Should You Buy a Used or New Car? A Side-by-Side Comparison

That new Honda CR-V looks mighty fine. Then again, the older CR-V out on the lot has an excellent price and comes with a lot of the same features. Do I bite the bullet and lease the new Honda, or would Dad want me to be responsible and go with pre-owned? Ahh! The pressure — I’m just not ready for this!

You’re not alone in your self-flagellation. The tough decision to buy new vs. used is placed on the shoulders of thousands each day. Don’t settle for a coin flip. Allow us to help you navigate the treacherous waters and choose the right new car or pre-owned vehicle.

Used vs. New: The Pros & Cons

Used Cars

#1 Overall Affordability

The price tag on a used car is the most prominent feature shoppers notice. It’s likely thousands of dollars less than its newer counterpart, and although financing a pre-owned vehicle can sometimes come with higher interest rates than a new-car lease or loan, you may pay less money in the long run. 

Not only is a used vehicle cheaper to buy, it’s also more affordable to insure and register at the DMV/BMV.

#2 More Car for Less Dough

The money saved by choosing used vs. new can be put toward an upper trim with all the figurative bells and whistles. You could, for instance, find and buy a used Accord Touring with built-in navigation, heated leather seats, Wi-Fi, rain-sensing wipers, and a high-end audio system — all for less than the cost of a nice, new 2021 Accord in Phoenix. Sure, you’ll miss out on some fancier features, like a wireless charging pad and head-up display, but you can always buy a more decked-out pre-owned Accord Touring in a few years.

#3 Higher Resale Value

Did you know that, after 3 years, a new car will depreciate in value by an average of 52%? Pre-owned vehicles have already depreciated — thanks, previous owner! — which means you aren’t taking as big a financial hit if you decide to sell it again. 

#4 Great “Starter” Cars

If you’re buying a cheap car for your teen or new college grad, look no further than that used car lot near you. Late-model pre-owned vehicles offer a good level of protection in case your inexperienced driver gets into a fender bender, and if the car gets totaled, you’ll be glad you didn’t spend $10k more for the newer model. (Just ask about GAP insurance!)

#5 Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles

You can always err on the side of caution and settle for a vehicle in between “new” and “used.” With a CPO car, you’ll get the best of both worlds: An affordable price point and a vehicle with a warranty and all the newest technology. It’s a no-brainer. 

Read more about certified pre-owned vs. new vehicles, and don’t forget to browse the CPO Hondas for sale at your Valley Honda Dealers near Arizona.

New Cars

#1 Shopping is Simpler

Who said buying a new car was difficult? That’s a myth. With a new vehicle, you get peace of mind knowing that it’s in perfect, out-of-the-box condition. You don’t have to pick through its vehicle history report with a fine-tooth comb. Just research and find a model with a price tag and the features that appeal to you, then visit your auto dealer for a test drive. 

#2 Full Warranty

All new vehicles are backed by a manufacturer warranty. Should a covered component, part or feature fail, you won’t need to take a dollar out of your pocket to get it fixed. Bring it into your dealer, and they’ll do the rest. 

Car warranty coverage is different for every manufacturer. Honda vehicles, for instance, are protected by a 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty, 5 years of rust protection, a 15-year/150,000 seat belt warranty, and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Honda hybrid vehicles, like the CR-V Hybrid and Insight, are also covered by an 8-year/100,000-mile High Voltage Battery Capacity Warranty. 

#3 Leasing Options

Unlike pre-owned cars, new cars can be leased. (Hooray!) Leasing a vehicle is a great option for shoppers who dislike the more burdensome aspects of used-car ownership — mainly lower reliability and expensive long-term upkeep and repairs. 

See, lessees lease vehicles for a few years (typically 36 months), and that vehicle is covered by a warranty throughout the course of the lease contract. Other than oil changes, tire rotations and routine maintenance, it shouldn’t need much work.

#4 Modern Tech

Technology be crazy these days. Just 10 years ago, people listened to CDs while they drove — how archaic! Thanks to the rapid evolution of automotive tech, even a 6-year-old vehicle can be considered “too old.” 

Let’s compare 2020-21 Honda technology with what was around in 2014. If you purchase a used 2014 CR-V instead of a newer 2020 or 2021 model, you’ll miss out on several incredibly useful features. For example, the 2020 CR-V includes standard Honda Sensing; the ‘14 CR-V, while being ranked as one of the safest SUVs at the time, came with just a rearview camera, airbags, and Vehicle Stability Assist, along with a few other features.

On the “fun tech” end, the 2014 CR-V is missing a wireless phone charger, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HondaLink, and a 7-inch touchscreen — all of which come with many 2020-21 CR-V trims.

#5 Fuel Efficiency 

Continuing that tech trend, newer vehicles have more advanced engines and are typically better on gas than their older counterparts. Taking the 2014 vs 2020 CR-V example above, the new CR-V returns 28 city/34 highway mpg*, which is 5 city/3 highway mpg more than the ‘14 model.

Woman Buying Pre-Owned CR-V in Phoenix

Now that you’ve figured out whether to buy new or used, it’s time to spend some of your afternoon at one of our car dealerships near Phoenix. We’ll help you narrow down your list of potential vehicles until you find one that fits all your needs.

Contact your Valley Honda Dealers today. We have showrooms all across Arizona, including Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, and Scottsdale. Request a quote online, and we’ll hook you up!


CR-V 28 city/34 highway/30 combined mpg rating for 2WD trims. 27 city/32 highway/29 combined mpg rating for AWD trims. 40 city/35 highway/38 combined mpg rating for hybrid trims. Based on 2021 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery-pack age/condition (hybrid trims) and other factors.