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Should I buy a new or second hand car?

Whether you're buying your first car or looking to upgrade, the question that keeps floating around is “should I buy a new or second-hand vehicle?”


Up to date as at 23rd September 2019.

Now, we’re not here to tell you one way or the other because ultimately, it depends on many personal factors. However, there are pros and cons to both sides which we want to let you know - to help you get one step closer to making your decision.

Let’s begin with what you need to know about buying a brand-spanking new car.

Benefits of a new car

You’re the first owner

Not only do you get to drive away with that new car smell (which I personally don’t like in all honesty - is that just me?), but you also know that you are the first person to have driven your car. There’s no history or research into previous owners and log books; it's just you and your car.

Extended warranty

One significant advantage of buying a new car is that it comes with a warranty, but most of the time, it’s an extended warranty. Not all used cars come with a warranty and any repairs or malfunctions in a used car might need to be covered by you. 

Possibility for cheaper finance

We know that cost generally doesn’t seem like a pro when purchasing a new car, as second hand vehicles are more often cheaper initially than their new counterparts. But let’s think about finance for a moment. 

With low-interest financing or cash rebates used as incentives to buy a new car, the cost across the length of the loan could work out less, as car loans for a pre-loved vehicle tend to charge a higher interest rate.

Technology benefits

Car manufacturers are constantly upgrading and improving the technological features. So, by purchasing a new car, you will be able to take advantage of all the benefits that come with having the latest technology. 

That could be anything from advanced safety features to fuel efficiency and lower emissions, which could save you significant dollars over the years.

Spoilt for choice

If you’re going for new, you can be as selective as you want to be with what you want from your new car. Want the latest technology? Not a problem. Want your choice of colour? Just select from the chart. If you’re after a specific model or price range, there’s something out there to suit you.

Disadvantages of buying a new car

Loses value faster

Depending on the car you buy, it’s likely to lose some value as soon as you drive out of the dealership. Most of the depreciation occurs during the first three years, meaning you’re possibly still paying for a vehicle that’s no longer worth the value of the loan.

Inconvenient servicing 

Some car manufacturers may want you to have your vehicle serviced at the dealership in order for the warranty to be valid. This could potentially be more expensive than the servicing fee charged by your local mechanic, not to mention possibly more inconvenient too.

Benefits of a used car

You don’t take the hit

Arguably the biggest advantage for buying a used car is that you’ve let someone else take the depreciation hit. Once the worst is over with, you may even have the ability to sell the car in a few years after buying it, for a similar price to what you bought it. That’s something a new car buyer wishes they could do. 

You can still upgrade

If you’re looking for a newer model car than what you currently have, you can still bag a bargain for a car that’s only a few years old. It can still have all the tech features you want, just without the initial price tag.

Thank you, internet

With the internet readily available at the tip of your finger, you have the ability to search for a huge range of cars with the ability to connect with the private sellers. This also cuts out the middleman and the possible extra costs associated with them. 

It also means you don’t have to deal with the salespeople at the car dealership, throwing add-ons and features throughout the car buying process. 

Disadvantages of buying a used car

You can’t be as picky

With buying a second hand car, you don’t have all the options you would when buying new. You may need to compromise if what you’re after isn’t available in a second hand car.

You may pick a dud

You may be able to save some serious money going second hand, but you could also get stuck with a lemon. Depending if there’s any manufacturers warranty left, you may be stuck with covering the expenses yourself.

Ongoing costs of maintenance

If the car is quite old, it may come with a few mechanical problems that need sorting with the ageing parts. Even if the car isn’t a lemon, it may still need a little more TLC that a new car would.


There are pros and cons to buying either a new or used car. Consider both sides and give some thought to what would suit you and your circumstances. 

If you’re in the market for a car, be sure to organise your finance before shopping. Your local Mortgage Choice expert can search a variety of loans from our wide range of lenders to ensure you find a loan that suits you.

If you want to skip the hassle of researching for a car altogether, check out how our door-to-door new car buying service can help you.

Talk to your local broker today

Posted in: Asset finance

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