Car buying – new or used?

There are so many options to consider when buying a car, enough to make your head spin. Choice of models, manufacturers, warranties, finance plans, aftersales services and on it goes.

But, probably the biggest decision that needs to be taken is the most basic – which is best, a new car or a used car? Here are some thoughts to help you make the best decision for you.


Car buying – new or used? cover image

New Over Used

If you’re looking at a new vehicle, that will likely mean visiting a main dealership. It’s easy to think that buying from a franchised dealer means high prices. However, just consider the many offers that are around – 0% deals, scrappage schemes for your current vehicle and low monthly payment finance plans, like the ever popular Personal Contract Plan (PCP).

Main dealerships can offer you all the available variations within that manufacturer’s brand. It allows you to tweak your choice of vehicle to exactly suit your needs and personalise what you want to be driving. To find that degree of choice on the used market may take some time. And, remember that the sales staff will have had specific training on each model to be able to talk you through your options.

Of course, with a main dealership you’ll also be able to enjoy all the aftersales that you’ll need. They’ll have all the latest specialist equipment and manufacturer approved parts to give you the specialist care that will keep your new vehicle running well.

Used Over New

When buying a used vehicle, you have the choice of using a dealership or buying privately. If buying privately, always ask about the service history of the vehicle and check any documents thoroughly. MOT certificates will show the mileage of the vehicle year-by-year. And, the V5C vehicle registration document will confirm that the person selling you the car is the registered owner.

You really should do a Car Data Check on the vehicle. This will make sure that it is the car that the seller is telling you it is, that it hasn’t been cloned or written off in the past. It will also show if there is any outstanding finance on it.

There is a greater degree of protection and backup when you buy a used car from a dealership. They would have already completed any checks for you and will probably offer a warranty. If they have their own workshop facility, they will also offer you parts and servicing into the future. So, you can buy safe in the knowledge that although the car may be used, it’s safe and sound.

A used car is obviously going to be priced lower and there is a huge choice out there, so you won’t be stuck with choices. Look for a good local dealer who will want to keep your business in the future. Buying used from a dealer gives the opportunity for a part-exchange deal and they will be open to sourcing a specific vehicle for you too. It’s also a good way to build a relationship with a trusted dealer, especially when it comes to any maintenance needed over time.

Do Your Homework

Overall, this is a good time to be buying. Increased competition has brought about lower prices, more choice and generally improved service all round.

Spend a little time doing some homework before committing yourself to either a new or used car. Check out our car reviews, used car guides and blog for buying tips and general motoring advice.  

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