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Thinking of buying a new car? Make sure you're aware of all the pros and cons first…

Salesman handing keys to female buyer

New cars

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of driving a brand new car, whatever vehicle you choose - but there are important things to consider before handing over your hard-earned cash and putting those first few miles on the clock.

New car pros

Buying a brand new car has several advantages over opting for a used vehicle.

First and foremost, provided you’re prepared to be a little patient, you should be able to order a car that fits your personal specification - so if you’re after a particular colour, a specific kind of upholstery or a selection of snazzy mod cons, it’s likely you’ll get them.

Just be careful not to go overboard with personalising your vehicle if you’ll be selling it later down the line - touches that are to your taste might not be to other people’s, and could affect the desirability of your car when you’re looking for a buyer.

New cars also come with practical plus points: for a start, your vehicle won’t need an MOT for the first three years it’s on the road. New cars also tend to be more fuel efficient than older vehicles, so the likelihood is the running cost of your car will be lower than you’re used to.

New vehicles also tend to be more environmentally-friendly than older cars, which could see you save money on vehicle tax. This is now calculated based on CO2 emissions, with some vehicles entirely exempt from tax, others liable for as little as £20 a year and some attracting annual charges of up to £500.

Finally, you’d expect a brand new car to be in perfect working order for a number of years after purchase - so servicing and maintenance costs should be low. You may also find a brand new vehicle comes with a certain number of services included, or a warranty that will cover certain repairs for up to five years.

Some car manufacturers will also throw in other money-saving extras when you purchase a new car, such as a year’s free insurance or breakdown cover.

New car cons

The biggest - and most expensive - disadvantage of buying a new car is the dreaded ‘d’ word: depreciation.

You’ve probably heard it said that some cars lose thousands of pounds in value the second you drive them off the forecourt - and while that’s a dramatic way of saying it, the fact is that cars decrease in value at breakneck speed during the first year they’re on the road. It’s important to consider this before signing on the dotted line for your new motor.

New vehicles also tend to be more environmentally-friendly than older cars, which could see you save money on vehicle tax

The swift depreciation of new car values is of sufficient concern to some buyers that they purchase ‘gap’ insurance.

Gap insurance is a product designed to insure the difference between the new purchase price of their vehicle and the potential ‘used car’ value that might be attached to it by an insurer if it were stolen, destroyed or written off in an accident soon after purchase. While gap insurance is an extra expense, for certain motorists it provides peace of mind they are happy to pay for.

Finally, don’t forget that having a brand new vehicle could mean you face higher insurance premiums than you might for a used vehicle with a similar specification. This is because new cars can be extra attractive to thieves, and might also be more expensive to repair in the event of an accident.

Get the best deal

Whether you’re looking for new set of wheels or are after something second-hand, getting the best deal on car insurance - and other products such as gap insurance and breakdown cover - could save you hundreds of pounds.

MoneySuperMarket’s car insurance comparison channel will help you to shop around for the best prices and products in minutes.

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