With any vehicle, the first decision when choosing the right SUV is whether the choice will be a new or used model. While the question may be subjective depending on the potential owner, there are still truths with either option. New and used selections can have pros and cons, but there are some essential factors to consider when shopping for an SUV, according to Consumer Reports.
Should you buy a new motor vehicle?
Buying a new SUV has the benefits of the latest and greatest collision avoidance equipment, safety enhancements, and updated infotainment technology. Crucially, they also come with a valuable bumper-to-bumper factory warranty. When looking for a new SUV, manufacturers will provide you with all the information you need to make your purchase possible. Dealership personnel can tell you precisely what the vehicle can do. Plus, they can even give buyers the chance to drive it and keep it for a few days while they decide.
Even if buyers can’t find the exact specifications they’re looking for on the dealer lot, most manufacturers allow plenty of customization opportunities. Potential buyers can choose the color, upholstery, wheels, powertrain configuration, and safety equipment, among many others. Also, financing rates are typically lower than for a used vehicle.
The cons of buying a new SUV
Sometimes buying the first year of a restyled model or a completely new model can cause problems. While rare, there could be manufacturing issues that remain unresolved until purchase. However, they are usually resolved by official withdrawals.
The obvious downside to buying a new SUV is cost: New vehicles are expensive. While conventional subcompact SUVs start in the $20,000 range, their luxury add-ons can fetch upwards of $50,000. Even if a new SUV is reasonably priced, the expense doesn’t end there. Since SUVs are generally more expensive than smaller cars, they require more expensive insurance.
The advantages of buying a used SUV
A used SUV may be a better option if the above disadvantages outweigh the advantages. Buying a used SUV can save money up front. consumer reports (CR) also says that the used car market is about three times larger than the new car market. Therefore, buyers have many options.
SUVs in good health and with proper maintenance can go over 200,000 miles on the clock. Since the used SUVs have had time to be tested as various customer information points like CR, they will know where the faults may lie.
The cons of buying a used SUV
Buyers should avoid SUVs that have been modified. While OEM parts installed by a dealer mechanic should have some type of warranty, most modifications are completed by independent mechanics with aftermarket parts. Improper equipment and installation can cause accelerated wear, leading to costly repairs.
Another major disadvantage used SUVs have over new models is that many are bought ‘as is’. These vehicles do not include a dealer or private party warranty, and buyers must accept any problems that exist or develop. Therefore, if a mechanical or cosmetic problem arises, the party that sold it is not obligated to fix it.
What is the main disadvantage of buying a new SUV?
Buying a new SUV may seem like the best bet, given the peace of mind potential buyers can have. However, there has been no mention of an expensive elephant in the room. It can cost owners thousands of dollars in a short period of time and induce considerable headaches with depreciation.
Consumer Reports says that the fundamental drawback to buying a new SUV is how quickly it depreciates. Many vehicles have been known to lose a third of their value in the first two or three years of ownership. However, depreciation can vary depending on various factors. Market competition, fuel prices, new model introductions, recalls, emissions regulations and other issues can change the rate of loss in value.
How to approach the purchase of a new vehicle
Financing a new vehicle with a small down payment can easily put buyers “upside down” on their loans. Owing more than a car is worth is a quick way to lose money before its eventual sale.
Another factor is deciding whether the SUV will sell within the first few years of ownership. If that’s the case, choosing a non-offensive color like silver, black, or white will mitigate depreciation more than orange, red, or green. Choosing an SUV with top-tier reliability scores will also fight loss of value for those looking to buy a new one.
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