South Africa
Should I buy a new or used car?

Should I buy a new or used car?

If you are in the market to buy a car, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons before deciding on brand new or used.

This answer often comes down to the best possible deal suitable for your needs and your pocket. Buying a car should always be a practical decision - one you can comfortably afford to live with - however, there are many other factors to consider.

Should I buy a new vehicle?

Buying a new car: The pros

  • Knowing you’re the first owner creates peace of mind
  • The car will typically come with a comprehensive manufacturer warranty and full-service plan, and often needs very little maintenance in its first years, serving you better in the long run
  • Most modern cars come standard with the latest gadgets, engine technology, fuel efficiency rates and safety features, so you can be sure you’re getting the most for your money
  • Asking for the cash price can also save you significantly

Buying a new car: The cons

  • A used car is generally cheaper, saving you money at purchase
  • Although a car’s value automatically depreciates, a used car depreciates at a much lower rate, serving the selling price later
  • You also have a wider selection of ‘newer’ and ‘older’ models to choose from, so you can truly shop around for the best deal

Should I buy a used car?

Buying a used car: The pros

  • Used cars are less expensive than buying brand new
  • New cars also depreciate at a much faster rate (as soon as you drive off the showroom floor, you can lose up to 20% of the original price), so the value of your car will be much lower if you decide to sell it

Buying a used car: The cons

  • No matter how 'new' the used car is, it’s impossible to know the exact history of the car and how reliable it will be
  • Investigating the fuel consumption and cost of the car’s parts can help you, but what you initially saved at purchase may have to go towards running your car and ongoing maintenance costs (it’s likely the warranty and service plan would have expired)
  • Also, what you see is what you get: you cannot add any extra safety features or additional trimmings

What you really want to do when deciding whether you should buy a new or used car is to choose a car with a good reputation and warranty that suits your needs – this will make day-to-day driving and possible reselling much easier.

Next step

Visit our vehicle finance page to explore your financing options, or head to the car loans section in Community and use the comments field to ask other customers and our consultants for guidance.