Top 8 Reasons To Buy A Used Car
November 07, 2018 at 10:45 AM
Choosing which car to buy next is not an easy decision, especially with the range of choice available in the new and used car markets.
In the UK, used car sales typically outnumber new cars by around three to one largely due to their affordability and sheer amount of options to choose from.
We've compiled a list of the top reasons to buy a used car:
DEPRECIATION AND COST
As soon as a new car is driven off the forecourt, it automatically loses around 20% of its value. After three years, most new cars aren't even worth half of their original price.
Opting to buy a second hand car saves you from taking that price hit and allows you to buy the same car for thousands of pounds cheaper just by waiting for it to age a couple of years.
What's more, the rate of depreciation decreases after that third year, so when you come to sell the vehicle on, the price you get for it will be much closer to what you paid for it (depending on how long you keep the car for).
WIDE RANGE OF CHOICE
There are around eight million used cars sold in the UK every year, giving you a vast market to choose from.
One of the biggest advantages of buying a new car is that you can decide the exact specification you want including colour and optional extras. However, you have to wait for your dream car to be built which can take months.
Because the used car market is so populated, the chances are that a model in the colour you want with the right engine and specification already exists and it's available immediately.
You might need to compromise a little bit on your exact dream car in the used market, but if you find something that's close, you're guaranteed to be paying a lot less for it than if you bought it brand new.
CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED PROGRAMS
Manufacturers and trusted organisations such as the AA and RAC are building up their own stock of certified pre-owned vehicles for people to search to find a used car that has been tested against industry standards.
They make sure that all the cars in these schemes are inspected thoroughly and that any necessary repairs are carried out.
By using one of these programs, buyers can shop with piece of mind that all the cars have got a mark of quality regarding their condition and reliability.
CHEAPER TAX RATES
On the 1st April 2017, the car tax rates for new cars changed drastically with a standard rate of tax from £140 implemented for all cars (apart from zero emission vehicles under £40,000).
Previously, road tax was calculated on CO2 emissions. Cars that emitted less than 100g/km qualified to pay £0 in car tax every year. Emission levels up to 130g/km were only charged £110 making it cheaper than the new system.
Any car registered on or before the 31st March 2017 is still subject to the old rates, meaning that you could make savings of over £400 in a three year period.
REVIEWS AND RESOURCES
Buying a car is likely to be the second biggest purchase you make (behind buying a house), so you will want to do a lot of research before you commit to anything.
Used cars come with a plethora of in-depth reviews and resources from owners, experts and journalists to help you make the right decision.
They can give useful insights into what the car is actually like to drive, how practical it really is, as well as what its strengths and weakenesses are.
If you don't just want to read about the car, there will be lots of video content to digest so you can actually see how it performs.
Someone you know might even own one of the cars you're thinking about, so you can talk to them and possibly have an unofficial test drive.
GOOD LEVELS OF TECHNOLOGY
Generally speaking, car technology doesn't move at such a pace to be completely outdated every three to four years.
Even cars made at the start of the decade come with decent levels of technology. Obviously, new cars will always have the latest developments in safety, fuel efficiency and entertainment, but that doesn't mean second hand versions are in the dark ages.
ORIGINAL MANUFACTURER WARRANTY
As standard, all new cars come with a three-year manufacturer warranty; however, some manufacturers provide longer cover which can be transferred to the next owner:
- Kia - 7 Years
- Toyota / Hyundai / Mitsubishi - 5 Years
- Renault - 4 Years
Buying a second hand car that is only one or two years old can still leave you will a portion of the manufacturer warranty in tact. If you choose a model from one of the above manufacturers, you can benefit even further.
NEARLY NEW / PRE-REG / DELIVERY MILEAGE
There is a secret third option that combines the pros of new and used cars together. Known as nearly new, pre-registered or delivery mileage cars, they typically come with less than 1,000 miles on the clock.
The biggest advantage they have over a new car is that they are thousands of pounds cheaper - the dealership has already taken the depreciation hit to meet sales targets and passes the savings onto the customer.
Nearly new cars come with the full manufacturer warranty in place plus all the latest technology and design updates.
The major drawback is that you will become the second owner, which decreases the resale value when you come to selling it yourself.
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