You’ve probably already got your eye on your next car, right? Maybe you’ve picked out the colour you want, and you’ve started to get a budget together. There is still one more big decision to make though; do you buy brand new or second-hand? It’s a dilemma that has faced motorists for years, and the choice has gotten even harder recently. In the past, a brand new car provided much more reliability and longevity. Nowadays, that’s not necessarily true.

In the modern world, cars are built to last up to ten years on average mileage. This means you can now pick up a fantastic vehicle even on the second-hand market. Yes, there are still some risks, and you won’t get all the mod cons of a brand new motor. But, it has clouded the decision of most drivers. Today we’re going to delve into the pros and cons of both options. It should help you figure out the right route for you. Let’s get stuck in.

Brand new cars

The beauty of a brand new motor is the ability to choose every detail of the car. Your children can help decide the colour whether it’s cherry red or turquoise blue. You can opt for additional safety features, a louder stereo or gadgets like parking sensors. As a brand new car buyer, you can tailor the vehicle to your liking. Perhaps most importantly, you can choose the engine specification and match it your lifestyle. If you love speed and power, you can choose a bigger petrol engine. Whereas, if you’re more interested in fuel economy, you could opt for a greener diesel engine.

Another benefit of a brand new car is the peace of mind that comes with it. New cars are much more reliable than their second-hand cousins. They are built better and adhere to strict quality controls. Not only that, but new cars comes with a longer warranty. For example, if you’re looking at new Volkswagen cars, you’ll notice the standard three-year warranty. You’re not just buying a new car; you’re buying the security that comes with it. You know that any repairs are covered.

There’s no hidden history when you buy a brand new car. It rolls straight off the production line and onto your drive. There’s no need to worry about how the previous owner drove the car. You don’t have to worry about whether they changed the oil regularly or wore the brakes down. Again, it’s an issue of peace of mind.

Modern cars these days are also packed full of technology. In particular, the safety features on new vehicles have come a long way. Nowadays, new cars are fitted with stability and traction control to improve response during a crash. Sophisticated airbags will keep you safe, and technology will even help you stay in the right lane. You can’t always put a price on safety, especially if you’ve got young children.

Of course, the main downside of brand new cars is their price. New motors are significantly more expensive than their used equivalent. They also suffer the harsh effects of depreciation. As soon as you drive your new vehicle away, it loses up to 10% of value. Three years later, it could be worth half what you paid for it. It’s the price you pay for the benefits of a brand new car. Only you can decide whether the pros outweigh this, admittedly large, con.

Second-Hand Cars

Now to the other option on the table, the used market. It’s important to remember that there is still a lot of choice here. You might not be able to choose the exact specification of the car. However, if you look hard enough, you’re bound to find one that suits. Over 7 million used cars are sold in this country alone every year. That’s a lot of choice! Moreover, there are many more routes to take. For instance, you could buy a used car privately through online auctions or newspaper adverts. You can go to a second-hand dealer or use any number of used car websites.

Second-hand cars are often still very reliable too, when you choose the right model. As we mentioned previously, most modern cars will run for up to ten years. They’ll blast through 100,000 miles without so much as a hiccup (most of the time!). Buying a three-year-old model doesn’t mean buying a banger. Instead, you’ll get a car that still has seven years of life left inside.

Try not to worry about the warranty either. Some manufacturers offer seven-year warranties these days. Find one like this and you’re still covered for years to come. If you’re handy with a wrench, you may also prefer a used car. They have more traditional engines and you could make minor repairs yourself. Brand new cars come complete with fiddly electric systems that are beyond basic maintenance.

The biggest benefit of a used car is their price. Buying second-hand means you’ll bypass the devastating effects of depreciation. If you buy a three-year-old motor, you could find it at half its original value. It will still be in decent condition and fairly reliable. Yet, you’ve just saved a fortune! You’ll also have more bargaining power with a used car. The market is much more flexible, so if you’re good at haggling, you could seal a fantastic deal.

Of course, the downside is that you don’t know where it’s been. When buying a used car, you should always demand to see the service history. However, this doesn’t always tell you everything. You have no idea how hard the previous owner pushed the car. They may have put a strain on the engine or failed to keep the fluids topped up. It may even have failed an MOT or two. The owners may have tampered with the mileage or covered up car crash injuries. It makes a second-hand car that little bit less reliable than a new model. But, is it a risk worth taking?

There’s no doubt about it, buying second-hand is the cheaper route. You’ll avoid depreciation and still land yourself a fairly reliable car. On the other hand, if you’re after complete peace of mind and a long warranty, you’ll take the brand new car. Which do you feel more comfortable with?