Buying a New Car Could Be Smarter Than Buying a Used Car in 2021

If you’re in the market for a car and are looking to get a good deal, then common knowledge would likely tell you that buying a used car is your best bet. And that would typically be the case had the pandemic not occurred. Over the past year, the used car market has gone haywire for a number of reasons and now, in 2021, it may actually be smarter to buy a new car as opposed to a used one.

New car shortages have driven up used car prices

The year 2020 was a doozy for the auto industry, especially in the new car market. For starters, production slowed down due to the virus causing a shortage in the new car inventory across the nation. And now, there is reportedly a shortage of computer chip manufacturing, which means that some automakers have slowed down or halted production, leading buyers to look at the used car market this year as well.

However, that doesn’t mean that you need to follow suit as there are still plenty of new cars to go around and there are still deals to be had.

New Ford dealership pictured.
A new Ford dealership. | Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

The pros of buying a new car in 2021

Ray and Zach Shefska of Your Auto Advocate recently released a video addressing the pros and cons of buying a new car versus a used one. Despite these pandemic-filled times, a lot of the benefits of buying a new car still stand. However, the most interesting part is that you might be able to get a better deal, or at least benefit in a better way, than if you were to buy a used car right now.

Here are some of the pros of buying a new car in 2021:

  • Manufacturer rebates: New cars are still subject to manufacturer rebates, which can save you money off the price of the car.
  • Factory warranty: New cars have the benefit of a new car warranty for the full length of a lease term or most of a finance loan term.
  • New car smell: Who doesn’t like that new car smell?
  • Can negotiate the price: While many dealers are still holding as much profit as possible during these times, you can still negotiate the price of a new car better than you can for a used one.
  • Newer technology: Let’s not forget that most new cars in the market today come standard with driver-assist features and other tech-savvy features like Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

This year might not be the best time to buy a used car

While you can still find a good deal on some used cars in the market, you might find that some prices are indeed a little higher than normal. The Shefskas used their own “Market Price Report” tool on their site to look up the pricing on a 2019 Hyundai Tucson.

Upon pulling up the VIN in their tool, they were able to see that that specific car didn’t have the same type of “negotiability” when it came to its pricing, only carried some of the new car warranty that was remaining and had around 20,000 miles on it. Case in point, here are some of the downsides to buying a used car this year:

  • Pre-purchase inspection: When buying a used car, it’s always recommended that you get a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) done, which will cost you some money.
  • Mileage: Any used car will have some type of mileage on it, so paying a little more for a new car with no miles on it could be better.
  • Negotiability is low: Many used car dealers aren’t willing to negotiate on used cars right now due to the market.
  • You only get the remainder for the manufacturer’s warranty: Buying a new car will get you more of a warranty.
Cars parked in front of a used car dealership
A used car lot | Steven Miric/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

The Pros and Cons of Ordering a New Car Directly From the Factory

Buying a new car can have its perks and save you money

As we can see, buying a new car can have its benefits, not only at the time of sale but for years afterward. If you purchase a used car, depending on the year and condition of it, you could be subject to paying for repairs later on. But with a new car, you most likely won’t have to worry about that, and if anything does happen, you always have that new car warranty to rely on.