a cheap new car, or a better quality used car?

a cheap new car, or a better quality used car?

Dear Alex,

We are in our seventies, drive about 5,000 kilometers a year and hope to continue doing so for a few more years. We have enough money to buy a new small Dacia. But would it be wiser to buy a better quality used car instead?

– IG

Dear IG,

If we are purely objective and only consider the financial aspects, then it is much wiser to buy a nearly new car, say a year or two old, than to buy a brand new one.

This way you avoid the enormous depreciation that always takes place in the first year of a car’s life – usually between 15 and 35 percent of the list price.

It’s true that if you buy new you get a full warranty – three years, or up to 90,000 kilometers, in the case of Dacia. But choosing a used car from a brand that offers a longer-than-average warranty will get you the remainder of the warranty, giving you as much, if not more, peace of mind as you get with a new Dacia. .

The problem is that buying a car is not a purely objective decision. If you really want a seat that no one else has ever sat in, a transmission that no one has ever cracked, your own color and specs, and a car that has a whole life ahead of it, then the heady thrill of a brand new car may be worth the significant cost of first year depreciation. Just make sure you are aware of that cost.

If that’s too much for you, there are some good used options. For the same price as the most basic new Dacia Sandero, for example, you can get a nearly new Hyundai i20 – a similar size with a few more kit and a punchy turbocharged engine. I found a 2022 example with 23,000 miles on the clock for £12,530; that still leaves three years of Hyundai’s five-year unlimited mileage policy.

Or how about a Toyota Aygo X? It’s slightly smaller than a Sandero, but I found a 2023 1.0 VVT-i Pure with 8,000 miles – practically a new car, without the depreciation hit – for £13,000. The best part is that if you use a Toyota dealer for maintenance, you can keep this car under warranty until 2033.