/ Motoring

Why I will never buy a new car

As soon as a new car rolls off the forecourt it’s already losing value rapidly, so getting the best price is key. But for the best value, I’ll only ever buy a used or nearly new car.

When you’re looking to replace your car, what do you do? Do you head to a main dealer showroom and pay top dollar? Or do you find a private seller or a small garage with a nearly new car, haggle hard and save yourself thousands on a barely run in motor?

Though brand new cars may have that ‘new car smell’ and only a handful of miles on the clock, you really do pay through the nose for the privilege. Especially if you head to a main dealer and pay the list price.

You can find big savings on new and used cars

We’ve already seen how Which? Car’s Rob Hull saved Sue £3,000 on a brand new car, and every week we fish out hot car deals to give you 20-30% discounts. But if you’re happy with a nearly new car with maybe 5,000 or 10,000 miles under its tyres, you can save much more than that.

Last year I helped my mum buy a one-year-old Skoda Octavia vRS diesel which had covered just 10,000 miles. Despite having two years of warranty remaining, immaculate bodywork and a pair of new tyres, my mum paid around £8,000 less than a new model would have cost. And this was from a Skoda main dealer. Head to a smaller garage and prices should be lower still.

After a year of stress-free motoring and just one puncture to its name, the car has been a model of reliability. So why would you buy a new car, unless price is really not a concern?

Buy used for even bigger savings

I’ve just taken things a step further by buying an 11-year-old car this week with 75,000 miles on the clock – all for half the price of the UK’s cheapest car.

Sure, car tax, fuel bills and maintenance costs will be much higher than for a new car, but with very little depreciation to contend with and a thorough service history, I can now run a premium car on a shoestring.

Many of you may not want to take the plunge with an 11-year-old motor, but would you consider buying a nearly new car rather than a brand new model? And if you wouldn’t plump for a nearly new model, would you head for an online broker for the best price on a new car?

Comments
Guest
Tricia_TD says:
25 February 2014

Nearly new is best, as you don’t pay the VAT that you do on a brand new car.

Guest

Don’t be silly. Of course you pay the vat, or at least a proportion of it. If you buy a used car for half its new price, you’re paying half the vat!

Guest
Andy teal says:
17 December 2016

If you are paying VAT and in business you will need the vendors vat number.
If you are buying off a vendor who is not vat registered pay no vat simply maths. . 😃

Guest

Likewise for me too. I usually look for a main dealer, ex-demo about 6 months old with about 5k on the clock. These have usually be well looked after, are mainly used by a staff member (one of the sales team) and are kept pristine.

Guest
Blair Breton says:
27 February 2014

I agree with Chris that second hand cars are better value in most cases. There is an alternative approach that also works and that is buy a new one and keep it until it’s scrap. This works With cars that last. In my case a Volvo now 14 years old 145k miles. I am aiming for 200k then the capital cost is spread. Get it serviced at your local independent garage and keep maintenance costs lower while still maintaining the car.

Guest

Like Blair Breton, I rather prefer the option of buying from new and running the car into the ground. My last car (Astra) ran 110,000 miles over 11 years and I parted with it when it became too expensive to service/repair. The purchase price worked out at about £1000 a year. That might be more expensive than a nearly new car, but is a price I’m happy to pay for the warranty included, a lifetime warranty on my current car (or 100,000 miles).

Guest
Jeff Evans says:
28 February 2014

I fully agree with Richard. And before buying any 2nd hand car, do your homework!

My current car was bought new, from a main dealer, but with various discounts it actually worked out £1000 cheaper than a 1 year old model. They then gave me “scrappage” of £1000 on my old car which had done 225,000 miles. So I got the factory fitted extras I wanted AND saved money; some of these work out cheaper than after-market fittings for the same price, and the long, long warranty is an excellent bonus.
An example of savings when buying new: Factory fit detachable towbar £305: After market £525. Full size spare wheel, tools and jack in place of a useless sealant kit: £87 which is £35 less than the price of a new tyre.
I’ve just ordered a new car for my wife. Similar deal to that one above. Works out the same price as one almost a year old with 5,000 on the clock.

One of my big bugbears with 2nd hand cars is that many have been driven badly. I used to work in Macclesfield and you could smell the clutches on Hibel Road (quite steep) when the traffic lights were red and about 10% of drivers slipped the clutch moving slightly backwards and forwards instead of using the handbrake (too much roll-back when taking off if held on the footbrake). I don’t want to buy any car that has been abused.
Just make sure to do your homework (again) as used is not necessarily better!!!!!

Guest

Apart from two cars I bought from my father, I have always purchased new cars to avoid the possibility that the previous owner has slipped the clutch or otherwise abused the vehicle. I have kept my cars for up to ten years so depreciation is not a big issue.

I have considered buying a demonstrator car but have been put off by tales that sales reps sometimes abuse new vehicles even if they keep them clean and polished. I am not sure if this is true or just a myth.

When I last changed my car I paid a deposit on a pre-registered but unused car that was on offer at a good discount price. I thought I had achieved good value for money without any haggling until the dealer phoned to say that he was terribly sorry but a colleague had sold my car. 🙁

Guest
SRM says:
17 March 2014

Jeff , which car allows option of full size spare wheel plus kit ?