Okay, let’s say you’re in the market for a car, but you don’t really care too much about saving money. You just want to spend a certain amount on the best thing you can get. Should you still buy used?

Hell yes! Why? Because buying used instead of new gets you WAY more car for your money.

For example, if you have $15,000 to work with, there actually are some decent new car options out there. One is the 2016 Ford Fiesta, recently named by KBB.com as one of the coolest new cars available for under $18,000.

2016 Ford Fiesta

Not bad. But if you go for a used car instead, that same money gets you behind the wheel of something much more interesting.

Here are just a few of many compelling examples I found with a cursory Autotrader search, all under $15,000:

2010 VW GTI with 36k miles

2010 VW GTI with 36k miles

2012 BMW 128i with 25k miles

2012 BMW 128i with 25k miles

2006 Ford Mustang GT with 39k miles

2006 Ford Mustang GT with 39k miles

1989 Maserati Spyder with 40k miles

1989 Maserati Spyder with 40k miles

And if you were seriously shopping, I’m sure we could enlist our community to find you something even better.

Which gets your $15k: Ford Fiesta or Maserati Spyder?

Sure, a new Fiesta with its outstanding fuel economy would certainly save you some cash at the gas pump; plus, it has a warranty.

But over five years, new car depreciation is going to cost you approximately $9000 (!) with the Fiesta vs. $3000 or less with any of the used car choices.

That’s at least six grand in your favor — which buys you plenty of gas or time at the repair shop, if needed. Assuming you aren’t a traveling salesperson and have access to an honest mechanic (or some basic DIY skills), you’re likely to come out ahead by going used.

Unless you spring for the Maserati, that is. Then all bets are off.

But you’ll be driving a Maserati, so who cares?

Additional posts in the Why Buy Used series…

Start the discussion at community.klipnik.com

About Mark Holthoff

Before joining Klipnik, Mark spent eight years at Edmunds.com developing and running their Live Advice and Consumer Reviews programs. His first car was a 1974 Triumph TR6 in Sapphire Blue, which he bought with his life savings of $2000 and kept running with a combination of spare change, duct tape and dumb luck.


Car Buying Tips