We’ve come a long way from the mindset that buying a used car is like getting someone else’s rubbish. In fact, there is a clear case for the opposite argument, depending on who or what is paying for your new car. Price wise it is a private no brainer. Buy a showroom new car and half a mile later it is a used car worth a few thousand less.
Not surprisingly many people find that hard to swallow and the market in good used cars is not only buoyant but rather attractive. Major dealers understand this, and the warranties you can get with nearly new are, as good as new.
So as an informed buyer do you allow your heart to take control? Given the choice available to you, does it makes sense to get a vehicle that promises a touch of luxury with quality? Or does it makes sense to invest in a car that will be practical, economical and cheap to run? It’s a tough decision because of the range of vehicles available but also because of the tempting prices.
An expensive car is never going to be cheap. Ever.
This fact should come engraved on the bonnet, or perhaps somewhere more discreet such as behind the petrol cap. It’s not as if you can argue against a five-litre gas guzzler at the moment as oil prices seem to be diving. But the expenses are not just about fuel. A Jaguar is a Jaguar and a top range Lexus is a top range Lexus. It doesn’t matter how old or new it is; it is going to cost you a lot to run. It will cost you more to service because the only people who will backup your warranty are the dealers who sold it to you. Parts will cost you more, and it will be steep to insure.
If you have your eye on something sporty, then you will also have to face up to other realities. There won’t be any room for anyone in the car other than and driver and perhaps one passenger. What passes for a back seat might as well be called a parcel shelf, and there is no boot or trunk to speak of. You certainly won’t be able to fit a tow hook on your Ferrari or a luggage rack come to that. Still it will look good in your driveway waiting for the emergency tow truck.
There are cars of course that have a genuine reputation for quality and reliability. The truth is you can get some good deals in cars that can hold their own in both camps. Used Mercedes, for example, can give you the best of both worlds, and they have a wide range of vehicles to choose from. Their reputation still exudes quality and class.
The Tortoise and the Hare
You might be the other type of aspiring vehicle owner. You might not want a car that stands out as the boy racers choice of transport for the night. You might prefer a safe, reliable and comfortable saloon that you can drive anywhere. You know that it is going to start and will still be there in the morning. If this is you, there are plenty of great cars to choose from, including Ford and Vauxhall, Peugeot and Citroen. These cars can be stylish and reliable. They will be cheaper to run and insure.
So which is it to be? The answer is inside you. It might not come down to the type of car at all. It might rather be the type of person you are that dictates what your next car will be.