Buyers' Guide: New or used? Do the research
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Buying new for the first time can be a bit daunting for many. As the price gap between used and new vehicles decreases thanks to the availability of new, quality compact cars from as little as $20K, more people are tempted to enter the new-car market. What are the pros and cons?
New cars offer security and increase the likelihood of trouble-free motoring. In today’s market they come with a substantial warranty that’s either based on time or mileage, whichever occurs first.
However, the down side is that the buyer usually has obligations to maintain the warranty and it’s tricky to take your car to anywhere but the dealer’s service centre when it needs servicing.
Compared to older cars, newer models are packed with more safety features and driver aids. More safety features are being introduced as standard so you don’t have to be searching with a big budget in order to find affordable technology that protects passengers and pedestrians. We always recommend buying the safest car you can afford.
An Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) five-star safety rating is the gold standard all manufacturers want to achieve in order to maintain their strong position in the market, but there is another benefit that comes with owning a vehicle with a top rating. Driving a five-star safety rated car also means that you’ll have a lower ongoing registration bill due to reduced ACC levies.
Car makers are forever pushing the envelope when it comes to fuel economy. Newer models usually come equipped with innovations such as stop-start technology and low emission engines to help motorists save on fuel costs. These technologies can be more difficult to come across in older cars, making them less economical.
While a used vehicle might be cheaper to buy, the initial financial saving can often be eroded over time by higher fuel costs.
Before you make the decision on whether to buy a new car, bear in mind that new vehicles are more vulnerable to depreciation. However, they do offer the latest technologies and safety features, which should be high on the list of priorities for anyone in the market for a new vehicle.
Occasionally dealerships carry pre-facelift stock and cars can be a year or so old, but if they’ve never left the yard, technically they’re still a brand new vehicle. Although some of these cars’ features may have been upgraded in the latest models, it’s worth giving these cars consideration as you could save a bit of money.
However, do your research first, as the latest models may benefit from more major upgrades, such as improvements to the engine or gearbox.
New cars may come with a comprehensive service plan — great for those who struggle to keep on top of the maintenance. If this does come at an additional cost, again do your research to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth.
With flexible finance plans and lower-cost vehicles available in today’s market, it’s becoming easier for Kiwis to afford a new car. Consider all options before making the final decision, however. If you’re looking for reliability, support and longevity, a new vehicle could be the answer.