african couple getting car key from car dealer in showroom and signing contract

15 Reasons to Never Buy a Brand New Car

The allure of a brand new car is undeniable. That intoxicating smell of fresh leather, the pristine shine of an untouched exterior, and the reassuring feeling of being the first to own it — all these sensations make buying a new vehicle an enticing prospect. But before you sign that dotted line and drive off the dealership lot, consider this: there are plenty of reasons why buying a brand new car might not be the wisest decision.

Rapid Depreciation

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Buying a brand new car might give you that fresh-off-the-lot feeling, but it comes at a cost—rapid depreciation. As soon as you drive a new car off the dealership lot, its value takes a steep nosedive. In fact, within the first year, a new car can lose as much as 20-30% of its initial value. This means that if you decide to sell or trade in your new car after a few years, you’ll likely get considerably less than what you paid for it. Opting for a slightly used car can help you avoid this initial value drop and save you money in the long run.

Higher Insurance Costs

Salesman guiding customer seated at table. Car business. Car sale. Dealership closing. and the new owner has entered into a contract The idea of ​​selling and renting a car with insurance.
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Insuring a brand new car can be considerably more expensive than insuring a used one. The primary reason behind this higher insurance cost is the replacement value of the vehicle. If your new car gets stolen or involved in a severe accident, the insurance company will need to replace it with an equivalent model, which can be costly. Consequently, insurance premiums for new cars tend to be higher to cover this potential expense. To save on insurance costs, consider a slightly older model or a certified pre-owned vehicle with a lower replacement value.

Taxes and Fees

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When you buy a new car, you’re not just paying for the vehicle itself; you’re also on the hook for higher taxes and registration fees. Since these fees are often based on the vehicle’s purchase price, they can add a significant chunk to your overall cost. These expenses can vary by location, but they’re generally higher for new cars compared to used ones. Opting for a used car can help you save money upfront and on these additional costs.

Initial Price

car salesman on lot with price sticker on cae selling
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The sticker shock of a brand new car can be quite daunting. New cars typically command a premium price due to their pristine condition and the latest features. However, if you’re willing to compromise slightly on the “newness” factor, you can often find slightly used models with low mileage at a significantly lower cost. These nearly new cars provide excellent value for money and offer a more budget-friendly alternative to their brand new counterparts.

Hidden Fees

Insurance agent checking policy documents in office.
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When purchasing a brand new car, it’s essential to read the fine print and be aware of any hidden fees that dealerships may add to the final price. These can include destination charges, advertising fees, and other miscellaneous costs that can significantly inflate the overall cost of your new car. It’s crucial to scrutinize the purchase agreement and, if necessary, negotiate or question these additional fees. Opting for a used car can sometimes help you avoid some of these hidden costs and keep your budget in check.

Limited Models

2024 Porsche Macan 4
Image Credit: Porsche.

When you opt for a brand new car, you might find yourself limited in terms of available models and options. Manufacturers often release new models with a limited range of trims and features. If you’re looking for a specific combination of features or prefer a particular trim level, you may have to wait for future model years or consider a slightly used car. Established models, on the other hand, tend to offer a wider array of options and trims, giving you more flexibility to find the perfect vehicle that suits your needs and budget.

Unproven Reliability

Man drives a car - inside wide angle view
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New models may come with the allure of the latest technology and design, but they also carry the uncertainty of unproven reliability. Unlike established models with a track record of dependability, new cars haven’t had the chance to demonstrate their long-term durability and performance in real-world conditions. You might be taking a gamble on the reliability of a new model, which could lead to unexpected repairs and issues down the road. Opting for a tried-and-true, slightly older model can provide peace of mind when it comes to reliability.

Higher Insurance Claims

Close up car thief hand holding screwdriver tamper yank and glove black stealing automobile trying door handle to see if vehicle is unlocked trying to break into inside.
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While owning a brand new car is exciting, it can also attract unwanted attention. New cars are often targeted by thieves or vandals, as their parts and components can be more valuable. This heightened risk of theft or damage can result in higher insurance premiums. Insurers may consider the replacement cost of a new car when determining your coverage rates, leading to increased insurance expenses. Choosing a slightly older, less attention-grabbing model can help mitigate this risk and keep your insurance costs more affordable.

