Why your first car should be second hand

April 18, 2018

The excitement of finally passing your driver’s license test is only heightened by the realisation that you are now able to look for a new car. It is easy to dream about driving off into the sunset in a brand new red convertible but your focus should be in reality when looking for a car. Your first car should not be new, but rather look for second hand or pre-owned cars to fit your budget. Below are some of the benefits of choosing a second hand car as your first car.

You will save money

This is one of the major benefits of buying second hand or pre-owned cars. You will not have to pay the exorbitant prices that come with purchasing a new car. The upfront price of a used car can be up to fifty percent less than that of a new vehicle, allowing you to save a significant amount of money.

On average, consumers switch cars at least once every six years, which means that buying a new one every time can end up becoming exorbitantly expensive. The costs of warranty and even your insurance premiums will be lower on a pre-owned car, but remember that you may have to pay higher maintenance costs if your car is older than ten years.

The depreciation has already occurred

Buying a new car may seem exciting and thrill-inducing but it is important to remember that as soon as you drive off of the dealership lot, the depreciation begins. Cars depreciate at a rate of 15 to 20 percent per year, which means that after three to five years, your ‘new’ car will become second hand.

Your used car may even gain value depending on its make, model and rarity. Because the depreciation has already begun, your car will depreciate at a much slower rate. If you keep your car in good condition, you will find that the resale value also remains at a decent level too. The depreciation of new cars means their resale value is significantly lower than the original asking price, meaning that you will sell at a loss and may not make much profit at all.

There is a wider selection

A used car or pre-owned car dealership will most likely have a wide selection of vehicles to choose from than one that sells new cars. You are not limited to one brand or model, and you may even find a car that you were not considering or did not know about.

A new car dealership does offer new models but they often may not keep the older models after a certain number of years, which means that you will not be able to find a model that you prefer. If you are a classic car enthusiast, you will not be able to find any classic cars at a dealership that only sells used models, making pre-owned or second hand your best bet. It is also ideal for students who are uncertain about which car they want exactly.

Zero tax

What some of the glossy car magazines fail to mention is that on a new car, you will pay an emissions tax. However, if you choose to buy a used car, you will pay zero tax on the purchase. This reduces the purchase price when compared to a new vehicle, and this money can be used for other necessary costs.

The sales or emissions tax that dealers have to add to the vehicle price could be thousands of Rands, making it an exorbitant and overpriced purchase. If you are on a tight budget, a used car with zero tax is an ideal choice. You will be able to save money and stick to your budget with ease. Be sure to research the laws on the subject, as these may change before you decide to purchase your vehicle.

Customisation costs are lower

Some dealerships offer expensive add-ons and customisation options for their new cars, but if you buy a pre-owned vehicle, you will find that these costs decrease significantly. You will be able to install your own add-ons and customise your car to your heart’s content with a used vehicle.

If you are a first-time car owner and want to customise your car to fit your needs and personality, you will find that opting for a pre-owned vehicle is the ideal route to take. You will be able to find affordable parts for your car and will find that the rates for customisation are significantly lower. If you are in an accident and need to replace a  door or bumper, a used car will cost much less than a new car to repair.

Be savings savvy

Used, second hand or pre-owned cars are good choices for students who are just starting out as drivers and for established roadtrippers who want to stick to a budget. You will find that you are able to save a significant amount of money on a used car and that the absence of sales tax allows you to use any extra money on making your new car completely ‘yours’ with customisation. Be sure to create a budget before you go to any car dealerships.


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