For many households across the UK, owning a car is an unfortunate necessity. Between large families needing people carriers for the school run, professional households with long commutes and rural folk unable to rely on public transport, cars are extremely effective and extremely important provisions. But they are getting more expensive.
The reasons for this are manifold. For one, manufacturers are quickly folding new technology into their newer models, with associated hikes in list value. For another, the still-present inflationary crisis has reduced spending power for the vast majority of people in the UK, simultaneously rising fuel and maintenance costs in the process.
Even at the best of times, buying new is often considered a bridge too far for those on the hunt for a car -whether their next or their first. As such, the used car market remains a robust one, and a solid option for a great many people. But what are the key pros and cons of buying used, exactly?
The Advantages of Buying Used
The biggest advantage to buying used naturally relates to cost. Put simply, used cars are cheaper to buy than new ones. This is not just due to demonstrable differences in quality and condition, but also to an overarching factor called depreciation.
Different makes of car will lose value at different rates over time, depending on their track record with reliability and fuel efficiency, but all cars suffer an immediate bump to their value the moment they leave the showroom floor – and lose value over their first few years on the road, irrespective of condition or usage.
This phenomenon makes it possible for you to extend your search criteria to higher end vehicles without expanding your budget. You could buy a used Mercedes for a fraction of its showroom value, and enjoy their trademark engineering without breaking the bank.
Used cars are also cheaper to insurance, typically. Unless the car is a demonstrable death-trap with a poor NCAP rating, the reduced list value of the vehicle will dictate a lower insurance premium.
The Disadvantages of Buying Used
However, buying used comes with its own subset of risks. For one, used cars can come in a wide variety of conditions. If you don’t have the requisite knowledge, you might miss some key signs that a car on the market isn’t long for this earth. You might also find difficulty with the seller, particularly with private sales. Though rare, bad actors can attempt to defraud you of your money – making checking any car’s documentation crucial.
Different Ways to Buy Used
But buying used cars does not always mean dealing with private sellers. There are used car dealerships across the country, that enable you to purchase used vehicles with a wider range of payment options. Some dealerships might offer warranty or coverage as an optional extra, while many will allow you to defer payments through a finance or hire purchase scheme.