Is It Better to Buy a New or a Used Car?

Is It Better to Buy a New or a Used Car?

If you have decided it is time to get yourself a new car, you will now have a lot of decisions to make. You’ll need to ask yourself such questions as, ‘What make and model should I buy?’, ‘What colour should it be?’ and, most importantly, ‘Is it better to buy a new or a used car?’ Read this guide to give you a comprehensive comparison that will help you make that decision.

How Much Will the Car Cost You?

A new car is going to cost you more money than a used one to buy. It will have incredibly low mileage and that gorgeous new car smell. However, this will come with a larger price tag. A used car will be a lot cheaper but it will not be brand new. 

Before you buy a car, you should look at the figures and work out how you are going to buy it. This may help you to decide between a new and a used car. The options usually come down to the following: taking money out of your savings, using a credit card, applying for a loan, or setting up a finance agreement. You may be offered different amounts of money from different lenders, so it is worth shopping around. Applying for a finance agreement through Clutch will allow you to compare finance deals and see if you will be approved before you start looking to buy used cars or new cars. This can save you hassle later as you will have been pre-approved, and you will know what you can afford.


It is estimated that 50% of the new car value is lost within the first three years. This is because you pay a premium to buy a new car and you will start to lose money as soon as you drive it off the forecourt. When you come to sell a new car on, it will be worth a lot less than you paid for it and if you have set up a finance agreement, it may be that you owe more than the value of the car and will have to pay the balance to sell it. 

A used car will not depreciate as quickly because you will have brought it at quite a discount already. Therefore, there is little chance of you still owing money on it when you want to sell it. This can work out a lot more cost-effective for you.

Maintenance Bills

New cars come with a manufacturer’s warranty, usually for the first three years. This means that if there are any manufacturing issues with your car, they will be fixed without costing you anything. If a car is over three years old, it will not have a manufacturer’s warranty so you will probably not be offered this if you buy a new car. However, a good dealership should still offer you a warranty. If you buy a car privately, you will not be offered a warranty so, if anything goes wrong, it will cost you to get it fixed. You may not know if your car will need a lot of work until you have bought it, so making the wrong decision could be a costly mistake.


A new car is like a blank canvas. You can choose what features you want to have included and which ones you don’t. The car is made to your specification, so you feel that it is truly ‘yours.’ You will have the choice of make, model, color and any other features you like the look of to make the car feel truly special.

Buying a used car may involve making some sacrifices. You will find one that ticks most of the right boxes, but you may have to compromise on some of the features. This is especially true if your budget is low as this may narrow down your options. If you buy an older car, some of the features you may like the look of may not be available, even if you are willing to add them yourself.

Technology and Safety Features

Cars are being upgraded all the time. Manufacturers want to add the latest technology to make them faster, safer and give out lower emissions. If you buy a new car, you will be buying the latest technology and safety features too, even if you opt for quite a basic model. An older car will have the safety features and technology that were standard when the car came off the production line. It may be possible to upgrade, but it may not be. It may be that the upgrade would not make much of a difference to you, in which case you could save yourself some money by buying a used car, but you should consider what you want from your car before making a final decision. 


It stands to reason that a more expensive car is going to be more expensive to insure. The replacement value is higher and although modern technology is a wonderful thing, a car with a lot of great features has more that can go wrong. Used cars can be a lot cheaper to insure and you should factor this cost into your overall budget. It is worth shopping around for car insurance before you buy your new car, so you know exactly how much this is likely to cost you.


A new car doesn’t have a history. It has been driven from the factory to the car showroom and perhaps taken on a test drive or two. There will be very few miles on the clock and little chance of it having an adverse history. You will therefore know exactly what you are buying.

A used car does have a checkable history. You will be able to find out if it has ever been involved in an accident and how many previous owners it has had. This doesn’t tell you everything though. For example, a car that has had one owner may have had a boy racer putting it through its paces or a little old lady who only went to the grocery store at 20mph in it. You should always get a mechanic to check over a used car you are planning on buying to make sure you are being charged a fair price and to warn you of any repairs that are likely to need doing.


You can check the reputation of a car showroom by checking online or asking friends and family for their opinion. Reputation will be important to the showroom whether they are selling new or used cars and many of them have worked hard to build up a good reputation. However, there are those who are in the trade to make a quick buck and you need to be wary of these. A private seller will be less concerned about their reputation as they do not make a living from selling cars.

Whether you are buying a new or a used car, you should consider your affordability before you start looking. This will help you decide what your budget is going to be. Always get a mechanic to check over a car you want to buy to make sure you are getting the best deal – have fun driving it! 

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