Skyrocketing prices on some small, fuel-efficient used cars means you need to tread cautiously before you pick used over new. We asked Vincentric, an automotive data company, for three-year ownership costs for new and used Toyota Corolla LE’s -- including depreciation, interest on your loan, insurance, fuel costs, maintenance and repairs.
The three-year costs of a 2009 Corolla you buy from a private party are $20,520; for a 2009 certified preowned Corolla, which commands a higher initial price because it comes with a one-year comprehensive warranty, they’re $22,015. But the three-year costs for a brand-new Corolla are only $20,944. When you factor in higher prices for the used Corollas plus the costs of maintenance and repairs, it’s clear that buying a new one is a better deal.