New car or used car – these are the pros and cons
Buying a new car is not always easy. Some people will always look for a bargain second-hand buy while others swear by cars off the showroom floor.
New car: The Pros
Best state it’s ever going to be: This is difficult to ignore. You are getting it ‘out of the box’ and you are the very first owner.
Peace of mind: With any decent brand, you are fully covered with a motor plan and manufacturer’s warranty – built into the price.
Less maintenance: If anything goes wrong, it usually does within the first few months. Other than that, everything will be covered under your motor plan apart from wear and tear items such as bulbs, tyres and oil.
A ‘greener’ car: These days, new cars feature lean, mean, scientifically engineered machinery – everything is lighter, uses less fuel and is all round much greener. If you feel passionate about the environment, it actually makes more sense to buy a new car than re-using a second-hand one.
Customise it: Everything these days can be optioned to your liking, from paint colour to sound system to parking assistance.
Latest technology and features: Every new model and facelift models come with tonnes of new features that you just can’t compare with an older model. And it’s not about fancy looks – the magic happens under the bonnet. You get a more powerful engine, a lighter body and better fuel efficiency than ever before.
New car: The Cons
Typically more expensive: Price is determined by brand perception and reputation. There is a big fluctuation in price between a brand-new car and a second-hand car, even if it just has a few hundred or thousand kilometres on the clock.
Added tax: Carbon tax is calculated on a car’s carbon consumption so the bigger your car’s engine, the more you’ll pay.
Optional features add further costs: It’s nice to option a car to your liking. Just remember: if you go to town, these extras can cost up to 20% of the price – which you won’t get back if you resell.
It is not an appreciating asset: The old saying is true – your car will drop in value as soon as it leaves the showroom floor.
Second-hand car: Pros
A better price: Second-hand cars are much cheaper than new cars as the previous owner has absorbed some of the depreciation, which means lower financing costs.
Get a bargain: You can get a much higher spec car second-hand than new. Just be sure to buy from a reputable dealership.
No additional taxes are payable: The selling price is all you pay.
Motor plan and warranty: If you buy a car less than five years old, you could still benefit from the balance of the motor plan and warranty which will be transferred with the car.
Wider choice: You’ll find a wide variety of places to shop for second-hand cars, from auctions to dealerships, from friends’ cars to websites.
Second-hand car: Cons
You never really know what you’re getting: Get a full service history and have the car’s roadworthy test done by the AA. Other than that you’ll have to take the seller’s word for it that it hasn’t been in a major accident or had serious troubles.
If out of warranty and motor plan: You’ll have no guarantee that nothing will go wrong at a later stage. Any problems will result in additional repair and maintenance costs if the car is out of warranty and its service plan has expired. This could get quite expensive.
What you see is what you get: With a used car, you can’t add optional extras and safety features.