The automotive industry is experiencing a unique period of changes and challenges, between the launching of electric models and a global chip shortage affecting production and sales of new models. Due to the difficulty of buying a new car, many consumers are turning to the now-booming used car market for their next vehicle. Naturally, some may be hesitant to purchase a used car – there are many different pros and cons to weigh up, as well as personal preferences with which to reckon. Here we have collected some of the major pros and cons of investing in a used car, to help you decide whether or not used is right for you.
Lower Up-Front Costs
The main advantage to buying a second-hand car is its reduced market value in comparison to brand new models. Significant savings can be made through buying used, meaning you can either save money or expand your horizons and purchase a car with more features or a higher spec. The reduced cost is especially advantageous if you are financing your purchase with a loan, as you can reduce its size and pay it off quicker as a result.
Used cars are a cheaper option than brand new due to depreciation; as soon as a car leaves the showroom floor, its price depreciates by as much as 20% in the first year of ownership. After that, though, depreciation slows significantly, and spreads over a much longer period of time. As a result, second hand cars lose less value during your ownership than newer ones, meaning you can earn more of your money back from selling than if you buy from a showroom.
Potential Maintenance Costs
One of the major downsides to purchasing a car from the second-hand market lies in the potential costs incurred in maintenance. Used vehicles come with an element of wear, and can sometimes come with hidden issues that are costly to service. Depending on its condition at the time of purchase, you may also need to invest in a new set of tyres much sooner than with a newer model – an example of the many costs you could get stuck with in buying used.
As irrational as it may seem from an outside perspective, there really is something to be said about the ‘wow factor’ when it comes to looking at vehicles to purchase. Buying a brand-new model off the showroom floor is an incredibly exciting prospect, especially where new cutting-edge features are concerned – and owning that new-car smell is a rite of passage for many. It may be that second-hand models simply don’t spark joy in you, and that is absolutely fine. You should only buy a vehicle you’re 100% happy with buying, and second-hand vehicles often represent a compromise in that department.
There are a number of factors that might affect whether you buy new or used, from budget to availability of features and even personal taste. Ultimately, the decision over whether or not to buy a used car is yours to make; but maybe the factors above can help inform that decision.