The pros and cons of buying a used car

For most people, buying a car comes a close second in terms of size of investment to buying a home. Of all life’s ongoing expenses, buying, owning and running a car is one of the most significant purchases we’ll make. It’s perhaps little wonder then that so many people are tempted to buy second-hand or used cars rather than shelling out for a brand-new model. 

Also, when you consider new cars depreciate by around 60% in the first three years of ownership, it should come as no great surprise that the used car market is burgeoning. 

However, buying a used car is not without potential pitfalls or dangers. If you’re deliberating whether to buy a new or used vehicle, below are some pros and cons you should consider before dipping your toe into the used car market.

The pros of purchasing a used car

Buying a used car has many potential advantages over making the considerable outlay for a newer model. Typical advantages include:

Reduced price: As mentioned above, new cars depreciate at a frightening pace. From the point of view of owning a new car, this is obviously a bad thing. However, from the perspective of buying a used car, you could find some incredible deals on relatively new vehicles as featured in online dealerships like the used cars derby website. 

Lower overall costs: Many people forget that the actual cost of owning a vehicle goes far beyond the initial price tag you pay. Buying new, you’ll normally have to pay documentation and registration fees – both of which can be avoided by buying second-hand. Also, the insurance premium you pay on a used car could be as much as 25% less compared to a new model 

A more stress-free ride: Owning a brand-new car can be a stressful experience worrying about even the slightest scratch, dent or spilled drink, and so on. Most used cars will already be showing slight signs of wear and tear, making for a more stress-free ride. 

A cheaper upgrade: One huge advantage of buying used is you can often buy the luxury version of a car for less than you would pay for the base model straight out of the showroom.  

The cons of purchasing a used car

By making sensible checks on a used vehicle and following the used car checklist you should be able to avoid most of the following potential issues. 

Potential for problems or higher maintenance: Buying new, you have a cast-iron warranty plus the peace of mind knowing that your car is straight off the production line. With a used car, there’s no telling how well the previous owner looked after the vehicle. Of course, you should thoroughly check service records and repair receipts – but, in truth, there’s no 100% way of knowing how the previous owner(s) treated the car. 

You’ll probably need to be more flexible: if you have a particular specialist make or model in mind, you may find the used car market isn’t for you. In most cases, you’ll be pretty much limited to what people are selling at that given time. 

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