So Now is the time to get yourself a new set of wheels, but in today’s market with rising prices, ever-extending wait times and semiconductor specialties – is it worth considering a second-hand option? Is?
It’s a leap of faith now that there are so many easy ways to buy a new car, both online and offline, and the ability to get a custom car without having to put up with the previous owner’s buggers coating the dashboard.
The world of second-hand car sales has not been immune to price gouging – especially in the collector’s market – but you may be able to get a better deal on a used car than a new one.
So, if you’re ready for tips on buying a new car, here’s an objective look at the pros and cons of buying a used vs. new car.
Go ahead with what interests you.
Advantages of buying new
There is a big advantage to buying new. The ability to choose your preferred trim, paint color, options and engine. If you’re someone who knows what they want and is happy to pay (and wait) for it, buying a new car from a dealership offers plenty of options and a personalized shopping experience. The car you buy will be exactly what you want.
State-of-the-art technology such as wireless smartphone mirroring and state-of-the-art navigation systems mean there are no extra costs later. Given that our lives are now so technologically advanced, it makes sense to keep up with the times. Plus, the latest engine technology will save you money on the fuel bowser.
This is possibly the biggest draw card: the manufacturer warranty. Many automakers now offer five, seven, or even ten-year warranties., meaning the car can be covered for your entire ownership. The addition of cap-price servicing plans that create a photo-realistic picture of ongoing costs makes budgeting easier.
Here’s the thing: Manufacturers want you to buy new cars, and they work hard to make the purchase easy. New car finance is much cheaper than used cars, with much lower interest rates, prepaid servicing included in finance packages and future value guarantees. It’s an ecosystem that makes new cars cheaper and easier in the long run.
|Pro: It’s yours, all yours!|
There’s also the intangible benefit of getting a factory-fresh car and your unique example; Damage, stain, odor free and with barely any kilometers on the odometer.
Disadvantages of buying new
However, a new car is usually more expensive than a used one. The gulf is now closer than ever.. But, you still have to take into account the price drop. It’s not as bad post-pandemic – and the smart speculators buying a Toyota GR Yaris are now laughing all the way to the bank – but it’s still a factor to consider for your average family car.
|Con: You might be waiting a while.|
…or you’ll have to compromise on spec. Brands in Australia have introduced tech-lite specials, notably the Subaru Forester 2.5X and Volkswagen Tiguan All-Space Adventure, and for a few months BMW was selling cars without touchscreens. That’s because full-fat cars are hard to come by, with wait times ranging from three to 18 months across the industry. At this point, the lightly used option looks great.
|Con: Limited servicing options|
If you want to maximize your warranty you may be limited to having the car serviced at the selling dealership, meaning you are at the mercy of their service prices. For some brands – Toyota and Honda – this is good, but some brands have expensive service schedules, and a good independent offers a better deal. Mitsubishi is one company that will extend its warranty to 10 years/200,000 km if serviced at a dealer.
[NOTE: According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, all carmakers must honour their vehicles’ standard factory warranty regardless of whether servicing was carried out at a brand-associated dealership or not, as long as servicing is performed according to the schedule by a qualified mechanic and using quality (preferably genuine) parts.]
Pros of buying used
…at least most of the time. Lightly used cars up to three years old are currently very good value. Although used cars more than five years old usually offer very affordable purchase prices. Some brands are depreciation monsters, meaning you can pick up a cheap car. There is also great potential for bartering, especially with private sales.
Almost any used car listed for sale in the classifieds will be available now. A quick morning phone call to the dealer can have you in new wheels by noon. Of course, this ignores the seemingly endless hunt to find a perfect example, but you’re unlikely to have to wait 12 months for the seller to deliver the car.
|Pro: No secret dealership tactics.|
Have you ever been pressured by a Kelly Country salesperson into making a purchase that you weren’t 100 percent happy with? It’s not exactly a pleasant experience, and it’s one that’s less likely to happen with a private used car seller.
|Pro: The market is your oyster.|
Don’t like the colors of the latest Mazda CX-5 range? Well, there’s probably a nearly identical look from three years ago that you can get in Soul Red Crystal instead. This is a very practical example, but you can buy literally any car that was sold new in Australia on the second-hand market – everything from a Bulville Negris to a Toyota Corolla.
Disadvantages of buying used
|Con: It may not be exactly what you want.|
Anything is available, but maybe not at the right time. You could get an immaculate, well-maintained 2010 BMW 135i Coupe with a dual-clutch transmission for the right price – much better than a new Nissan Z – but it doesn’t have iDrive, and you Don’t like the silver paint. . Either buy it and learn to love the German rainbow, or wait another six months for the perfect example.
|Con: Reliability and maintenance|
With all the service history, JD Power surveys and research you’ve done, you can still end up with a lemon. And with a used car, there’s little recourse unless it’s covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. All dealerships must cover their cars with a three-month statutory warranty, and some certified pre-owned programs extend the factory warranty, but private sales? You are on your own.
As you get stuck with old and outdated technology, the lack of the latest safety technology, advanced features and driving aids can make or break the car ownership experience. There are some great options for older cars, such as an aftermarket head unit with phone mirroring, but the newer the car and the more integrated the infotainment system, the harder it is to replace.
There are numerous ways to proceed with the purchase of a vehicle, whether it is brand new, dealer demonstrator or used. Each has its own specific advantages and disadvantages.
But there’s no one method that works for everyone, so figure out what’s most important to you and decide accordingly.