New vs used: 4 things to think about when buying a car

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Simplify your search for the ideal car by looking at these four key elements.

If you’re in the market for a set of wheels, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information and options out there. Do you go for a hot new babe or a formerly loved darling? To put your mind at ease, here are 4 things for you to ponder so that you can find the perfect match to suit your lifestyle and your wallet.

1. Cost

Pricing is a major factor to consider since your car will most likely be one of the biggest financial commitments that you’ll ever make. If it puts too much strain on your bank account, you could end up regretting it a few years down the line.
That being said, it’s no understatement that a new car may cost you an arm and a leg in comparison to a used car. Why? Allow me to introduce you to depreciation – the devaluing of a car over time.

According to Investopedia, the largest chunk of a new car’s value is lost within the first year, with depreciation beginning the minute the car is driven off the showroom floor. Autotrader pointed out that in some cases, a new car can lose 50% of its value in the first three years! If you’re the owner of a brand new vehicle, be prepared to bear the brunt of this.

That’s not all. Calvin Fisher, the former Deputy Editor of Top Gear magazine, remarks that new cars come with higher insurance premiums and additional taxes, like carbon tax. He proceeds to explain that with a used car, you pay nothing more than the selling price and spare yourself the burden of tax.

Despite this, Car and Driver highlights that financing from companies and banks for new cars is lower than that for used cars. This is thanks to the inherently higher worth of new cars.

In the end, the total fee of a new car will more often than not be higher than that of a used car. However, you may find that you can get more value for money on a new than used car. A cheaper car does not always equate to a better deal.

2. Condition

It’s pretty obvious that no matter what you’re paying, you want to be able to go from point A to point B without a hitch. That’s why you’re buying a car, right?

A new car is more likely to get you to your destination reliably than a used car. As told by Hands on Banking, you’ll receive a new car straight out of the box in its ideal state – no wear and tear, bodily harm or mechanical defects.

Should you choose a used car, you run the risk of driving a vehicle that may have been damaged before. Because of this, Fisher recommends that you take the car for a roadworthy test with the AA, and get a full service history.

He also indicates that the Consumer Protection Act will count in your favour, as it compels the seller of a used car to reveal any deficiencies to you. However, you have no choice but to take their word for it that the car does not have any severe issues.

If you have any doubts of whether the seller is dependable, it would be safer to find another dealership or opt for a new car. You don’t want any nasty surprises.

3. Maintenance

Caring for your car could be a breeze – or a nightmare. Once again, a new car wins in this respect.

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