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New Year, New Car?

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The DriveWrite Archives

New Year, New Car?

Geoff Maxted
December 24, 2013

Road Signs
Well, why not? Mrs DriveWrite could make a better job of the economy than the Chancellor (and my goodness you’d hear the pips squeak in Whitehall) but otherwise there is nothing to be done about it. So instead of worrying, why not treat yourself?

Buying a car is one of those great moments in life. They are expensive enough to merit some serious pondering before parting with the hard-earned moolah, but generate enormous pleasure and satisfaction to the lucky new owners. In short, cars are great. The problem is that most of us only have a finite amount of money to spend on what is, in effect, a luxury purchase. Should one push the boat out and go for a new car, or maybe cannily buy a used vehicle and save a bit? There are advantages to both.

Buying new means that the happy purchaser can have a car that is made to order, like a bespoke suit. Specifications can be fiddled with and colour combinations discussed. Options lists can be pored over to make the new car as unique as possible.

A new car hasn’t had any accidents, hasn’t been stolen and won’t require a check for outstanding finance. There will be no wear and tear and no suspicious stains to ponder over. It will have a full length warranty and you will not have to trek across the land seeking your heart‘s desire. It will be bristling with all the latest technology. Multi-media this and touch screen that are only a pencil tick away and the car will be as safe as the latest regulations require.

A new car will be more fuel efficient and kinder to the environment and small cuddly animals. Your gerbil will love you for it and your wallet will be grateful for the variety of finance or lease agreements available. There is no doubt that a new car ticks all the boxes. But wait. Don’t new cars depreciate? Don’t they lose the most value in the first couple of years of their life? Some cars will lose as much as forty percent of their value as soon as they leave the forecourt. This is an important consideration.

A used car might be preferable. For a start your money will go further. A more upmarket motor will be available for the same (or less) money than that new vehicle you covet. It might not have the very latest gadgets on board but it may well be better appointed for comfort and smoothness of ride.

For the most part a quality used car from a reputable source will already have lost most of that first hit of depreciation. Certainly there will be signs of use but a careful inspection and selection of cars with a full service history should show clearly that the vehicle is in good order. Remember, 30,000 miles on the clock is nothing these days.

It may well be that you can’t find exactly the car for you but the choice of used cars on the market at any one time should mean you could well come close to that ideal specification without too much trouble. These days the latest number plate only lasts six months so it all comes down to a personal decision. New or used? You pays your money….

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