Which of us doesn’t like the idea of picking up the keys to a brand new car? Sure, it’s a shiny, never-driven-before treat, but is it really worth what you pay when compared with a pre-owned option? We take a look at some reasons why going for a used model can pay dividends.
Most people, even those who know relatively little about cars, know that a new vehicle depreciates the moment its driven off the forecourt. The make and model of your car has some bearing on its capacity to hold value, but unfortunately, whatever you buy, there’s a steep depreciation over the first year. In fact, new cars are generally thought to lose about a fifth of their value as soon as they leave the dealership.
Used cars, however, depreciate far less from the time of purchase to the time of resale. This is because the rate slows down the older they are. By the time its three years old, the rate of depreciation on a car has reached a much more stable pace, benefiting owners who buy at this time greatly.
One of the other advantages of buying a used car is that the technology has been tried and tested. Although most new cars are fairly reliable these days, a buyer is exposed to potential teething issues, especially where a newly developed feature is concerned. In more major scenarios, the vehicle may be recalled to have a factory fault rectified, which is inconvenient for the driver.
Certain issues, such as corrosion, take a couple of years to present themselves. By choosing a second hand vehicle you can avoid some of the hassle that these bring. If you’ve opted for a certified pre-owned vehicle, you have the added peace of mind that comes with the multipoint check that is carried out to identify and resolve any potential problems.
If you’re buying brand new, you may discover that you have to wait several months for your vehicle to arrive, particularly if it’s been customised. On the other hand, there’s a huge range of used cars on the market, so even if you know which make and model you want, there will be several options to choose from.
You will also be able to select your car based on colour, trim and mileage. These factors have an effect on price, but if you go to a reputable dealer with branches in more than one location, they can often source something for you.
Obviously a pre-owned car is going to be cheaper in terms of upfront cost or monthly payments than a new car. As we’ve already discussed, this is due to the depreciation rate of new cars. What this also means though, is that you can get more for your money when you buy used. Instead of having to purchase the basic model, you’ll probably be able to afford a version that has a few more bells and whistles – depending on your budget of course.