Buying Brand New vs Buying Second Hand. Which Is Better Value?

New Car Numberplate

Buying a new car is an exciting time. It’s a chance to test drive all the finest new cars on the market. You get to peruse the dealerships and weigh up the pros and cons of every vehicle. The biggest question on your mind, however, is always the same. Should I buy brand new, or purchase second hand? In the past, it wasn’t such a difficult question. Buying secondhand meant buying a rusty old banger. But, nowadays, you can pick up a three-year-old car and she’ll run like a dream. It all comes down to which is more cost effective. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Buying a Brand New Car

The first, and obvious, point here is that you can choose the car you love. You can modify every detail and make it yours. You’ll choose the engine spec so you get the perfect balance of power and fuel economy. You can add optional extras so the car feels unique and improve its credentials. You can even choose its colour! Quite simply, brand new cars come better equipped and personalised. They’ll have better safety technology and their engines are cleaner. Recently, fuel economy has become a huge priority and manufacturers have responded. Brand new cars produce much better mileage than five-year-old cars.

Naturally, you’ll pay more for your brand new car upfront. But, as we’ve explored, your fuel costs will be significantly lower. You’ll also benefit from a factory warranty. Many dealers are now offering lifetime warranties on the vehicle. They are also built better and less likely to breakdown. Again, this all contributes to a lower running cost.

Buying a brand new car means saving money in the long run. You’ll pay much more upfront, but it’s up to you to balance that against savings in fuel and maintenance.

Buying a Second Hand Car

It’s no secret that used cars are cheaper up front. Much cheaper. Take a look at Inchcape Toyota and you’ll find three-year-old cars at half the cost of their original value. It’s all thanks to depreciation. When you buy a brand new car, it loses value the second you drive it off the forecourt. Three years later and it can lose 50% of its value. Buying secondhand means you cut out this process and save thousands. It’s the biggest reason to buy a used vehicle.

Not only that, but modern used cars are still very reliable and fuel efficient. They might fall slightly behind their brand new brothers. But, modern cars are still built to run for 100,000 miles (or ten years of average driving). You’ve still got years of good service ahead of you. As we mentioned, warranties often last a lifetime, or seven years in some cases. Buying a used car means you’ll still benefit from this guarantee.

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer here. You’ll have to do the sums on the car you’re looking at. In general, buying a used car will save you a fortune up front. Buying a brand new car will cut down your running costs. Which is better for you?

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