Buying a Car: Brand New vs. Second Hand

While many people find new cars more appealing, some experts say that buying a second hand car is a much smarter choice, especially if you have a limited budget. Both options have their merits and shortcomings. The following guide has been put together by ServiceMarket in collaboration with the experts at CarSwitch.com to make choosing between a first hand and second hand car an easy decision for you.

Here are some of the key factors you should consider while deciding whether a new car or second hand car is more suitable for you.

  • New cars depreciate quickly: If you buy a new car, the value of your car will fall by thousands of dirhams in the first few years. Many people don’t realize that a new car can depreciate by more than AED 20,000 as soon as they buy it. The rate of depreciation decreases as your car grows older, so you can avoid most of it by buying a slightly used car. However, if you’re planning on keeping the car for a long time then this may not be a large concern for you.
  • You may find a better second hand car in the same price range: People with a limited budget should explore the used car market and see if they can fit a better make or model into their budget. For example, you may be able to find a car that is just a couple of years old with more features for a lower price.
  • You can now check a used car’s history: Many buyers avoid second hand cars because they are worried that the car may have issues and previous repairs from accidents it has been involved in. However, it’s now possible to check a car’s accident history by entering the car’s chassis number on the Emirates Vehicle Gate website. In addition, you should also ask the seller to share the car’s dealership and service history with you. Used car platforms like CarSwitch also share inspection reports with buyers.
  • Which option is better in terms of car insurance premium?  Some say that insurance costs more if you are buying a new car, while others maintain that the rate is higher for used cars. This is because the insurance premium is calculated by considering both the age of the car and the car’s current value. Insurers will usually offer you a better rate (percentage of car value used to calculate the insurance premium) on new cars. This is because people generally drive more carefully when they have a new car. Also, spare parts for older cars usually cost the same or more than spare parts for new cars, meaning that spare parts for used cars tend to be more expensive relative to the car value. On the other hand, used cars are worth less than new cars, so you might end up with a cheaper policy even though the rate is higher. You can compare car insurance companies and purchase policies on ServiceMarket.
  • Getting a car loan? Banks offer lower interest rates on new cars: You might end up having to pay a higher monthly interest amount to your bank if you get an old car financed. Banks don’t finance used cars that are more than eight years old. You have to pay back the loan before your car reaches this age so the monthly installments might become unaffordable.
  • Keep the car’s warranty in mind while deciding: New cars come with a more comprehensive untouched warranty. However, some used cars are still under warranty, and if you buy through CarSwitch then the car will come with a three month warranty that covers the engine, AC and transmission.  
  • Will you have to spend a lot on maintenance? This is another important factor you should consider while buying a car. New cars typically need very little maintenance. On the other hand, maintenance costs tend to increase with the age of your car. It is often hard to figure out whether a new car’s depreciation or a used car’s maintenance will cost you more in the long run. To avoid high maintenance bills, we recommend that you don’t buy a very old car.
  • Get free gadgets and other features with used cars: Many car owners upgrade their cars with the latest gadgets and infotainment systems. While selling their car, many of them would be willing to throw these gadgets and features into the deal for no extra cost.

Our verdict? Buy a used car that has only been driven a few thousand miles. If you know that the car has been kept in a good condition and comes with a warranty, go for it without a second thought. You can compare used cars and their prices on CarSwitch.com. All used cars listed there undergo the CarSwitch 200pt check and come with a three month warranty.   

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