New or used? Which vehicle option best for you?

Contributed by Brandy Jurgens

When it's time to buy a vehicle, there are many decisions to make. Having a clear understanding of what you want, need and can afford ultimately helps you keep your goals in mind and get the best deal for your money. These are a few factors to consider before making this significant purchase:

Make a list of features you want your vehicle to have. If there is no compromising over these extras, then you may want to look into purchasing a new car. However, if having the latest and greatest features is not a priority, buying a used vehicle with good features and a reasonable price tag may be best.

Price comparison
When looking for a new vehicle, a price comparison typically is not as high of a concern since it is generally easier to predict the price. But, do your homework, it is possible that the same vehicle can be found at a different dealership for a lower price.

For used vehicles, it’s helpful to obtain a detailed analysis of the market price ranges in order to find out if they are priced appropriately.

Fuel efficiency
If this is one of your top priorities, it’s worthwhile to look into a newer vehicle as they are often comparatively more fuel efficient than their preceding models.

This is the reduction in the value of a car at the time of sale. Depreciation is not as big of a factor with older vehicles, but the latest models are prone to considerable depreciation within the first year.

Checking the VIN
The Verification Identification number (VIN) is a unique combination of letters and numbers assigned to each vehicle. Every repair or change a vehicle encounters is tracked through its VIN number. Investigating this information on a used vehicle gives a detailed history of how it has been maintained. There are many resources available, especially online, to learn about a vehicle’s history.

Inspection matters
The inspection of a new car involves a detailed review of the documentation along with a demonstration by a salesperson about all the specifications of the car.

Used vehicles need a more detailed inspection. Hiring a professional mechanic and researching accident reports through resources such as are always a good idea, because it can be risky to rely solely on the previous owner’s claims.

While on the journey to purchase a vehicle, self-satisfaction is an important consideration. If you feel dissatisfied at any stage of the process, it may be a good idea to take a step back and
reconsider your options for vehicles or dealerships.

If you're ready to purchase a new or used vehicle, American is happy to help you figure out which financing options or apply online today. 


A lifelong resident of North Dakota, Brandy has been working in the financial industry since 2011. In addition to coaching and mentoring the retail staff in Bismarck, Mandan, Underwood and McClusky, she helps customers find the right banking solutions for their needs. “I strive to make life easier for customers by connecting them with the top-notch products and services American has to offer.”  Brandy works to meet her customers’ needs based on their individual situations.

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