Buying a new car vs a used car

new vs used cars

The argument of what is the best buy, a new or used car, is one that is as old as….well, almost as the mountains.
This argument falls under the same conversion as, would you buy a Land Rover or a Toyota? It has been discussed around many braai fires and will be for some time to come!

In my humble opinion it boils down to personal preference and personal circumstances. For example, some people can’t afford a new car and some people are afraid of mechanical problems that might occur when buying second-hand car. At the end of the day buying a car is not an easy task and involves all kinds of stress. So, to give you as the potential car buy some advice, here is my list of pros and cons regarding the age old, (maybe not that old) argument regarding:


New Car Pros

  • Peace of Mind: The car is out of the box and there should not be hidden mechanical or electrical faults with the car. You pretty much know the car won’t give you problems.
  • Latest Tech: Like upgrading your phone, when buying a new car. It will have the latest engine, suspension and electronic tech that the manufacture has to offer on the specific model.
  • Maintenance: The cost of the first couple of services will be cheaper for it will only be a minor service. By the time you hit 90 000km on your vehicle mechanical items needs to be replaced on top of your service. i.e. Timing belt, platinum-tipped spark plugs, etc

New Car Cons

  • Price: Although new vehicle inflation price has slowed form 9.9% (Q3 2016) to 3.1% (Q3 2017), the price of new cars are still heavily inflated.
  • Depreciation: This is one thing most people knows, once you drive your new car off the show-room floor is depreciates. The average rate of depreciation is between 15%-20% per year on a new car. The older your car gets the less it depreciates yearly. Generally, by year 5 your car has lost 50% of its value.
  • Availability: This apply for the latest popular car models, (Toyota Fortuner, Hilux bakkies). It is often the case when a new model is launch that there is a waiting list which can span over 2-3 months. This con may not apply to everyone, but if you are able to buy the latest Ford or Toyota model it might be frustrating to wait!

Used Car Pros

  • Price, Price, Price: As price is a con regarding a new car, it is a big advantage in buying a used car. Not only is the inflation rate of used cars much lower that new cars. You may also be able to afford a better make and model because the price is less than of a new car’s price is.
  • Bargain: You can also bargain to get a better price. Part of buying a used car is negotiating on price and extra features of the car.
  • Motor plan and or warranty: If the used car is not older than 5 years you might buy a car that has a motor plan or warranty that is still valid. This can save you on maintained costs.

Used Car Cons

  • Reliability: This is the biggest con when buying a used car. You will never know for certain if the vehicle has underlying problems. In some case the dealership doesn’t even know if the vehicle has a hidden fault. If you are not an expert, you simply won’t know if something is missing or wrong with the vehicle.
  • Extra maintenance: When buying a used car, you might need to do extra work on the car after you bought it. i.e. fit new tires, repair small bumps or scratches, change wipers, etc.
  • Time consuming: If you want to buy a used car you need to spend time researching, searching, test-driving, bargaining to buy the best car for your need. This is a very time consuming and often stressful process and is not everybody’s cup of tea.


Luckily is this day-and-age there is a lot of tools out there to help the consumer in buying a new or used car. Google for research, Autotrader for searching. The latest tool in assisting the consumer is Car Inspection. We offer a used car inspection service that is available in a few easy clicks. Book an inspection now!

Don’t hesitate to use all the available tools at your disposal before buying a car. 

Safe Motoring.

Hanru Reyneke – Founder @Car Inspection

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