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Should I buy a new or used car?

Should I buy a new or used car?

Saffron Wilson

Saffron Wilson

  • 27 May, 2019
  • 6 min read

When you’re deciding on a new car, it can be difficult to choose whether you want to buy a new or a used car, and a lot of it may be down to your lifestyle and your situation at the time.

Buying new

The thought of a brand new car straight from the showroom can be really enticing – but is it worth it?


There are a few advantages of getting a brand new car in your garage.

  • You know the car’s history

You know it, as it doesn’t really have one! You’ll be driving the car from mile 0.

  • Choose exactly what you want

Picking a car from the showroom doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to come off the shelf. You can choose which trim, colour and style you want, and make the car uniquely yours – although this does come at an extra cost!

  • The full warranty package

Having a full warranty is a great way to set your mind at ease in a new car. With a full manufacturer warranty, you’re likely to have a lot of things covered, and will have it for the maximum amount of time.

  • All the advanced technology

One of the most appealing things about a brand new car is all the brand new technology that it comes with. This includes not only the best gadgets, but better fuel economy and possibly better safety too!

  • Servicing and maintenance costs

Since a new car wouldn’t have done any miles, your service and maintenance costs are likely to be minimal for the first short while after you buy a brand new car.

  • That new car smell


Okay, this is a pretty small thing to consider, but there really is nothing like that new car smell.

It’s worth bearing in mind that some showrooms have showroom deals on too – but these are never a definite.

Things to consider

Despite the prestige and luxury that a new car out of the showroom might exclude, don’t think it’s all rainbows and sunshine.

  • Be wary of new electrical features

You’ll be getting all the newest tech in a brand new car, and these are all likely to have some sort of electrical component to them. The only issue is that if this new technology fails, it’s not likely you’ll get it fixed at the roadside – you’ll probably end up in a garage.

  • The price

There’s no avoiding it. Brand new cars are going to be more money.

  • The depreciation

The value of a brand new car will start to depreciate as soon as it leaves the showroom – about 20-30% of it! And you won’t see that money again. In fact, in the first 3 years of owning a brand new car, its value could be up to 50% less than what it was new.

  • Time

If you have specified a few things on the car and are getting it made to order, it’s likely you’ll have to wait a little while before you get it.

If money is no object, then buying a new car can have a lot of advantages, but most of the population don’t have that to rely on. So, what are your options for getting a used car?

Buying used

Buying used doesn’t have to be that car from an auction website that has lots of miles on the clock, but is any used car right for you?


There are a few advantages to buying used.

  • Price

Thanks to the massive depreciation on new cars, ones on the used market are likely to be cheaper than brand new ones out of the showroom, but can still be available for finance, with low mileage and have all the features you need.

  • Depreciation

If you buy a used car, the likelihood is the massive amount of depreciation that you get from a new vehicle would have already happened. Therefore, if you keep it well maintained and stay to average mileage, the value shouldn’t diminish too much!

  • Warranty

With a new car, you get a warranty. And since the quality of cars are getting ever better, the warranty periods are getting longer and longer. So, if you look at the used market, you may still find cars with a valid warranty on them! So, you’ll have peace of mind without the price.

Plus, if you get your car from a used dealership, you may be able to take advantage of an aftermarket warranty!

  • Reassurance

If you buy from a used car dealership, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes from buying from a showroom without the same price tag as that on a new car.

  • High spec, less money

If you’re patient and keep an eye out on the used market, you’ll be able to find the spec that you want at a reasonable price. It’s true that this is sometimes the luck of the draw, but the used car market is absolutely massive!

  • More options

You don’t have to go a showroom or dealership to get a used car, you can opt to buy privately too although this won’t come with the peace of mind that you may get from a bigger retailer.

  • Insurance

We’re not saying this is true for every used vehicle, as it depends on a lot of your own circumstances. But sometimes, since a used vehicle is a lower value when compared to a new one, your insurance premium may be cheaper!

  • Tax

The tax bands changed on the 1st April 2017. If you buy a used car which was registered before then, then the amount you pay is based solely on the CO2 emissions, and you can find many models which are just £30, £20 or even £0 to tax!

But it is worth mentioning that even if you buy a used car registered after 1st April 2017, it’s likely that you’ll avoid the hefty first-year premium, and instead will just pay a flat rate of no more than £140.

Things to consider

Buying used does have a few things you need to think about, but are any of them a real deal-breaker?

  • Wear and tear

If the car is used it is likely it will have done a few miles. So, you will have a little more wear and tear compared with brand new models. But, keep in mind this is going to happen regardless and you can find very good examples on the used market.

  • Be wary of new electrical features

You’ll be getting all the newest tech in a brand new car, and these are all likely to have some sort of electrical component to them. The only issue is that if this new technology fails, it’s not likely you’ll get it fixed at the roadside – you’ll probably end up in a garage.

  • Maintenance

Due to the fact that the car will have probably done more miles, the maintenance bill might be a little larger. Again, if you take care of it and choose a good used car, this needn’t be extortionate.

  • Are you in for the wait?

If just “any” car won’t do, then you might have to wait to find your perfect car on the used market as they become available as and when people move on.

  • History

You can never be 100% sure of what a used car has been through. A full service history and warranty is a good place to start though! For a little extra reassurance at CarShop, you have the knowledge that every one of our cars has been through a 114 point safety check.

  • Buying privately

Although it is usually cheaper to buy privately, or buying a car at auction, you won’t have any backup or support should anything be wrong with the vehicle.

The compromise

If you’re still stuck between the two then perhaps a compromise might be the way forward. Why not look for cars on the used market that are only a few years old? Or even a couple of months old!

At CarShop, we have plenty of models that haven’t even reached a year old and have less than 10,000 miles on the clock. So, you can get that new car feeling without the price tag!