In the UK, over 2.6 million new vehicles are registered every year, with that figure steadily increasing year-on-year due to consumers benefitting from low car finance interest rates and vehicles becoming cheaper to import from mainland Europe.
During March and September in particular there is a surge in sales, with hundreds of thousands of motorists excitedly waiting for the delivery of their pre-ordered car with its prestigious new vehicle registration plate.
So, with the 17 car number plate due to launch, the big question is: should you buy brand new? Here we weigh up the pros and cons and leave it up to you to decide …
Pros of buying a new car
That new car smell
When you buy a brand new car, you are the first person to own it, so you can feel confident that it doesn’t have a skeleton in the closet (for example, there is no outstanding finance on it from a previous owner, or an engine that has been ‘thrashed’). The interior and exterior are immaculate and it has that unbeatable ‘new car’ smell.
The ability to customise it so it is exactly what you want
When you order your new vehicle, you can typically choose the colour, customise the interior and exterior, and add any extras you want such as in-car entertainment – when buying an older car, you may have to compromise.
Technology and safety
New cars come with the very latest cutting-edge technology, as well as being safer than older models.
While you will have to pay more for a brand new car than a second hand version, some ongoing cost savings may typically be made:
- there will be no MOT to pay for 3 years (currently this costs a maximum fee of £54.85 per year);
- new cars are typically much more environmentally friendly - improved technology and increasingly restrictive laws means fuel economy will be better in newer cars. That makes them cheaper to run and also means lower cost motor tax compared to an older vehicle (though do note that new car tax rules come into force from April 2017);
- a new car comes with a warranty, typically up to 60,000 miles or for 3 years (though with one manufacturer you get a 7 year warranty). When buying privately, you get no warranty and a second hand car bought from a dealership may typically only have a warranty up to a year;
- some manufacturers may offer a years’ free car insurance and / or car breakdown cover.
Cons of buying new
So, what are the downsides to buying new?
The cost and depreciation
You pay a high price for a brand new car compared to a second-hand or ex-demo model. Yet as soon as you drive the vehicle off the dealership’s forecourt, it starts to lose its value. On average, a new car will lose between 50% and 60% of its value in the first 3 years of ownership.
As an example:
- buying a brand new Fiat 500c today will start at around £13,850;
- a second hand Fiat 500c of a very similar spec (registration plate 16) costs £9,995.
- when you order your new car, you will have to wait for it;
- if you buy a brand new vehicle, you could experience some teething issues;
- the new vehicle registration plate is only ‘new’ for a short while.
Hopefully this article will help you make an informed decision as to whether you want to buy brand new or not. If you have any questions about insuring your new car please give our friendly team a ring on 01243 219300. Happy motoring!