New vs Used: Should you buy a second-hand car?
This is a fierce debate amongst car buyers across the country: should you opt for a brand new car, or buy one of the millions of used cars that are sold each year? There are many areas to consider when deciding this for yourself, so if you’ve been scratching your head recently trying to figure it out, here are the four key questions you should ask yourself.
- What is your financial situation?
No matter what your budget, it’s always better to buy used cars purely due to the impact of depreciation on the car. New cars can lose as much as 19% in their first year, and in decreasing amounts over the first few years of its life. Buying a slightly older car will be a better investment when you come to sell it in future, as it will hold its value far better. If you just love new cars though, think about whether you can live with the finance installments? Most people buy new cars on a finance deal, but these fixed payment rates are based on the brand new value of the car. For years you’ll be paying way above what it’s worth.
- Have you thought about additional expenses?
Once you drive out of the dealership, a new car will be expensive to insure because it’s worth a lot more, whereas the premiums will be far lower with older cars. The spare parts for newer cars are also usually far more expensive to replace when in a garage; as technology has advanced, there simply aren’t as many available to get hold of, and the materials cost more.
- Do you have specific requirements?
It could be the case however that your requirements simply don’t match up to an older car’s specification, in which case buying a new car is the only way forward. Whether it’s gadgets, comfort or safety that you hold most dear, not only will the newest version be the most advanced in all those areas, but you also have the option to customize it however you like, and have it tailor-built to your specification. Plus, let’s not forget the manufacturer’s warranty you’ll receive when you buy it straight from them.
- Do you drive a lot of miles?
Finally, ask yourself how much time you’re going to be spending in your next car. Are you a commuter who spends hours in their vehicle? Are you a salesman who frequently travels the length and breadth of the country? While you can get economical older cars, newer versions will be far more advanced in terms of fuel efficient technology, safety and stability control. If you plan to spend a lot of time in it, a newer car could be worth the extra money to you.
Will you be buying a new or used car this year? Let us know whether or not you found this article useful by leaving us a comment in the section below.