The cost of both new and used cars in the UK has risen massively in the past few years. Used cars especially have seen some of the highest rises in the past couple of years.
Usually, used cars are the more cost-effective option as their purchase price is always cheaper than brand new cars but thanks to the ability to finance new cars and finance becoming more accessible, it may not always be the best options.
If you’re in the market for another car or your first car, our guide is here to help you decide which is best for you.
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Why are cars so expensive?
The price of used cars has increased over the past few years, and it can be caused by a number of factors. The problem with global shortages on new cars meant used cars were more in demand which bumped up their price. Whilst this is good news for used car seller, it’s not great for buyers. Used car prices have continued to fluctuate throughout 2023 and partner this with the cost-of-living crisis in the UK, many drivers are struggling to afford to buy and own a car. Other factors such as the increased adoption of Ultra Low Emissions Zones and Clean Air Zones in the UK could have driven prices up as drivers could be looking for a ULEZ compliant second-hand car to avoid paying charges.
Should you buy a used car this year?
Its understandable that car buyers may want to shy away from used cars when prices are high but for many, brand new cars may be out of the question. Used car prices may have risen but their purchase price will almost always be lower than buying a brand-new car. There are also many affordable options for used cars on finance to help spread the cost into more manageable payments too. However, finance won’t be available to each and every applicant and is always subject to status.
Why are used cars a good choice?
There are a number of reasons why used cars are beneficial and are still the most popular choice amongst UK drivers.
Less depreciation costs as the previous owners will have already taken the initial hit.
There is a huge amount of choice on the used car market.
Lower purchase price when compared to brand new cars.
Long warranties offered on brand new cars can be transferred with ownership so you can still benefit when you’re a second-hand car buyer.
Generally, the older the car is, the lower its insurance rates tend to be.
What are the disadvantages of second-hand cars?
Whilst used cars can be great for your pocket and they have endless availability, there are a few concerns you may want to explore first.
When you buy from a private seller, you have to take the car at face value and means you will know little about its history and previous owners. Buying a used car from a dealer can be better as they will have stringent checks in place to verify the condition of the vehicle before it’s sold.
If you like to have control over the specification of the car you buy, you won’t be able to benefit from this when buying a used car.
Finance options may be higher for second-hand cars as lenders will usually offer low interest on brand new cars instead.
Is it better to buy a brand-new car?
There’s no denying the smell of a brand-new car and the ability to customise it to your exact specifications but brand-new cars also come with high price tags! Before you can decide whether you want a brand-new car or a second-hand car, you need to also consider the pros and cons of buying new.
Why are brand new cars beneficial for drivers?
Brand new cars have a lot to offer, and their popularity is slowly growing year on year.
Choose the specification to suit your needs.
Brand new cars come with a 3-year warranty from the manufacturer which covers you if anything goes wrong.
Brand new cars can benefit from low interest rate finance or even 0% interest to pay.
They can be safer as they have high levels of safety features, the latest technology, and are less prone to something going wrong.
Why might a brand-new car not be the best option?
The most obvious reason why buyers may want to stay away from brand new cars is the high purchase price and for many drivers, brand new cars aren’t possible without some sort of loan or finance. There are also a few other considerations you can consider too.
Insurance costs can be higher on some brand-new cars as the technology used is more expensive which would make any repair costs higher. New cars depreciate at a faster rate in the first 3 years and some new cars can lose up to half of their value whilst you own it. Which makes you lose out when you come to selling your car.
There are still many manufacturer delays affecting the industry and you could be waiting a long time for your new car to be ready. This can range from a few months to a year, depending on the model you choose.