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Why this may be one of the rare times buying a new car is a better deal than buying used

While used cars will be cheaper, if there's not much a difference, a new vehicle could be the better deal.

HOUSTON — You probably remember your parent telling you this: always buy a used car, because they are so much cheaper than used.

However, in this topsy-turvy year, that's not always the case anymore.

Conventional wisdom says a new vehicle's value plunges the minute you take it home. 

"We've all heard this, you lose 20 to 30 percent of the cars value when you drive it off the lot," Karl Brauer of automotive website ISeeCars.com said. "You almost always want to buy a used car when you are going for pure value."

However, Brauer says that's not the case in 2021.

With used car prices at an all-time high, I See Cars says some used cars are so expensive that the new version is a better deal.

"If it's 2 percent cheaper to buy a one year old one, why not just buy a one year old one?" Brauer said

Among the vehicles where new can be a smarter deal:

  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Toyota 4 Runner
  • Nissan Frontier
  • Honda Pilot

In most of those cases, you can get the car for just $2,800 more than a 1-year-old version; and you get the full warranty, and no spilled French fries.

From the "doesn't that stink" file, some cars still plunge in value quickly. One survey concluded many luxury cars still drop 30 percent after a year, and that stinks!

It's suggested you buy used if you want a Cadillac XTS or CTS, Mercedes E Class or Lincoln MKZ.

So while used cars will be cheaper, if there's not much difference, new could be a better deal.

And as always, don't waste your money.