New or used? There’s a lot to consider in shopping for your next vehicle

New or used?

It’s a vexing question.

Whether ’tis smarter in the mind for vehicle shoppers … oh, you get the point, even if William Shakespeare wasn’t thinking of cars when he wrote Hamlet.

You have a big choice to make when you purchase a vehicle to replace your current car, pickup, SUV or crossover – or get your first – not as big as Hamlet’s choice in the Shakespeare play but big nonetheless.

Especially if you’re working with a not-so-extravagant budget as many people are.

There are good reasons on both sides of the new-versus-used debate for you to consider – a point that was made recently by reporter Christian Wardlaw in two articles in the New York Daily News.

“New cars are a poor investment. Instant, and sometimes dramatic depreciation of a new car makes a lightly used car the smarter financial decision,” wrote Wardlaw. “Aside from allowing someone else to absorb thousands of dollars in lost value, though, buying a used car is a bigger gamble.”

“Whether you buy a new car or a used car is dependent on your specific situation,” he wrote.

The eight best reasons to buy a new car, according to Wardlaw, are greater reliability, a manufacturer’s warranty, the latest safety equipment, better fuel economy, the latest technology, potential discounts, attractive financing options and knowing the vehicle’s maintenance history. Of course, there’s a lot more to each of the eight reasons, which you can find in Wardlaw’s article.

The six smart reasons you should buy a used car are to save money, today’s cars and trucks remain reliable longer, certified pre-owned (CPO) programs provide “like new” condition, vehicle history reports are available on many vehicles, attractive financing options on CPO vehicles, and you can drive a “better” car than you might be able to afford otherwise, which the reporter wrote about in detail.

The average price of new versus used vehicles is significant – about $13,500 – based on data from Kelley Blue Book and J.D. Power, which reported averages of $33,500 and $20,000, respectively.

But if you want to save the money, Wardlaw pointed out, it’s a lot to spend to get that new car smell.

Of course, that’s not all you get with a new vehicle, as the reporter himself detailed. And either way the outcome is a lot better than Hamlet’s fate.