Quick Obsolescence

2024 LEXUS TX 500h interior
Image Credit: Lexus.

The rapid pace of technological advancements in the automotive industry means that features considered cutting-edge today may quickly become outdated in just a few years. This phenomenon, known as technological obsolescence, can affect your brand new car’s resale value. As newer models with more advanced features enter the market, your car’s technology may lose its appeal to potential buyers. By purchasing a slightly used car, you can often strike a better balance between modern features and value retention.

Limited Negotiation

car dealership negotiation
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When you walk into a dealership to purchase a brand new car, you might discover that there’s less room for negotiation compared to buying a used vehicle. New car prices are often less flexible, with manufacturers and dealerships setting fixed prices for their models. On the other hand, used cars typically allow for more negotiation and flexibility in price. You can use your bargaining skills to secure a better deal on a slightly used car and potentially save thousands of dollars compared to the firm pricing structure of new cars.

Higher Interest Rates

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When you decide to finance a brand new car, you might encounter higher interest rates on your auto loan. Lenders often offer more favorable terms for used car loans, as they view new cars as riskier investments due to rapid depreciation. These higher interest rates can significantly increase the overall cost of your new car purchase. Opting for a slightly used car can lead to more attractive financing options with lower interest rates, saving you money in the long run.

Waiting Lists

african couple getting car key from car dealer in showroom and signing contract
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If you’re eyeing a popular new model that’s in high demand, be prepared to face waiting lists at dealerships. These waiting lists can extend the time between your decision to buy and the actual ownership of the vehicle. The longer you wait, the more you might miss out on enjoying your new car. Opting for a used car, especially one that’s readily available on the market, allows you to avoid these waiting periods and get behind the wheel sooner.

More Stressful Ownership

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT
Image Credit: Ford.

Owning a brand new car can be stressful due to the constant fear of accidents, dings, or scratches that could diminish its pristine condition. This fear can lead to a less enjoyable ownership experience, as you may find yourself obsessing over every little imperfection or parking your car far away from others to avoid potential damage. Choosing a slightly used car can relieve this stress, allowing you to relax and enjoy your vehicle without the constant worry of preserving its showroom-new appearance.

Certified Pre-Owned Options

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If you’re looking for the assurance of a well-maintained vehicle with low mileage and warranties but don’t want to pay the premium associated with brand new cars, certified pre-owned (CPO) options are a fantastic choice. CPO vehicles undergo rigorous inspections and come with extended warranties, offering you peace of mind similar to that of a new car, but at a significantly reduced cost. These vehicles strike a balance between affordability and reliability, making them an attractive alternative to brand new cars.

Better Value for Money

cash and steering wheel car
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When you’re looking for the best value for your hard-earned money, used cars, particularly those just a few years old, can deliver. These vehicles have already weathered the steepest depreciation curve, meaning they retain their value better than brand new cars. Additionally, you can expect more affordable insurance premiums for used cars, further saving you money. With a slightly used car, you can enjoy reliable transportation without the hefty price tag associated with brand new vehicles.

Author: Madison Cates

Title: Managing Editor


Research journalist, Freelance writer, Managing editor

  • Expertise: automotive content, trending topics.
  • Education: LeTourneau University, Bachelors of Science in Business Administration.
  • Over 400 articles and short news pieces published across the web.

Experience: Madison Cates is a journalist located in the great state of Texas. She began writing over eight years ago. Her first major research piece was published by the Journal of Business and Economics in 2018. After growing up in a household of eight brothers and a dad who was always restoring old Camaros, she naturally pivoted her freelance career into the automotive industry. There, she found her passion. Her experience paved the way for her to work with multiple large corporations in automotive news and trending topics. Now, she now finds her home at Wealth of Geeks where she proudly serves as Managing Editor of Autos. Madison is always down to geek out over the latest beautiful cars on the market, and she enjoys providing her readers with tips to make car ownership easier and more enjoyable.

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