Buying and Selling

Pre-owned or New Car? Which to Get for your Teenager

If you have a teenager and you are planning to buy them a car either for their birthday or as a celebratory gift for a significant achievement, then you have most probably been faced with the dilemma of choosing between getting them a new car or a used one.

Before you decide on which to purchase, there are some things to consider. It is not advisable to jump to conclusions when buying something—especially when it will be something your teenage son or daughter will own.

New cars: Pros and cons

Many would consider new cars as a great investment. This belief is mainly right.

New cars come with a warranty, which is valid starting on the day your teenager drives it and until a certain amount of time. Some car companies cover warranty according to mileage and not time.

Regardless of the type, having a warranty is a financial bubble wrap that covers the expenses needed for repair and maintenance. Teenagers are not necessarily troublemakers but having insurance that initial costs will be dealt with is reassuring, especially for young car owners.

Another advantage of a new car is that they are equipped with advanced safety technology like collision and blind spot warning systems, which will significantly help newbie drivers.

One major downfall of a new car, however, is that it rapidly depreciates the moment you drive it. If you intend to sell the car even just months later, there is a considerable chance that you will not be able to sell it for even half the price regardless of how well your teenager took care of it or how little it was used.

Used cars: Pros and cons

Many parents would agree that getting a teenager a used car is financially wiser. That is true, for the most part: used vehicles have already taken the greatest depreciation hit in the hands of its previous owner.

Another good thing about used cars is that insurance rates are much lower compared to new ones—and for an automobile that you are entrusting to a teenager, you might be well off with this deal compared to paying sky-high cash for a new model, which is more financially burdening.

Used cars in Utah and other states are prolific. There are many car dealerships, and there are many reliable sellers. However, all used cars are not as reliable as they used to be. It is only fair to expect that a used car will not be as sleek or smooth as a new car.

Which one?

Either purchase will require money, albeit in varying amounts. One sacrifices price and depreciation, while the other compensates functionality and appearance.

Deciding on what to get for your teenager ultimately lies in whether or not you trust him or her enough to drive something that is expensive, regardless if it is new or pre-owned. Owning and operating a car requires responsibility. Determine if your teenager can handle such.