Buying a car is rarely a simple decision, as unless the company are buying it for us, it represents a very significant chunk of hard earned money for most people. After all, if cost were not a factor we would all have a new vehicle and the second hand market wouldn’t exist. One thing is for sure, when we buy a car that we intend to use, we are almost always going to lose money on the deal, the only question being how much?
The depreciation the instant a vehicle leaves the showroom puts many people off buying a new vehicle, though they generally look at the numbers for the first one or two years. If they keep the vehicle beyond this point, the drop in value levels off, and given the free repair warranty generally offered these days, the differential between buying new and second hand actually narrows dramatically. A new vehicle comes with the latest fuel efficient technology, so the savings in running costs can also reduce the difference. You also can relax in the knowledge that there will be no nasty repair bills, so your motoring costs for the foreseeable future are very predictable.
Buying Second Hand
The fact that someone else has taken the brunt of the depreciation is probably the most compelling reason for buying second hand. A three year old vehicle in excellent condition, with a full main dealer’s service history, is probably going to be less than half the new price, with likely many years of reliable service ahead of it. It can take quite a number of hours and days to find the model you are looking for, with the right year and mileage often being a more important consideration than the vehicles colour.
With any older model out of warranty, there is always an uncertainty about possible mechanical problems and bills, though with good luck and regular servicing, many people have trouble free motoring, relatively cheaply.
The Main Dealer or the Trader
There are many cars for sale in Canberra from private individuals and commercial car showrooms, offering just about every vehicle on the market. Choosing the right vehicle for your needs and getting the best deal on it at the same time is not a simple task. Prices vary depending upon many issues not always immediately visible to the untrained eye, and to a degree not even connected to the actual vehicle, as opposed to the sellers’ overhead costs. A main dealership showroom, of necessity looks quite showy and glamorous, with bright lights and plenty of staff, all of which cost money, a percentage of which is figured into the profit required on your chosen vehicle. While the smaller forecourt will also figure it in, it will be a much lesser number.
The main dealer has a reputation as a seller of new cars to deal in quality, so you are likely to find a better car there, with no accidents, a full service history and probable warranty, though you can expect to pay a fair bit more for it. Dealers will have very good quality cars too of course, often at better prices. It is advisable to get the vehicle fully checked by an independent mechanic for any visible or noticeable defects, prior to committing yourself to the purchase, as with buying a used car the old saying “caveat emptor” or “buyer beware”, has never been more applicable.