In a couple of weeks time, I come up to my one year anniversary with my Audi A1, so I guess you could say Happy Car-versary! After years of owning different colour Fiat 500 Sport models, it’s safe to say my heart now lies within the Audi club.
I have a lot of people ask me about my car buying decision, and what made me switch to an Audi after years of praising Fiat 500’s. I also have people ask me what my preferences were for choosing to buy a new car, rather than one that’s older, and which would I recommend.
I guess it comes down to personal preference, but there are definite pro’s and cons for both. I recently spied some research that revealed that 70% of those looking to buy this year will be after a used car, rather than brand new. So if you’re considering whether to buy used or new, remember that it’s not just the upfront cost you should consider.
The same model, one new and one a few years old, will generally have similar car insurance and fuel costs, but the other running costs can vary drastically. Servicing and maintenance will be a lot cheaper for the brand new vehicle, especially because you get the first three years where a service or an MOT but the biggest difference is down to depreciation.
Depreciation is the difference between the car’s value when you buy it, and what it’s worth when you sell it. In the first year – essentially as soon as you drive off the forecourt – a new vehicle can lose anything from 15 to 35% of it’s value, adding up to half or more over three years.
I always make sure I look into the insurance side of things first. For example, as well as getting a quote, I look at things insurers cover within their insurance package, to check I’ll be properly covered on my vehicle. Some currently offer uninsured driver cover (if you’re in an accident that wasn’t your fault with a driver who is uninsured), roadside vehicle recovery, and third party cover. These are really important to look out for!
When I was making my choices to last year to look at buying a new car, the main advantage for me was buying a car that generally comes with a warranty. Most new cars will have very few repairs in the first few years, so I wanted to focus on the maintenance of the car. The dealer may also offer a finance scheme at a lower interest rate, which can reduce the amount of interest you pay.
After years of driving 2008 plate Fiat 500’s – which isn’t a negative, by the way, they were just slightly older – is that new cars obviously have the latest technology. Some even have better gas mileage and lower emissions.
To summarise a few key points I had to weigh up, I’ve highlighted some thought below for you:
Disadvantages of a New Car
The biggest disadvantage of buying a new car is that you lose money on it as soon as you drive it away from the car retailer. New cars take their biggest depreciation in the first two or three years. Which can mean you are technically loosing value quicker, thus loosing money.
Another disadvantage is if you buy a car that is a brand new model. There may be a year when they switch engines or alter the design and that model and year tend to have more problems. If you buy used you can avoid that issue.
Advantages of a Used Car
The biggest advantage of buying a used car is that you let someone else take the biggest depreciation hit on the car. The previous owner lost the most money on it, and you may be able to sell your car for nearly the same amount you paid for it (if you look after it super well!).
You can still find good financing options through your local bank, and because you are not losing the money on depreciation, you may come out ahead of a zero interest loan that you would take out on a new car.
When you buy a used car, it is easier to save up and pay cash for it outright, so you own the car. I don’t know about you, but having the whole paying by finance thing hanging over me does bother me – especially once a month when it leaves my bank account!
And quite a key one- one of the main advantages is that your insurance rates will be lower on a used car as opposed to a new one.
One of my personal focuses would be on choosing a credible car dealership so that you know that you are in good hands. A car dealer who is professional and with a good reputation will share a full car history with you, that will entail any accidents or repairs done on the car.
This will give you your negotiating leverage as you’ll exactly know what you are getting and how much is it worth. Looking for a pre-loved car in Brighton? Check out KAP Motor’s website and choose from a wide variety of second hand cars.
Disadvantages of a Used Car
The biggest disadvantage of buying a used car is the obvious factor that it may well need more repairs on it. However, you do have the option of buying a certified pre-owned car through several different car companies. As technology has improved cars over time, many are more reliable than you think. Some have even racked up over 100,000 miles and can be 10 years old and still powering on. close to ten years old.
But, it’s the safe thing to do to make sure you have back up money and savings, as you do run the fear of never knowing the car could just crash out on you.
Another disadvantage of buying used is that you may have to compromise on the colour, style and interior. Cars get more modern and stylish over time, with fabulous new colours launching year after year. Plus, if it’s over 5 years old, that once shiny letter box red car may be more of a slightly washed out, sun kissed red. Uh oh!
It’s a real personal decision and everyone will need to decide for themselves what the best option is. Mainly, it comes down to money. Think about the finance payments for a brand new car, and will you be comfortable with the high figure coming out monthly. I asked myself if I would be in a good enough position to pay it off before the finance was over, in which I answered yes. That’s how I knew I was fine to get a new car on finance.
However, if you chose the right dealership and make sure a used car has full service and MOT history proof, without any major problems, you’ll find yourself in a much easier position to buy an affordable, quality car.
Insurance costs and repair costs are another biggy. And also, think about how much driving you do – do you rack up the miles daily?
I hope these tips have helped you out slightly, and remember, there are so many guides similar to this out there online, so research, research, research!