Buying a new car is a big financial decision, and it’s not something to take lightly. It’s a process that takes a lot of time, research and admin, so you want to make sure you make the right decision.
If you’re looking to purchase a car soon, you might currently be weighing up your options. The choice between a new car or a second hand car, is something many people put a lot of thought into. But how do you know which choice is right for you? Here we’ll discuss the pros and cons to each, and hopefully help make your decision a little easier.
New, nearly new and old – that’s where your decision making skills need to come into play. A new car is one that never been owned before (hot off the press), a nearly new car is usually categorised as under 3 years old, and an old secondhand car is 3+ years, and may have had multiple owners.
Choosing to buy a new car
There’s nothing like that ‘new-car smell’ and, actually, there are many advantages if you choose to buy a new car. We’ve listed them below for you.
- More choice and flexibility on design: This is a big selling point for many car buyers. With most new car purchases, the ability to choose the colours, interiors and extras is part of the buying process. If you a very specific list of requirements, or just very specific taste, this is a great benefit to buying new. You can essentially pick and choose how and what you want.
- More finance options: You might be surprised to learn that most people don’t buy their car outright. New cars are expensive – and most people buy theirs on finance. If you’re looking to purchase using finance, buying new might presents more options for this.
- Advanced technology and gadgets: This is a big advantage for many people! Having the latest gadgets and technology can really enhance a driving experience. Many people want their cars to have all the latest technology, especially if they’re spending a lot of time in their vehicle.
- More eco-friendly: If sustainability and eco-friendly practises are important to you – then you might be swaying more towards new cars. The fact is, most newer cars give off less emissions, or are completely electric (so no petrol or diesel is even required). New cars generally tend to be much better for the environment.
- Safer and more reliable: Because you have a brand new car, it’ll generally be safer and more reliable than an older car. This isn’t always the case, but tends to be the rule.
But it’s not all positives! Here are some reasons you may want to avoid buying new:
- Faults are harder to fix roadside: Most new cars breakdown because of electrical issues – which can be difficult and timely to fix on the side of the road.
- Quick depreciation: New cars lose their value very quickly, and this is likely the biggest reason against buying new. A car loses approximately 10% of it’s value as soon as you drive it home – so the drop is steep and sudden.
- Higher insurance premiums: The higher the cost of your vehicle (and the newer the car) usually results in higher car insurance premiums.
Choosing to buy a second hand car
Many people decide that buying a secondhand car is the right choice for them. If you’re leaning towards buying a used car, here are some positive reasons it could be a great choice.
- Lots of choice: There are millions of used cars sold every year, so there is plenty of choice available out there.
- Lower Price Tag: The biggest advantage to used cars? The lower price tag! Most used cars will be dramatically lower priced than newer ones, which may mean you could afford something bigger or more high-end than planned. You may also have the option of part exchanging.
- Less Depreciation: Whilst new cars drop in value quickly, used cars (because they’re priced lower) don’t see the same drastic depreciation. This is good for you, the buyer, as it makes the used car a better investment.
- No up-sell for extras: Because a used car is already built and already in existence – it’s extremely difficult for sellers to up-sell or add on ‘extras’. Many people buying new get talked into adding unnecessary features and gadgets, but this needn’t be the case with buying used.
- You could buy upfront: Because used cars are cheaper and more affordable, you could buy your vehicle upfront, which means not taking out a loan or finance to cover the purchase.
If buying used sounds good so far, remember to also consider the following things:
- Always check the history: Because used cars may have had multiple owners, they come with a service history. It’s always worth checking the history of any vehicle to make sure the seller is being honest and upfront about any previous accidents, or lack of.
- Mileage: Used cars will have a higher mileage, and this does come with risks.
- Repairs might be more frequent: As with anything used, there will be a certain amount of wear. This could mean paying for repairs, or replacing certain parts of the car unexpectedly.
- Fuel could cost more: Most used cars use fuel instead of electric, so you may end up spending more money to fuel the car. However this is a very small issue if you’ve never driven an electric car (and you’re used to fuelling up your car anyway).