The pros and cons of buying a 'rental' car this month
Lower prices the big attraction as motors come back for sale
This time of year thousands of cars that have been out there ferrying visitors and tourists all over the country come to dealers and go on sale.
They are called nearly-new or 'newsed' and are put on the market at prices well below what a new version would cost.
So are they a bargain or are they not worth the bother? There are pros and cons.
Let's look at the pros first:
* You are getting a car with small enough mileage (in many cases the engines are only 'run in') for thousands less than new.
* They have been regularly checked and cared for - there is no profit in breakdowns.
* They are usually registered around March/April and so are really only six months old.
* Wear and tear used to be an issue; not nearly so much any more as cars are more durable, roads are vastly improved and vehicles are monitored more closely.
* They can have 18 to 30 months warranty remaining in most cases.
* With some marques the warranty could be 4.5 years or even 6.5 years.
* Prices are pitched keenly to tempt you to buy one of these rather than a more traditional secondhand at this time of year.
* The pricing is also designed to persuade you to buy nearly-new now rather than wait until January for a new one.
Against all that are obvious negatives:
* You'll only get three months with a current year reg (161, 162).
* It is a secondhand car that has a previous owner. That may marginally affect your trade-in value in a few years.
* It has had many different drivers, some of whom might not have been accustomed to changing gears and clutching so there may be relatively more wear and tear.
* If you bought brand new you may be entitled to a discount which in the case of a €20,000 car could be anything from €1,000 to €2,000 if you don't have a trade-in. That might narrow the price gap a bit.
* If you wait a few months you will be able to buy a new 171 reg and a car with, possibly, higher spec as brands often upgrade for the new year.
So it all comes down to money and the real difference between new and used prices.
Is it enough to 'compensate' you for buying at this time of year and for it being a used car?
My advice is to sit down and do the maths. It really is as simple as that.
As an example say there is a €5,000/€6,000 difference between the price of the 'newsed' and the new. Just how much are you saving allowing for all minus points just outlined?
Would another €1,000 off, or on, make all the difference?
Lots of people wait until this time of the year to buy one of these so there must be value in them. Just make sure you're happy with the figures.
One final point. Regardless of how the figures tumble, be sure to factor in your dealership. A good one is worth a lot. So don't let a few hundred euro put you off a deal if that side of the equation is sound.