One of the first, and arguably most important, decisions you'll make when buying a car is whether to go for new or used. It's a difficult decision, and there are a surprising amount of factors that go into making it. With pros and cons on each side, it can feel pretty intimidating, and it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, by considering a few simple options, there are ways to make the decision far simpler and easier. Here are some things to consider when deciding between a new or used car.
DepreciationWe get pretty attached to our cars. We set them aside from our other possessions because of what they represent to us. Freedom, independence and a whole host of other things. But the truth it, a car is an appliance just like a dishwasher. This means that the trade-off when buying a new car might not be as worth it as it seems. When buying new, you're setting yourself up to take the hit on significant depreciation in value. A new car can lose as much a 50 percent of its value in the first few years. That's half the value of your purchase that you've basically just thrown out the window. A used Nissan might be technically worth less than a new one, but it will be much more likely to maintain it's value.
When selling a new car, dealers will often include a few years free services. New vehicles will also have a longer period before you need to take it for it's MOT. A used car poses a severe contrast to that. It doesn't matter how well a car has been cared for, after a certain mileage, things will start to wear down. This means that repair and maintenance will have to happen more frequently and come with higher costs than if the car was new. Budgeting for the maintenance of a used car requires thought and discipline. You need to make sure that that is something that you're able to deal with.
Down paymentsOne of the biggest things that can affect the decision of whether to buy used or new is that of how much money you'd need to put down upfront. A used car will often need a far smaller down payment. When it comes to a new car, the smaller your down payment, the larger the interest charges can be. If you have the money to put down, then a new car may end up being the more cost effective option. But if you want a smaller up front payment or have nothing to put down at all then you may well be better off going for a used car.
The choice of whether to go for a new or used car is a very personal one. It's important to check your financial position, both immediately and long term, before making any decision. Whatever you choose, don't let sales people pressure you into making a decision that you're not comfortable with.