That New Car Smell May Be Worth The Extra Thousand Bucks

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Photo: Flickr / annstheclaf

The conventional wisdom is that buying a used car will save thousands of dollars over getting a new one. But in this market, new cars may be a better deal, says Kelley Blue Book.Two years of rising used car prices have shrunk the differential between the cost of a new car and a similar one-year-old vehicle to a well-below-average 11.5 per cent, according to the auto industry research firm. The difference is even slighter for subcompacts and compacts (5 to 7 per cent) and hybrids and midsize crossovers (4 to 5 per cent).

The difference can vary greatly by model. The smallest price gap found by Kelley is for the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, at $26,180 — only $126 more than a one-year-old model. A new Subaru Impreza sedan costs only $150 more than the one-year-old used equivalent. The differential is considerably greater for a 2012 Ford Focus — $3,000 more than a 2011 model — because the 2012 Focus is completely redesigned and much improved. 

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