When it comes to purchasing a car, there are some important things to consider. Should you buy new or pre-owned? Should you finance or pay in full? These are good questions, and it’s crucial to take them into account before making this big decision. At Cassels Garage, we have seen all types of car situations over our 50+ years serving Brevard County. In our years of experience, we believe it’s a wiser and more frugal option to choose a good-quality pre-owned car and pay it off upfront if you’re able to. Of course, it’s up to each individual to come to their own decision on this matter, but we’d like to present some information supporting why we think buying used is a better option.
How Much and How Long Will a Loan Be?
A recent article by the Wall Street Journal titled “The Seven-Year Auto Loan: America’s Middle Class Can’t Afford Their Cars,” has some great information on the subject and has plenty of stats to support their position. The article references how Experian, a credit reporting company, found over a third of all new car loans in the first half of 2019 had terms lasting for more than 6 years. In fact, the average new car loan is between 69-85 months! That equates to about six or seven years of paying off a new car loan. And, those monthly car payments aren’t cheap. They will vary based on how expensive the car is, but on average, in the first quarter of 2019, a new car payment was $554 per month according to Experian. Seven years of paying over $500 per month for a new car?! Yikes!! That will add up.
New Car Prices Have Risen
The Wall Street Journal article goes on to discuss how new car prices in the U.S. have risen tremendously in recent years, and at a disproportionate rate compared to income increases. What does this mean? It means that most Americans simply cannot afford to buy a new car. “Just 18% of U.S. households had enough liquid assets to cover the cost of a new car, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of 2016 data from the Fed’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances, a proportion that hasn’t changed much in recent years.” So, if you’re part of the 82% of U.S. households that cannot afford a new car outright, you would obviously need to finance it. This can start a cycle of debt, which can easily spin out of control.
Of course, we understand there is that appeal of a “new car,” but when you think about it, aren’t all cars “used?” New cars start depreciating as soon as they’re driven off the lot, after all. Once they leave that lot, they’re not considered new anymore. So, in essence, everyone is driving a used car anyways! It’s definitely food for thought.
Pre-Owned Vehicles are More Affordable
So, is there a better option for car buying? Of course! Do some research to find a quality pre-owned vehicle that you can afford outright, if possible. If you don’t have enough liquid assets to pay the car off upfront, consider finding a less expensive car. Or, you could put down as much as you can on the vehicle and get a low-interest loan to cover the rest. The point is, getting a reliable vehicle shouldn’t put you in over your head in debt if you are careful about it.
In the end, it’s totally up to you if you decide to purchase a new or pre-owned car, and whether you choose to pay it off out front or finance it. We simply want to help our customers make informed decisions and know what they’re getting into during the car buying process. Whatever type of vehicle you choose to purchase, we’re here to help you with any maintenance or repairs you might need. Whether you need an oil change, a brake check or transmission repair, our auto mechanics at Cassels Garage will give you the best service in Melbourne, Florida. Schedule an appointment today and our knowledgeable staff will take care of all your automotive needs.