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Car for Son

My 21 year old son has about $14,000 to spend on his first car. What should he be looking at? A late model used car or a new car?

Late-model used cars are much better deals, since they have already gone through the first-year depreciation, which is brutal.

There are too many nice used cars in this price range to list. Does he have anything in mind?

Personally, I prefer reliability and economy over flash, but then I’m a long way from 21.

A very nice car for a young man who wants something “cool” is the Scion tC. It’s made by Toyota so it’s very reliable and economical, and the coupe styling is attractive.

There are, however, hundreds of other cars from which to choose.

Tell your son to inquire about the cost of insurance for whatever he is considering. Prices vary quite a bit depending on the make and model chosen.

If you have access to Consumer Reports magazine you can learn a lot from their annual car issue, which contains information and ratings on new and used cars, including cars that are recommend and cars to avoid, listed by price range.

How much will he be driving (miles/year)? Where will he be driving (climate, city or rural,…).

Whatever he wants, honestly.
It’s like asking what kinda clothes to get someone who has $1000 to spend. Do you go to WalMart, or do you go to Kohls or some other fancier department store?
Suggestions range from a New Yaris to a used Mercedes or Porsche or Mustang.

If his interest is Honda or Toyota <3 yrs old look for new as the depreciation is low on these vehicles.

If other makes I would look for used as the bargains can be great in the (flooded) used car market except small cars.

If he does his homework and buys a reliable brand (he should pick up a Consumer Reports New Car Buyers’ Guide at the bookstore) and an economy car meets his needs, he’s better off IMHO buying new. Most people don’t generally trade a late model car in a stumbling economy unless there’s a problem with it. With a new car he’ll know its history, know its maintenance, and have no issues about the warranty. He’ll know it won’t have been abused, know it won’t have been in an accident.

Besides, new cars come with all the latest safety features and economy features.