Rational Decisions Rarely Result In Euphoria
We've all been reminded by certain financially literate individuals that as soon as you buy a new car and drive it off the lot the car instantly loses X percent of its value. They'll also remind you that your insurance will cost more, your taxes will be higher, and that you can get more for the same amount of money because cars on average lose about 50 percent of their value over three years, and at that age cars definitely have a lot of life left in them, meaning you could buy a lightly used Audi or a brand new Honda Accord. So why would anyone ever buy new?
Well there are two reasons, first and my favorite is that people love cars. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people out there that see cars as more than just an appliance to get from A to B, they see what they drive as a form of self-expression, a piece of interactive art, an instrument that they use to reach transcendence. I'm fortunate enough to be able to tell you that few earthly experiences can rival mashing the gas pedal of a Ferrari on a wide open straightaway or tossing a Porsche Cayman GT4 through a curvy section of nicely manicured mountain road.
So from this perspective, enthusiasts are looking to take delivery of their car directly from the artist in it's most perfect form - new car smell and all. For me personally, I buy new simply because I can be sure that everything is near perfect, that the car only receives premium fuel, never goes through any more machine washes, gets waxed regularly, and that all maintenance is performed exactly on time. It's irrational, I know, but I demand the most out of my cars, and at least somebody is going to get a perfect
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Then there's the actual good reason you should buy new, warranty. If you're the type of person that likes to buy a car and keep it forever then not only can you make sure the car is well taken care of you can opt for some pretty incredible peace of mind. Chrysler, for example, lets you purchase a lifetime powertrain warranty
on most Dodge, Chrysler, and even Ram vehicles, that's right for life. Other reasons you might buy new is because some cars, well trucks mostly, don't depreciate quite as quickly and you can often get better financing for new cars. Sure, it still wont be as cheap as going used, but it helps close the gap - remember we're going after warranty and new car smell.
Plus, anyone who has been driving long enough has a used car horror story. For me, it was my truck. I took out a loan on the truck, then within a year of owning it, I replaced a cracked cylinder head, 2 MAF sensors, a blower motor resistor, a door speaker, and eventually I had to get a new engine. In the end, I had spent just as much in repairs as I did for the truck.
Lastly, some people just want the latest and greatest product available and they're willing to pay for it. Regardless, there's no shame in buying a new car. Sure, it may not be the most rational decision, but anything fun is never rational (ok I'm excluding mathematicians/engineering types who love their work), plus that's how the automotive world goes around. So I say relish in the experience of buying new, get giddy at the dealer, dream about your car, drive worry-free under warranty, and take a big deep drag of new car smell.