The automotive industry is in crisis, as a semiconductor shortage continues to plague production. The result has been a boom in second-hand sales, as buyers turn to the used car market instead of waiting for new models to release.
There are a number of benefits to buying second-hand besides the short-term convenience, which the following four points will illustrate – though there are also things you should look out for as a consumer when engaging with the second-hand car market, which will also be discussed at the end of the piece.
Second-Hand Car Prices
Perhaps the most attractive part of shopping for a used vehicle is the price. Buying from a used car merchant can secure you significant savings, depending on the car’s age and condition; even next-to-new vehicles can be found at around a fifth cheaper than their list price, by virtue of simply having left the showroom. With some shrewd shopping, you can find a car that fits your criteria for a much lower price, with only minor compromise in certain areas – and the knowledge the vehicle has passed through hands before yours.
Breakdowns and Newer Models
New vehicles are chock full of technological advancements, which make for a superior driving experience in some ways but can cause a major headache in others.
Simple servicing jobs now have to take into account calibrating sensors, making them off-limits for all but the professionally-trained mechanic – and many electrical faults found in new vehicles cannot be solved roadside, resulting in more downtime and bigger bills for you in the event something goes wrong.
Older vehicles less reliant on technology tend to be more reliable overall, with easier routes to solving a problem and better design for immediate roadside repair in the event of a breakdown.
While approaching the used car market is an excellent way to take advantage of depreciation, it is also an excellent way to avoid the issue of depreciation altogether. For certain vehicles, and especially newer plug-in electric vehicles, depreciation after leaving the showroom is extremely small in comparison to others.
With a little research into cars that fit this rubric, you can make a safe investment in a vehicle with the knowledge that, should you come to sell it in a few years’ time, you will be able to get out not much less than you put in when you bought it.
This is an admittedly small consideration to make, but used vehicles have already been registered for tax purposes, saving you a £55 flat fee in registration costs.
This money represents a small portion of the ‘hidden’ running costs which make purchasing a car much more expensive than simply its list price – but being able to allocate this money to fuel instead can make the world of difference in the early days of running your vehicle.
What to Look Out For When Buying Used
You should not go in on a used car purchase without being fully confident in the car you have found, and the dealer through which you’re buying it. Many dealers offer a warranty on used vehicles, presenting you with a useful cushion in case of a breakdown; others might include free insurance coverage to sweeten the sale.
Even with these on the table, you should only go ahead if all the paperwork and service history is available for you to see, in order to verify the car’s service history and ownership.