Second-hand wheels may not be the most savings-savvy option right now…
Second-hand cars have long been considered the cheaper option. But used wheels are in short supply – so even though demand is lower, prices aren’t budging. On the other hand, lower uptake of brand-new vehicles and a slew of other advantages means there’s lots of potential for savvy shoppers to save bank and still enjoy that new car smell. Here’s why.
1. Record-low demand
With new car sales plunging by almost 50% in April, there’s never been a better time to snag a bargain – particularly if you’re looking at one of the best-value new car buys. Plus, fewer shoppers at dealerships mean you can capitalise on a more personal level of customer service on site – or even online – and reap the rewards.
2. Rock-bottom interest rates
Interest rates are currently at a record-low – and this means brand-new car buyers can get better-than-ever deals on financing. Ka-Ching! Take full advantage of these unprecedented savings opportunities by shopping around for the best rate and loan terms, and (of course) always make sure you’re reading the fine print so you fully understand your obligations.
3. Cutting-edge extras included
When you’re going used, you often need to make compromises. Should you prioritise automatic windows or rear passenger aircon? Bluetooth compatibility or that stellar sunroof? But those buying new can tick off every coveted feature on their list – right down to the colour – and drive away fully satisfied
4. Warranties for the win
Want wheels for less and peace of mind? Then buying new is definitely for you. New cars bought from the dealerships come with fewer surprises and with warranty included – the average is about three years. This generally means defects within the warranty period will be covered by the manufacturer, so you won’t have to shell out your hard-earned savings.
5. Less ongoing maintenance
Ever bought a used car for a ‘bargain basement price’ and then realised it needs a new gearbox? The service log never tells the full story, so it’s hard to know how well a seller really looked after their vehicle, but with a new vehicle, you’re in control. In a 2019 Annual Auto Survey, responders spent an average of $83 on maintenance on a three-year-old car model, $200 on a five-year-old model and $458 on a ten-year-old model per year. This means that buying an older car can send costs soaring. Plus if you shop smart and purchase a low-maintenance model, you’ll be laughing.
6. Better fuel efficiency
With petrol prices tipped to become ever-more expensive over the next decades, buying a fuel-efficient vehicle isn’t just good for the planet – it’s good for your wallet as well. New vehicles are always raising the bar, so research how much petrol your favourite models will consume over 100km. Where new cars will perform at peak efficiency from the get-go, older cars become less efficient if they’re not properly taken care of.
7. Not always more expensive in the long run
We often feel that brand new wheels will cost us more in insurance but if you have a good driving history, and look for a model with an excellent safety rating and low depreciation over time, then you’re in for savings. For example, a new Nissan GT-R loses $60,574 of its value after 5 years, however a new Subaru Impreza loses only $10,569 in depreciation after 5 years. This is due to its popularity (which makes its parts easier to replace) and top-notch safety technology (such as blind spot monitoring). So not only will certain new models have better resale value (Toyotas and Hondas usually do well), their safety features cut insurance premiums, too. Exclusive VMA customer savings include e-Gift Card offers and online-only discounts, so make sure you shop around!
So if you’re shopping for a new set of wheels, don’t automatically assume used cars are more wallet-friendly. Do the research and find the savings-savvy model that’s right for you – and you could enjoy the budgetary benefits for years to come.
Virgin Money Australia has not considered your objectives, financial situation or needs in preparing this advice. Before acting on any advice please consider the appropriateness of the advice for you, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.