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Buying A New or Used Car? Which One’s For You?

New or Used Car

The UK’s secondhand car market is a booming industry. Statistically, used vehicle sales outstrip new sales three to one. But what makes this way of buying a car so appealing?

Pros and cons can be found no matter which option you opt for. Whether you want to invest in a ride with the best safety features around or simply want to snap up a bargain that will comfortably get you from A to B, there’s a lot to think about when buying a new car, no matter what the condition. 

To make your life easier, we’ve rounded up the pros and cons that come with buying a new or used car. Read on to discover which one’s best for you:

Perks of a new car

There’s a lot to be said about making the leap towards buying a new car. Not only can you choose the exact specifications you want from trim and colour to engine size, but you get a sweet warranty package thrown in to set you up comfortably for the next 3 to 5 years. 

What’s more, you are the first and only owner, so there is no hidden or unknown history to worry about! You can also expect:

  • More advanced technology 
  • Higher safety features 
  • Groundbreaking user features such as stability control and advanced braking systems
  • Better fuel economy 
  • A more comprehensive range of finance deals to choose from
  • Save money and time at the garage
  • More likely to avoid rising emission-related charges such as London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) or various Clean Air Zones (CAZ) throughout the country

On the flip side, new, modern cars typically have higher levels of engine related faults, which are not easily fixed at the side of the road. However, with your warranty to hand, you have a safety net to fall back on that are unavailable with most secondhand cars. 

Used car appeal

Ok, we’d be lying if the rise of the electric vehicle (EV) wasn’t impacting the used cars market. Combined with the fastly approaching 2030 ban of new petrol and diesel car sales, the industry was bound to feel the weight of the PM’s decision for a zero-emissions future.

But, it’s worth noting that despite this, over 8 million secondhand vehicles are still being sold each year. That’s a lot of cars to choose from! 

Some advantages to think about:

  • Cheaper to buy upfront
  • You avoid taking the financial hit of depreciation (approx. 20% of a car’s value is lost as soon as it leaves the showroom) – most new cars will lose their value by two-thirds after three years
  • More extended manufacturer warranties that are still in effect secondhand
  • Over half of all secondhand sales are made at dealerships

Some disadvantages to consider:

  • May cost you more in repairs than a newer vehicle
  • More expensive to buy through dealerships than private sales
  • Higher risks associated with private sales such as discrepancies over service history or hidden faults
  • Potential for “Clocking” or tampering 

The other option?

Often overlooked by the casual buyer, the “nearly new” market is where you can scoop up some real bargains. These cars are typically part of a dealership’s “pre-registered” stock or part of their demonstration fleet. 

But what are the advantages?

  • Deals with a large chunk of the “out of showroom” depreciation
  • You get all the benefits of modern, fuel-efficient and safe cars
  • A new car purchased for a fraction of the cost
  • Brought by the dealership due to its overall saleability and appeal

And the disadvantages:

  • Less choice – you will get the dealership model that was brought specifically for demonstrator appeal and easy resale
  • Extra registration name on your documents
  • Will have clocked up a few thousand miles already

Top tip when buying a nearly new car: Confirm the build date with the dealer before committing to purchase – even if you think you’re looking at a decent 2019 plate, it may well be a 2018 model. This is of note as it will make a difference when it comes to selling your vehicle later on. 

Made your decision? How will you buy your car?

Car finance is one of the most effective and financially sound ways to purchase your new car, no matter where you plan on buying it from. 

Whether you opt for the traditional bank loan, purchase hire, personal contract purchase or other lease option, breaking your payment down into more manageable monthly chunks makes a lot of sense to the average Joe. 

Not only can you keep payments down low, but you have greater access to warranties and servicing. Plus, you get much more choice than a standard cash purchase. 

If you have a poor credit history or have struggled to get accepted for car finance in the past, there are specialist lenders out there that can help you secure your dream vehicle. 

The perks of finance don’t stop there either. With more and more customers jumping on the car finance bandwagon, the secondhand car market is also open to you – as long as you are purchasing your vehicle from a reputable dealer. 

Electric vehicle concerns

The pressure to buy an electric vehicle has never been more pressing. With the growing concerns over climate change fuelling topical discussions the world over, the motoring industry has definitely felt the impact. 

Fortunately, buying an EV is no longer exclusively part of the new car sales market. Now that we are a few years in since the first Tesla, Nissan Leaf and more first hit the showroom floor, you can bag an EV bargain in the used car market too. 

The motoring industry is changing. With more and more pressure to upgrade your car to an emission friendly EV, you may be seriously considering buying a new car. Whether you need a fresh set of wheels, want a safer, family vehicle, or it’s time for a change, your new and secondhand options have never been more exciting! What car will you opt for?