When entering the car buying process, one of the first questions to ask yourself is, “should I buy a new or used car?” Each has its benefits and drawbacks, but making this decision early in the process will help you narrow down the ideal vehicle for you.
We offer only pre-owned vehicles here at Clutch, but we understand that a pre-owned vehicle may not be right for everyone. So, let’s look at the variables you should consider when deciding between a new and pre-owned vehicle.
That new car smell is a great thing when purchasing a vehicle, but it comes with a hefty price that’ll cost you for a few years. Not only will that new vehicle cost thousands more than the equivalent used vehicle, but you’ll also have to contend with depreciation.
Generally, cars in Canada lose 20% of their value in just the first year. They continue losing 5-10% of their value for the first few years. This means if you bought a $35,000 brand new car today, in two years, it might only be worth just over $25,000.
Now, if you secure a two-year-old version of the same vehicle, it’s already taken that 20% value hit, as well as the one-year 10% hit to its value. So, when you drive it off the lot, you aren’t taking a big hit in depreciation. It also means that if you need to sell it months later, you have a better chance of selling it for a sum great enough to pay off the car loan.
Let’s look at the 2022 Honda Accord, for example. New, it starts from $33,320 for the base SE trim. According to Canadian Black Book, the average asking price for a base 2020 Accord LX checks in at $27,511. That makes the used car price $5,809 less than the new one, translating to 17.4% in savings. Plus, in two years at normal depreciation rates, the 2022 Accord will be worth just $23,324-$24,990.
There are often rebates and incentives that can make buying a new car a little cheaper, but rarely are these enough to bring it down to the cost of a pre-owned vehicle.
So, if the purchase price and long-term value retention is top of the list for you, a pre-owned vehicle is always the safer bet for a lower price and less depreciation.
Warranty coverage is often important for car buyers, and new cars generally include at least a three-year or 60,000-km limited warranty covering all the vehicle’s main components. This gives you peace of mind and can save you cash down the road.
Used cars sometimes have a portion of the manufacturer’s warranty remaining, so you have some coverage. And some used car dealers offer basic warranty coverage.
Clutch goes beyond the normal pre-owned car dealer’s coverage with a 90-day or 6,000-km warranty, and even offers a 10-day test-own period. Which means that if you don’t love your Clutch vehicle in the first 10 days or 750 km, you can return it for a refund or exchange it, no questions asked.
Plus, all Clutch vehicles undergo a rigorous 210-point inspection and reconditioning process, ensuring they are in top shape. So you can rest assured you’re getting a quality pre-owned vehicle from Clutch.
On top of this, Clutch offers up to an eight-year extended warranty through First Canadian Protection Products that covers all the vehicle’s major components and even includes retail reimbursement and roadside assistance.
So even though the manufacturer’s warranty is a great reason for opting to get a new car, keep in mind that Clutch has great protection options that can meet or even exceed a manufacturer’s coverage.
If you purchase a two- or three-year-old pre-owned vehicle, you’re looking at a vehicle with 30,000-40,000 km on its odometer. That means the vehicle has already seen its share of wear and tear.
If a little wear and tear is a complete turn-off in your car search, then a new car is likely the better path for you.
However, with Clutch’s 210-point inspection and reconditioning process, we ensure all the pre-owned vehicles we sell are in as close to new condition as possible. Plus, every vehicle we sell includes a free Carfax report, so you know the vehicle’s history.
Financing terms are another variable to consider. In some cases, new car dealerships will get special financing terms from the manufacturer’s captive financing company. This can be as low as 0% in some cases.
Plus, the base interest rates on new cars are usually lower than used cars because they’re less likely to break down and depreciation is easier to estimate.
That said, with the savings of buying a pre-owned car, you could still save thousands compared to a new car. When reviewing the auto loan offer, check the total cost of the loan and compare it to the total cost of the new car loan. The pre-owned car is your best bet if the total savings make sense to you, despite the higher interest rate.
Also, with a pre-owned car’s lower price, you can get more affordable monthly payments and a lower down payment.
At Clutch, we can help set up attractive financing for your ideal pre-owned car without having to set foot in a bank or a dealership.
In general, newer cars are more expensive to fix, so finding a used vehicle will usually result in lower car insurance rates. There is one caveat, though, and that’s the safety features. Many new cars have a plethora of advanced safety features like automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rearview cameras, and more.
These safety features can help lower your car insurance costs and potentially make it cheaper than a used car’s insurance premiums. However, if you can find a vehicle with similar features, you should be able to get a lower auto insurance rate.
So, if you can find a pre-owned vehicle with similar safety features as a new car, you can save on insurance, making the used car a more affordable option.
When a specific set of features a car has is important to you, it’s relatively easy to find this in a new car. And if you can’t find the perfectly equipped new car on a showroom floor, some dealers may even special order it or have one brought in from another dealer that matches your needs.
With a pre-owned car, though, what you see is what you get. You can scan through the pre-owned car dealer’s inventory and possibly strike gold, but it may take some time.
This makes a new car a good choice for someone seeking a particular set of features. However, with Clutch’s huge inventory and online filters that allow you to search by specific features, like colour or transmission, you may be able to find your perfect car and save thousands of dollars in the process.
Is a pre-owned car right for you? If so, you can get a quality pre-owned vehicle at Clutch, Canada's first online pre-owned auto retailer.
All our vehicles undergo a 210-point inspection and reconditioning process to ensure only the best make it to our digital showroom. Plus, we back all our cars with a 90-day or 6,000-km warranty and even give you a 10-day test-own period, so if you don’t love your new ride, you can return it for a full refund or exchange it for a different car. No questions asked.
Check out our vast inventory of pre-owned vehicles today and choose the one that’s right for you. We’ll even help you set up the financing, value (and pick up) your trade-in vehicle, and deliver your Clutch car straight to your door.