Not everyone can afford to purchase a brand new car and drive it off of the showroom floor. It’s an incredibly expensive investment that could financially cripple you for the next few years. The next option (besides public transport, of course), is getting a used vehicle. And though this may seem like a step backwards, it’s actually beneficial over the long term.


There may be negatives to buying a second hand car – such as service history – but there are a range of positives as well. Here are a few pros to purchasing a pre-owned car.


The price will always be a factor

A car is a depreciating asset, which means that it loses value over time. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule and this is true with collectible models. You’re more than likely going to see a better return on a 1980s DeLorean DMC-12 or a well-kept 1970s Ford Mustang than a Hyundai Getz, for example. With that in mind, do you really want to be paying an extraordinary amount on a car each and every month? Especially when you still need to factor in petrol, services, and insurance.

When looking at a used VW Polo for sale, or a Figo, or any other car, you’ll see there is a distinct price difference between this year’s model, and one from at least three years ago. Often, the difference in price can save your thousands in finance. Brand new cars need to be financed through a commercial bank or special entity. Paying off a car over 60 months with a high interest rate, means you end up forking out far more cash than what was advertised.


No bizarre add-ons

Delving deeper into the act of purchasing a brand new car, dealers have been known to charge for some very strange extras. The price that is advertised on the showroom floor may look attractive, but there are quite a few additional charges that aren’t shown upfront.

The final price you pay may include charges for metallic paint, a wax and a wash, and supposed “value added extras” – that’s easily a month or two worth of groceries. How much should a car wash really cost?

With a pre-owned vehicle, you pay what the seller is asking (after some negotiations, of course) and perhaps the licensing fees as well. That already saves you quite a lot of money.


Cheaper insurance

This is the bane of car owners around the world: the need to insure their car. In South Africa, a car cannot leave the dealership unless it’s insured – companies will try to take advantage of this. Thankfully, it’s not the same with a used car and the value of the insurance is almost always cheaper. After all, a car devalues over time so why should you pay the same insurance costs as you would on a new vehicle?


The problems are sorted out

Aside from car reviewers often looking at the newest, fanciest models, there isn’t a lot of press coverage for the average car model. And, when purchasing a brand new car off of the assembly line without knowing much about it, you’re essentially an expensive beta tester for the product. Fighting with car manufacturers to figure out what is and isn’t a production defect can be a nightmare – look at the case of Ford and other manufacturers.

When picking up a second hand car, you will be able to read over forums and social media posts, watch videos, and check out a range of coverage about the car. After all, it’s had a few years to accumulate a wealth of information on it. It will also be easier to chat to those who have already purchased the car and pick their brains on a range of issues. You’ll be able to make an informed decision about the car while knowing about any and all known faults.

Ideally, the previous owner had all of these problems fixed up, which means you don’t need to deal with manufacturers or mechanics to have faulty brakes or airbag issues sorted out.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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