When it comes to replacing your car, we all have a big choice to make. Do we opt for a brand new, straight-off-the-factory-line new car? Or do we hit the second-hand market and hunt out a bargain? In the past, many buyers would be wary of purchasing used models. You might end up with a dodgy engine or mile clock that had been tampered with. Nowadays, the used market is a lot more legitimate, and the cars are better built.
With that in mind, it’s well worth buying second-hand in today’s market. The only real thing you’re missing out on is that delicious new car smell! But, if it saves you thousands of dollars, we think it’s probably worth it. If you’re looking for your next vehicle, here are some compelling reasons to buy a used model.
The numbers don’t lie here; 44 million second-hand cars are sold in the USA every single year. That’s twice as many as the brand new market. Many people will tell you that buying new is the only way to choose your favourite engine, colour or spec. With 44 million sold on the used market, we guarantee you’ll find everything you want if you look hard enough. There is much more choice when you buy used, including every possible specification you could wish for.
Perhaps the biggest argument in favour of the secondhand market is the value. Quite simply, buying secondhand offers much better value for money. First of all, you’ll avoid the devastating process of depreciation. When you buy a used car, it loses nearly 10% of its value as soon you drive it out of the showroom. It could lose up to half its value three years later. Buy a three-year-old car and you’ll often find it at half the price of its brand new alternative.
Thanks to the better value, you might even find your dream car comes within budget. We’ve seen used Dodge muscle cars on the market for the same price as a new Ford Focus. Which would you choose here? You’ll suddenly find a much higher class of car within your budget. You no longer have to limit yourself to the sensible brand new models. You can seek out something with a bit more character and excitement.
In the past, buyers would avoid second-hand cars because of their poor reliability. The used market was associated with unreliable bangers and vehicles on their last legs. Nowadays, cars are built to last for up to ten years. Most modern cars will complete 100,000 miles before they pass out. If you get your hands on a three-year-old model, you’ll still get seven years of reliable driving. You may even benefit from the original factory warranty, with some manufacturers offering seven-year guarantees. The second-hand dealers themselves now provide excellent service too. You may benefit from servicing options and maintenance.
Much like reliability, car safety credentials have come a long way. Buying a used car is no longer a risky adventure. You’re not buying a death-trap anymore! All used cars must be cleared for safety by an MOT and most are stocked with modern features. Three or four-year-old models will feature modern anti-lock brakes, traction control and airbags, just like a new car.
Of course, if you still feel a little uncomfortable in the second-hand world, you could try the ‘nearly new’ option. These are cars that are part of a dealer’s demonstration range. They’ll be brand new cars that have been used on test-drives and featured in showrooms. They have a few miles under their belt, but they are pre-registered. Because of that, you’ll find them much cheaper. It’s as close to a new car as you can get without paying the full price! Plus, they’ll have already passed through those irksome teething problems of a new car.
Check documents and condition
Finally, before you buy any used car, be sure to complete an entire checklist of documents and condition. The car is only a bargain if it is in pristine condition. If it breaks down three months later, you’ll spend all that money you saved on maintenance. So, make sure the vehicle comes with a full service history and recent MOT certificate. Check the fluids to ensure the car has been well looked after. You’re looking for good levels and a healthy brown-coloured oil. Finally, check the tyres for wear and the underbelly for rust.
If you follow this advice to the letter, you’ll find a bargain in no time! Good luck, and enjoy your beautiful second-hand dream car!