Cars: Is it Better to Buy New or Used? Here’s My Opinion

There are two kinds of people in this world; those that will only buy new cars and those who will never buy new. These people are also the one’s who go through life doggedly voting for one political party at every election without having a clue what the policies are.

Well, I don’t think the decision is as simple or as clear cut as that. There are pros and cons to both purchases.

I am going to give you a quick rundown here, to my opinions on both new and used cars.

New Cars

There is nothing like the smell of a new car. The first time you sit in it, your senses are overwhelmed. You are the first to drive this baby and its future is in your hands. When you have driven it home, you find yourself constantly looking out of the window to check that it is still there and to admire its beauty. Advantages of acquiring a new car include:

  • Guarantee. If anything goes wrong with this expensive purchase, you have peace of mind that it will be repaired or replaced for free.

  • Maintenance. Hey, this baby is brand new and won’t need any new tyres or an exhaust system for a while yet. Relax and enjoy it.

  • Kudos. Having the latest registration plate will impress your friends and neighbours.

It sounds ideal doesn’t it? Until you consider:

  • Depreciation. You have just knocked thousands of pounds off the value of your car, even before it was driven off the forecourt. Once the forms were signed it became second hand.

  • Service costs. In order to hold on to what value remaining, you will need to keep the service log up to date. This can be an expensive business that will run into thousands over the years.


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Used Cars

Many people can’t afford a new car so have to make the most of what they can afford. There is no shame in this, in many ways it is a good thing. Positives are:

  • Initial cost. A used motor from or any other highly reputable dealership will cost a lot less to buy than a new one.

  • Depreciation. The used car has already lost a great deal of its value from new. This will not be such a big problem for a second hand car as it will hold its price better.

  • Insurance. Obviously, a lower value car will cost less to insure.

  • Bang for buck. You will be able to afford a better model second hand than you would new.

  • Service. If you can’t afford regular servicing, it’s not so bad for a used car.

  • Relax. You won’t be so anxious about your pride and joy getting pinged by a trolley at the supermarket as you would be with a brand new car.

However, all is not rosy:

  • History. All may not be as it would seem. Check that the car hasn’t been stolen or written off.

  • Reliability. Used cars will break down more than new ones; it makes sense.

  • Maintenance. You may need to fit a new clutch, tyres, or exhaust. Costs could mount up.

In conclusion, I would say that if money is no object or if you are planning to keep the car for its lifetime, then depreciation is not an issue. Buy new. If, however, you like to change your car every few years you would be wise to buy a used car. For many of us, financial constraints mean the problem is taken out of our hands. But remember; if people don’t buy new, we can’t buy used so give those new car owners the respect they deserve.


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