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New vs Second Hand Cars

Buying a new car is a big decision for most people. There is a large amount of choice when looking online or in a showroom. Not only do you need to choose the make and model, but you also need to decide whether to buy a new or second-hand car. Choosing between new and used is an important decision as it can have a big impact on your finances in the coming years.

New cars at dealer showroom. Themed blur background with bokeh effect. Car auto dealership.

There are pros and cons to all types of cars, including new cars, nearly new cars and second-hand cars. In this article we consider all the important factors when it comes to choosing between new and second-hand cars.

Buying a New Car

A new car is a car that has had no previous owners, typically made to order. Firstly, let’s take a look at the benefits of buying new. Buying a brand-new car is a dream purchase for many. It’s clean with perfect paintwork and has that amazing ‘new car smell’. One of the biggest advantages of buying a new car is the buyer can choose the exact model, specification and paintwork colour.

Secondly, there are no hidden historical problems to worry about with a new car. The car will be delivered to the owner after passing a series of safety checks. Plus, most new cars come with some form of warranty package, so there is no need to worry about potential repair costs.

But the benefits don’t stop there. New cars are likely to have the latest innovative technology, such as ADAS. Generally, new cars are also safer and more fuel efficient due to advances in technology.

However, there are some negatives to consider, firstly cost. Brand new cars are expensive, it is a luxury to be the first owner which comes with a premium price-tag. Most new cars lose up to 60% of their value in first 3 years, so if you want to sell the car, you may not be able to regain much of the money you paid for it.

Nearly-New Cars

Nearly new cars are cars that are up to three years old but have low mileage. These cars are typically former dealership demo cars, hire cars or company cars. This means you can purchase a car that looks and feels like new but is substantially cheaper than buying a car to order.

The biggest advantage to buying a nearly new car is the cost. Approximately 20% of a new car’s value is lost as soon as it leaves the showroom. Newly new cars give the best of both worlds, you get the benefits of that ‘new car’ feeling with modern technology, but without the loss in value from the showroom sale. The introduction of extended manufacturer warranties has added to the appeal of nearly new cars. Most car manufacturers will now offer a 5-year warranty, giving buyers extra peace of mind in the event of a manufacturer fault.

However, as a second owner, you cannot pick the exact specification, including paintwork colour and interior. Although the car is likely to have a service history, as a second owner you will not know how it has been driven by previous drivers.

Second Hand Used Cars

Second-hand cars are those that have had previous owners and most likely to be sold in small dealerships or privately. There are some benefits to buying a second-hand car, including the price. Plus, second-hand cars are often available immediately, with a private seller, you may be able to pay and drive away the same day. Finally, a second-hand car won’t lose as much value compared to a new car. If you want to sell the car, you are more likely to get a good portion of your money back.

However, buying a second-hand car can leave you uncertain about the car’s history. If possible, look for used cars with a full-service history. If the car does not have a service history, you can pay for a history check, allowing you to check for previous insurance write-offs. Plus, if you buy a car privately, and something goes wrong, if may be difficult to contact the seller.

If you are thinking of buying a used car instead of a new car, check out our ultimate checklist for buying a second-hand car.

When buying a new or second-hand car, it’s wise to choose a budget and stick to it. If you cannot find the model you want for the price you want to pay, don’t give up and keep shopping around for the best deal. You should also do your research on the make and model, read reviews and ensure it is a reliable vehicle, whether it is new or used.

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