New or used car – How do I decide?

should I buy a new or a used car

Should I buy a new or a used car

These days when it comes to finding your next car, the choice can be overwhelming. The influx of new cars released each year means that the used car market is offering a bigger range of cars of all ages than ever before. It can be a difficult decision to choose between a new and a used car so we’ve put together the following guidance to help you make the best decision.

Budget

One of the key considerations is how much money you are willing to spend on your next vehicle.

New

If you’ve already decided to buy new, it may be worth considering an electric or hybrid car offering very low running costs and the opportunity to take advantage of government cash incentives.

Used

If you’re considering a used vehicle, a big advantage of buying a used car is that the rate of depreciation is dramatically lower than that of a new car. As well as this, the used car industry offers a huge range of choice in terms of car age and budgets.

Technology requirements

If you’re a tech lover who always needs to have the latest gadgets, you may want to consider a new or nearly new car. Technology is developing rapidly in the automotive industry and the chances are that, once you’ve done your research and decided what new car you’re going to purchase, a new technology will have been developed! We’d suggest you make a list of the key features you can’t live without and identify a model, new or used, which offers those features.

Trim levels

New

When purchasing a new car, the exact specification can be chosen from the range of trim levels, which is useful if you have a very clear vision of what specification you want. Bear in mind that this will push up the price potentially.

Used

With ample choice in the used car market, you do have the opportunity to shop around and likely find a second handle model that meets your requirements.

Vehicle history

New

An advantage of buying a new car is that you’ll have no shadow of a doubt about its history having owned it from new. However, it won’t have had much of a road test, so there could be underlying problems that are yet to be detected.

Used

A major worry for those buying a used car is that part of its history is being hidden. This should only be a concern when buying from a private seller and even then, you can check its history online with just the number plate. We’d recommend best to use AA Cars approved used car dealers when buying second hand, as they carry out comprehensive history checks and offer 12 months of AA breakdown cover with each car for sale.

Cover

New

New cars come with a manufacturer’s warranty which typically lasts three years or until the car has clocked 60,000 miles. It’s important to find out exactly what this warranty covers before committing to buy as numerous consumers have experienced costly repair bills despite their cars still being within warranty.

Used

Certain used car dealers will also offer a warranty, typically shorter than a manufacturer’s warranty but still giving you peace of mind that you’re purchasing a quality car.

Eco-friendliness

New

Many new vehicles have much better fuel economy than older models due to manufacturers trying to meet reduced carbon emissions targets. In some cases, the higher price can be offset by a higher mpg and low emissions below 100g/km CO² ensuring the vehicle is exempt from car tax.

Used

A large number of nearly new models have similar fuel economies and the lower price for a lot of used ones still mean they are cheaper in the long run.

Take time to consider each of these factors when making the decision as to whether you’re going to purchase new or used when you’re ready for your next car.

Image courtesy of iStock.

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