer a generalized repair figure that would be both accurate and useful because more expensive cars (luxuries) are typically much more expensive to repair than non-luxury cars,” said Jack Nerad, executive editorial director for Kelley Blue Book.
For the typical new car over a period of three years, the repair/maintenance bill should be minimal, since most cars offer a three-year/36,000-mile warranty, and many also offer free or reduced-cost maintenance.Even a five-year-span repair/maintenance cost will very likely be less than $1,000. KBB’s Cost-to-Own data on its website is a good source for competitive maintenance-cost comparisons.
“While buyers of used cars might well be cautioned to expect some sort of major repair in the future, much of the when depends on the car’s age and mileage,” Nerad said. Relatively new, low-mileage used cars might be trouble-free for years.
This furthers the money saved by buying used or keeping what you have typically trumps the cost of repairs.There are great reasons to buy new cars, but for many buying a used car is more compelling financially, he said.
Avoiding the initial depreciation certainly makes sense, but you also don’t want to buy a car that is going to cost you more in repairs in the long run, said Matt Bonanno, general manager for Jim Keim Ford in Hilliard.
And, if you need to extend a warranty, rolling that into your monthly payment or paying for it up front is usually less than paying for a new vehicle, Bonanno said.
For more information, call Jim Keim Ford at (614) 888-3333.