Is it worth buying a new car or is used better? The breakdown.

February 3, 2021 Dilate Manager
Used Subaru Car

On the search for your next car? These days there are so many options available but no sure way of telling which one is best. There are many advantages to buying a used car – like the fact that it costs WAY less, but is it worth buying a new car if all you want is something to deliver you to work and back?

Weigh it up: is it worth buying a new car or used?

There are some risks in buying a used car, like: is it still as safe as it once was? Will it make the drive home? It all comes down to satisfying your needs on the road. Before you settle, here’s your pros and cons breakdown:

Advantages of buying a new car

New, shiny, and full of life, the advantages of a brand new car are pretty unmistakable. Maybe it’s the new car smell that has you madly budgeting and actually paying attention to sponsored car ads on Instagram. Buying anything brand new is always a novelty experience. 

Expensive for a good reason

New cars aren’t cheap. And rarely will you find a ‘really good deal’ like is sometimes found in the used-market. But when it comes to saving money over the long term, new cars do it the best. That’s because they’re not fuel guzzlers, they’re new and reliable. Packing the latest fuel-saving technology isn’t just a new fancy gizmo, it’s also a real money saver. Getting into the new hybrid technology that’s available certainly has a big impact on your weekly fuel budget. 

Moreover, new cars are generally proven and unabused. They’ve been through rigorous testing and R&D stages to create a vehicle that will last, and keep serving you well for many years, and haven’t been compromised by a careless previous owner. That peace of mind is well worth the little bit extra.

Make the most of the manufacturer’s warranty 

One of the main bonuses of buying new is your big warranty that usually lasts between 3 and 5 years. That’s a long time to be covered against any major hiccups. Buying new certainly comes with added security, the trick is to really savour it while it lasts. 

Get the latest safety tech

Buying new is always the safest option. It gives you peace of mind knowing nothing has been tampered with in the past by eccentric, spanner-happy owners. It’s not every day that we end up needing things like emergency brake assist, but wouldn’t it be nice to know that it would in fact work on que? As a potential new car buyer, you’re also free to shop around for specific features that will make your ride more comfortable, whereas buying a used car will probably demand a bit more flexibility regarding what features you get. 

Advantages and disadvantages of buying a used car

The big nail-biter here is the price. And the difference is staggering. The average amount of money spent on a new car in Australia is a smidge over $40,000. But with that kind of money you’re not exactly bringing home the new SUV of your dreams either. Spend the same amount of money on a used car and you’re knocking on the door of a catchy sports saloon with all the extra flashy bits. 

A new car is only new until you buy it…

What’s even more staggering is how quickly your car will lose its value as soon as you pull away from the dealership. Depreciation is a real problem and it affects new cars the most. Most cars will lose almost half their value in about five years – probably around the same time, your manufacturer warranty vanishes into thin air. Not ideal for serial car owners.

Should I buy a used car? What are the advantages?

If you don’t care that someone else has probably slept on the seat and maybe even left a few old snacks lying around, and are actually very happy to accept the fact you’re $25,000 better off than someone buying a brand new car. Sure, there are a few kilometres on it, but hey, it’s got character. You might also be lucky enough to miss the first few months of anxiety about denting or scratching your car. It might even already have a few that you can use that as bargaining chips to lower the asking price. 

Pay less upfront 

Buying used isn’t just cheaper generally. You also miss out on annoying things like stamp-duty and vehicle registration costs. Buying a used car privately can be as simple as filling out the paperwork and handing over the cash. You’re also not bound to any payment plans or bewilderingly complicated insurance schemes.

Disadvantages of buying a used car

Trawling through online car buying platforms you’ll see cars being sold privately for a pittance. But don’t get too giddy. There’s a reason they’re so cheap. Past owners with bad driving habits and scant service histories – these are the kinds of things new car owners won’t be worrying about.

But I swear it’s only done 90,000km…

Don’t be fooled by a tweaked odometer reading. This can fool even the most alert skeptics. Always remember to check the vehicle’s odometer readings against previous service history documents and gauge the overall condition of the car. If you suspect something’s not right – go with your gut. If you make a wrong move you could have trouble trying to sell it on afterward – not to mention losing money. 

OK. Are there other options?

If the nasty price tag of a new car is putting you off, but you’re keen to bag the latest safety tech and you know you’ll be disappointed by faulty technology – you may want to consider chatting to a used cars Perth dealership about test-driving a demo model. All the tech and with low kilometres you might even score a lingering new car smell. 

The verdict

The advantages and disadvantages of buying a used car come down to what you want from a car. Even with a modest budget, buying a new car might not satisfy your need to be different and drive in style. But if it’s technology, comfort, and security that you crave – buying new will give you this in spades. Buying a used car is riskier – but in the right circumstances, it pays off – literally.

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