Buying a new car is an exciting time and choosing what car to buy is a big decision. Your choice usually comes down to buying a new or a second-hand vehicle. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both.

Before you make any choice work out what your budget is and identify what you can comfortably afford. Remember to factor in tax, insurance, fuel and any other unexpected costs (for example parking).

When it comes to buying a second-hand vehicle you will have a lot more models to choose from. Buying a used car is definitely the cheapest option!

However, every used car will come with a history. You need to make sure this is not hidden by getting a full car history check on the number plate of the car you want to buy from websites like Cazana.

This history check will tell you whether or not the car has ever been written off or stolen, if it has any outstanding finance on it, its running costs and MOT history. If you buy a used car with outstanding finance on it there’s a chance it could be repossessed.

Another thing to keep in mind with buying an older car is that you may potentially have higher maintenance costs.  

Most used cars also don’t come with a warranty, whereas new cars will have warranty usually lasting between 3 – 5 years meaning any faults are quickly fixed by the manufacturer.

Newer cars also do not require a MOT test in the first 3 years saving you time and money. But buying a new car is more expensive.

The rate of depreciation on a new car however, is much quicker than a used car. A new car can lose up to nearly 50% of its value in the first 3 years. There’s an old saying that a car can lose up to 15% of its value simply driving away from the dealer’s yard.

There is also the option of purchasing a nearly new vehicle. A nearly new vehicle is between 1 – 3 years old and will still have a warranty. You will still lose money from its depreciation but not as much as purchasing a new car.   

However, it is worth noting that not all new cars will depreciate at the same rate some new cars hold their value better than others.

When it comes to choosing the car for you, you also need to bear in mind your needs. Is this vehicle for work / commercial purposes or for driving your kids to school.