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If you're in the market for new or used cars in Bradenville, you might be asking yourself just which of those options actually makes sense to you. Should you spend the extra money for that new car smell, or spend more conservatively to upgrade your model instead?

Choosing between new and pre-owned is not always easy. Both come with a variety of advantages and disadvantages that are important to consider. So, before you visit that used car dealership in Bradenton, keep these 6 factors in mind when making the decision and browsing your options.

1) The Budget Factor

We'll start with the obvious: new cars tend to be more expensive than their pre-owned counterparts. That means you will need a bigger initial investment as you sign your name on the bottom line. 

However, two additional factors are worth considering as well when it comes to making the choice: the financing options and long-term investment.

  • Financing. New cars tend to come with extensive financing options and special offers, including by the dealerships that sell the vehicle. You might have to seek out your own bank or loan for a pre-owned car.
  • Long-Term Investment. A new car loses its initial value faster than a used car due to the initial depreciation that comes off the purchase price almost as you buy it. That tends to make a used car a good long-term investment if you plan on re-selling a few years down the road.

2) The Safety Factor

One aspect of car models that tends to consistently improve with time are the safety features on the vehicle. New models often come with new features, improved airbags, and better testing available to keep you and your family safe. How important these incremental improvements are can influence what type of vehicle you choose.

However, it's once again important to caveat that statement. Safety improvements aren't always linear, and the budget saved by buying a used car might be used on a newer model with more features that can keep you and your family safe. Always check the vehicle's safety ratings before you make a decision.

3) The Feature Factor

Along the same lines as the above safety factor, infotainment and other features tend to improve with newer models. While you won't find Apple Car Play integration with a 2016 Cadillac, for instance, the newer 2019 and 2020 models probably have it as a standard feature integrated.

The same is true with other convenience and luxury features as well. Of course, nuance also matters. Your budget may be enough for a standard-issue 2020 Cadillac, but you could also find a 2018 version that has some heated seats or improved speakers already built in for the same amount.

4) The Maintenance Factor

New cars have the undeniable advantage of the manufacturer's warranty, which can last up to 100,000 miles on the engine. Used cars may still have part of that warranty, but they won't be covered for the period of ownership.

Pre-owned vehicles also tend to require more maintenance, having been on the road for a while. While you spend less on the initial purchase, if you're not careful or buy from an untrustworthy used car dealership, those maintenance costs could rise quickly. It's an important factor to keep in mind as you evaluate new vs. pre-owned vehicles.

5) The Choice Factor

With a new car, you're entirely on your own. You get to choose the exact vehicle you want, including the precise features and colors on both the interior and exterior. That choice tends to go away with used vehicles, where you have to rely on the inventory of a given dealership. Especially with small car dealerships, that can become a problem.

You'll find the features you want, but not in the right model or year. You might find the right color outside, but not inside. If you're insistent on getting your dream car, you might find that difficult when the choice is limited.

At the same time, it's important to highlight that this factor doesn't have to go to the extremes. Especially large used car dealerships in Bradenton will give you plenty of choices to find the right car. The added bonus is that you won't have to pay the upcharge for those features or custom color choices.

6) The Prestige Factor

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Finally, new car buyers tend to boast about their recent purchase much more than their used car buyer counterparts. The reason is simple: it's that new car smell. The prestige that comes along with the first few weeks on the road with a pristine vehicle can be tough to beat.

With that said, we'll add a final caveat to this point: the make and model often determines the prestige factor. While a used Volkswagen is nothing to write home about, for instance, a 2-year-old Cadillac is an entirely different story. Recently new pre-owned vehicles can still have that prestige factor if the brand communicates it on its own.

Finding the Right Pre-Owned Vehicle for Your Needs

In the end, the question whether you should buy a new or used vehicle comes down to your preferences. Both come with a wide range of advantages and disadvantages that are important to line up against your personal situation. Depending on that situation, either of these choices might be right for you.

The takeaway, though, is that buying a pre-owned vehicle (especially if you can find it at a trustworthy used car dealership) can be just as, and sometimes even more advantageous than going with an entirely new car. The right make, model, financing, features, and safety rankings may still make this your best choice in the end.

The choice of pre-owned vehicles is yours, and we want to partner with you. Our dealership is full of Cadillac experts. Don't hesitate to call us for more information at (941) 932-8852 or visit us at 4780 14th St. between Monday and Saturday. Let's work together to find you that pre-owned car of your dreams.