Everyone loves the pristine feeling of sliding into the driving seat of a brand new car and the novelty of sporting the very latest registration plate. But we also know those special feelings come at a premium. And then there’s painful depreciation to take into account, as the car is worth much less than you paid for it the moment you drive it away. So, if you've already decided that your budget will stretch to a 21 plate, have you considered how much more car you could get for your money by going for a barely used second-hand example, while still making a worthwhile saving?
And right now there is a new factor to consider, which makes the nearly new car option a more attractive choice than ever before. The fact is that because the coronavirus pandemic has kept many of us off the roads for the past 12 months, thousands of cars have been parked for much of that time. This means that there is an unusually broad choice of used cars available with lower mileages than you would normally expect to see.
So this March brings you an even more interesting choice; a brand new car or, for a lower cost, much more car for your money with the bonus of even less wear and tear than you’d typically expect with a nearly new car.
Which used car should I buy?
We looked at five examples available on BuyaCar.co.uk to illustrate just how significant the benefits of choosing used can be.
|NEW: Mercedes A180 SE manual, 136hp||Metallic paint - £595||£23,680|
|BUYACAR: Mercedes A200 AMG Line Executive automatic, 163hp, 2020 (20 plate), 1,536 miles||Metallic paint, automatic gearbox, equipment that comes with AMG Line trim over SE, Executive pack (Smartphone integration, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, Active Parking Assist with Parktronic, Electric folding door mirrors, MBUX multimedia system, 10-inch media system screen, wireless charging, reversing camera)||£23,228|
|NEW: Nissan Juke 1.0 DiG-T 114 Visia||No extras||£18,595|
|BUYACAR: Nissan Juke 1.0 DiG 117 N-Connecta DCT automatic, 2020 (20 plate), 1,008 miles||Metallic paint, automatic gearbox, 17-inch alloy wheels, eight-inch touchscreen media system, sat-nav with traffic, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, rear-view camera, start button, electric hand brake with autohold function, climate control||£18,100|
|NEW: Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 75hp SE||Price after £500 discount available at time of writing, includes free first year's insurance (for drivers over the age of 25, maximum contribution of £1,000)||£16,040|
|BUYACAR: Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 Turbo 100hp Elite Nav, 2020 (69 plate), 1 mile||White paint, sat-nav, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, automatic lights and wipers, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, electric folding wing mirrors, alarm.||£14,795|
|NEW: Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI 110hp Life||No extras||£23,355|
|BUYACAR: Volkswagen Golf 1.5 eTSI 150hp Style DSG, automatic, 2020 (70 plate), 17 miles||Automatic gearbox, metallic paint, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED plus headlights with cornering function, floor mats, front sports seats, three-zone climate control, electric folding door mirrors, high beam assist, Emergency Assist, Side Assist and Travel Assist camera and radar safety systems.||£22,300|
|NEW: Ford Fiesta 1.1 75hp Trend 3dr||No extras||£16,640|
|BUYACAR: Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost 125hp ST-Line Edition 5dr, 2020 (20 plate), 100 miles||18-inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, rear parking sensors, electric folding door mirrors, automatic wipers, sat-nav, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, sports suspension, starter button, cruise control and speed limiter, climate control, B&O sound system, keyless entry and keyless start, wireless charging, lumbar support for front seats||£16,050|
Look at the Ford Fiesta example in our list. For nearly £600 less than even a new three-door entry-level model - which has the least powerful engine available with 75hp - you could get a seriously luxurious list of desirable kit that the original owner paid a hefty premium to get with a 125hp five-door model. And it has just 100 miles on the clock.
It’s a similar story with our Vauxhall Corsa - except that this one will save you £1,245 while offering a superior driving experience with a 100hp engine compared with the 75hp one of the brand new model, plus extra touches like automatic lights, sat-nav and a parking camera. It’s a new car in practically all respects. And the mileage? It’s covered just one mile.
Despite the popularity of automatic gearboxes, they are still a pricey extra on many cars. This is when a used car wins hands down - as in our Mercedes example. You have to really care about the smell of a new car and having a 21 plate on the drive to choose the new entry-level A180 SE manual over the far better-equipped, more powerful, automatic A200 AMG Line Executive. Which will also save you nearly £500 and again has a particularly low mileage.
Thanks to the unusual circumstances of the past year, making the choice between buying a brand new car this month or choosing a better-specified, low mileage used example is surely easier than ever before.
Purchasing a used car? Protect yourself against mechanical and electrical failures with a MotorEasy warranty.