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Should you buy a new car?

New cars can sometimes prove cheaper to buy and more economical to run than a nearly new used alternative thanks to tempting dealer offers and all-inclusive finance packages.

The term ‘used car’ can be applied to anything from a £250, high-milage rust-bucket that’s falling apart, to an eight-month-old pre-reg car or ex-demonstrator from your local franchised dealer. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll focus on the nearly new cars.

Are new cars always more expensive than used ones?

Nearly new or pre-registered cars are often priced with a healthy discount over new models. To help tempt you into a factory-fresh model, however, many manufacturers will offer tempting deals that could actually save you money.

These offers can come in the form of sizeable deposit contributions and low interest rates on Personal Contract Purchase and Hire Purchase finance agreements. Both could see you paying out less for a new car than you would have for a used alternative over a number of years.

As an added bonus, some car makers offer free servicing packages on new cars that could save you hundreds of pounds, too.

Is the total cost of ownership for a new car less than for a used car?

A survey in 2015 showed a new car can be cheaper to run than a nearly new used one. This is thanks, in part, to new cars not having to undergo MOT testing for the first three years and typically requiring less intensive annual services.

Modern cars also tend to have more efficient engines than old cars so you’ll probably be getting better fuel economy and paying less road tax, too.

Should I be worried about depreciation?

The unavoidable truth is that new cars will depreciate the moment you first turn the key. Used cars will usually depreciate more slowly, but it’s vital you do some sums and factor in whether the money you save with a manufacturer’s new-car incentives outweighs this extra depreciation. If you choose to lease your new car rather than buy it, depreciation isn’t your problem to worry about – you’re just renting it and it’ll be the dealer’s responsibility to sell it on once it’s returned.

How do insurance costs compare for new and nearly new cars?

A brand new car can cost more to insure than an older model but, to help new car buyers out, a number of manufacturers have started offering free insurance deals as part of their PCP finance packages. These deals could save your thousands of pounds in the long run.

Save money on your next car

All carwow dealers are manufacturer backed and can often undercut the price of nearly-new cars with their offers on brand-new models. Head over to our new car deals page to check out the latest offers or use our car chooser tool if you’re not sure what to buy.

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