The decision—whether to buy a new car or an old one—is a big one and should be taken with care. As such, there are no rules, a person’s choice solely depends on the answers of two simple questions.
- What can I afford?
- What will give me peace of mind?
Ideally, people on a tight budget or looking to get bang for their bucks tend to buy used cars. For example, a buyer thinking of buying a luxury BMW may look for a used car when they see the price of a brand new one. Of course, used cars quite often require more maintenance than a new car. But when you’re buying a premium sedan for the price of a hatch, it is reasonable to expect a few glitches.
On the other hand, there isn’t much to say about new cars. They are new, pristine, covered. They are perfect. In a nutshell, there are seldom any problems associated with them. Of course they will still need servicing but hopefully any repairs required are a few years away.
Whom should buy a used car?
There are many reasons to buy a new car, but only one to buy an old one—the affordability factor.
Things to consider when buying a used car
Look for warranties, if you are buying a second-hand car that is under warranty then that warranty can be transferred together with the ownership. A lot of new cars are sold with extended warranties which can be transferred to another owner.
It is also worthwhile shopping around until you find a vehicle with very low KMs on it. Hopefully this will still get you years of trouble free motoring if it is serviced correctly.
The Risks: Buying from private sellers
If you’re not an expert in the automotive industry, don’t buy from individuals. Cars sold privately have no warranty and it is not uncommon for cars sold privately to have been rejected as a trade in by a dealership because of the condition of the vehicle. The cost of maintenance and repairs of a poorly maintained second hand car cab be a persistent headache for the new owner. In the worst case, the total maintenance cost might exceed the cost difference you paid for a used car.
How to manage those risks?
Purchasers of licensed pre-owned cars from an approved seller can buy a late-model used car and get the balance of the original warranty. If your used car is comparatively new, a manufacturer may offer you an extended warranty for certified cars.
Of course it is always worth getting a second opinion on a used car you are thinking about buying. There are many experienced people in the motor repair industry that will inspect a used car for you and give you an idea of its condition.
If you can afford to, try to go for a new car. If buying a new car don’t go into buying mode outright, rather dig around the internet for reviews, features, and best prices before hitting a dealer.
If your budget dictates a used car, try and find a reputable dealer that will offer you an extended warranty. If you are buying from a private seller be extra cautious and have the car inspected by a mechanic you trust.