Whether you’re on the lookout for a new set of wheels for your business or to taxi your family about in, selecting the perfect car can be tricky. It’s not just a case of thinking about the ideal make and model of vehicle, oh no, car buying is a lot more complex for the modern man. As well as thinking about cost, vehicle safety and suitability, there’s also the question of whether to buy new or second-hand.

Thanks to advancements in vehicle technology, cars last longer than ever before. So when it comes to buying a vehicle, a used car can be just as good an option as a brand new one. When weighing up the pros and cons of both options – new and used, there’s a lot that needs to be taken into account. One option isn’t necessarily better than the other; it’s just that in some instance a new car, for example, is the best choice.

When opting to buy both used and new cars, research is still a must. The make and model of the vehicle you select is important, as this can determine a range of factors. That’s why, whether you’re buying new or second-hand, you need to take your time to do your research. Including, comparing the cost of the same model of vehicle new and used.

To help you work out whether new or used is the best option for you, we’ve put together this handy guide. Packed full of tips and advice, this should give you all the information that you need to make an informed decision about the right type of car for you.

Firstly, there’s not just new and used cars

When it comes to buying a car, most of us presume that there are just two options; new and used. However, that’s not actually the case. There’s a third option – nearly new cars. These are cars that have barely been used since being bought. Often, these are in new condition but are a much lower price.

You see, when a car leaves the showroom, its value instantly drops by up to 40%. That’s why nearly new cars can be a great option – they’re a good middle ground choice. Unlike used cars, nearly new vehicles tend to be in tip, top shape. Often, nearly used cars have been used as hire cars or leased for a set period.

Buying new: pros and cons

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When you buy a new car, it will come with a warranty of some description. This means that should your car develop a fault; the manufacturer will have to put it right. Most car warranties last for between three and five years. However, some companies offer an extended warranty of up to seven years.

Another benefit of buying new is that the car will be more reliable than a used one, at least, that’s the idea. This is because none of the car’s components have been put under any stress or used, they’re all brand new. Tyres, cam belts and brakes can last for years on a new car but when you buy second-hand sometimes they need replacing within a few months.

When it comes to safety, new cars are always a good bet. Because vehicle safety is being updated all the time, older cars aren’t always as safe as newer models. When you buy brand new, you know that your vehicle has all the newest safety features, making it incredibly safe to drive.

Another advantage of buying a new car is that you can have it created to your exact specifications. When you buy a vehicle new, you have the power to choose all the specifics of it. From the type of seat coverings you have to the safety features like airbags and reversing sensors. You can pretty much have whatever you want installed, allowing your to tailor your vehicle to your specific needs.

As a rule of thumb, most new cars are incredibly fuel efficient. This is because, over the past few years, engine efficiency has come on in leaps and bounds. Meaning that new cars are much more efficient than older models. This means that less fuel is needed to run new cars, making them more cost-effective. Some even run on electric.

The major con of buying a new car is the price. New cars don’t come cheap – they can cost close to that of a small house. The reason new cars are so expensive is because of all the benefits they come with and the fact that they’ve never been driven by anyone else.

New cars don’t hold their value well – as soon as they leave the showroom their price drops by 40%. Over the first 18 months of being owned, a car loses the majority of its value, regardless of how well it’s looked after.

Buying used: pros and cons

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The major pro of buying a used car is the lower cost. The price of a used car is always much lower than a new version of the same model, making it more affordable. Because it’s already been driven, a used car is priced much lower than a new one. The price will vary from model to model, depending on the condition and ‘health’ of the vehicle.

Used cars are proven to be safe. When a car is new, it might have undergone strict testing, but that doesn’t mean that it’s proven to be safe. The challenges a car will face on the roads are very different than the ones it will face at a testing facility. By opting for a used car, you know that it’s a vehicle that’s road safe.  

When it comes to buying a car second-hand, you have more choice over what you get. There is a large range of cars on the market to choose from, so you’ll have plenty of choice of which model to go for. There are older models that are no longer being produced, as well as a range of newer designs to choose from.

One of the major cons of buying a used car is that you don’t know the vehicle’s history. What the seller is telling you about the car is what you have to believe – or do you? Today, there are various online sites that allow you to check your car registration and see what its history is. This means that before buying a new vehicle, you can check its history. The main worries when buying a second-hand car is that the vehicle has previously been in an accident or has been welded back together. However, by performing a history check on it, you can ensure that isn’t the case. If you’re unable to check a car’s history, this can be a real issue of buying a used vehicle.

Another downside to buying a used car is that the vehicle is what it is – you can’t tailor it to fit your needs. Because you have to find a car that’s suitable for your needs, it might take a little longer. You can’t tailor the car to be what you want it to be, unless, of course, you’re willing to invest in it.

Most second-hand cars are no longer under warranty – nearly new ones are, but that’s something we’ll get to later. This means that should there be a problem with the vehicle; you’ll have to deal with it yourself. Repairs can often be expensive, so when buying a second-hand car, it’s important to tread carefully.

Buying nearly new: pros and cons

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A major benefit of buying a nearly new car is the price. Okay, it won’t be as cheap as a used car, but it will be a lot more affordable than a brand new one. As soon as it was driven out of the showroom, the car’s value would have plummeted. This is what makes nearly new cars such a good option in terms of price.

Another advantage of opting for nearly new is the fact that it may still be under warranty. This means that if there is a problem with it, the repairs may be covered by the manufacturer. You won’t have to worry about any expensive bills, as the car company will be responsible for them.

The condition of the car will be like new. It will be clean inside and dent and scratch free outside. You’ll receive a service history of the car, and information about any repairs that it’s undergone. This means that you’ll have peace of mind when it comes to the vehicle’s level of safety.

A downside to opting for a nearly new vehicle is that there may be a lack of choice. You see, there aren’t always a wide range of nearly new cars available, so choice of make and model may be limited.

While nearly new cars do come with a warranty, there may not be long left on it. This means that should the car break down; you may have to cover the cost of repairs. It’s worth looking into this before buying a car, to make sure that you will be covered for repairs.

So there you have it, the pros and cons of each type of car.

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