Weighing up the purchase of a new or a used car
Published 07/10/2015 | 02:30
Far be it from me to advise people to spend more money on a car.
So all I'm doing here is pointing out that in some cases - some, mind you, not all - there can be merit in buying a new car rather than opting for a second-hand.
Oh! I can hear the accusations already of promoting the car industry but that's not the case at all.
Indeed, I recognise that a new car loses a lot of its value in the first three years and buying a second-hand one at that stage can make a lot of financial sense.
However, there aren't so many good used cars of that vintage with reasonable mileage out there. The numbers are improving but there is a premium on the good ones still.
Partly responsible for that has been the fall-off in the number of used imports from the UK due to the unfavourable exchange rate.
Finance deals are making a new-car buy more attractive too but you have to be careful you don't ending up effectively leasing (which is what a PCP is) if your preference is to own.
The other restriction on buying second-hand is the lack of variety as well as quality. Because sales were so low for so long, the range of choice - saloon, crossover, SUV etc - is relatively limited.
For anyone buying new now, well, the world is your oyster. Never has there been as big a spread of car type.
Be all that as it may, the only reason I am raising the topic is to focus on the safety merits of new cars compared with older ones. Simply put, there is no comparison. The acceleration of technology in areas of accident avoidance and risk detection has been nothing short of phenomenal.
I'm not talking airbags and crumple zones. I'm talking a whole new galaxy of items that warn you and, in an increasing number of cases, help you avoid trouble.
That is the real argument for looking at a new car.