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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

Everyone knows there’s nothing quite like driving a brand new car, whichever model you choose. But there are a few important things to consider before handing over your hard-earned cash and putting those first few miles on the clock.

New car pros

Brand new cars often have several advantages over getting a ‘second-hand’ vehicle. But what are they?

Firstly, you can order a car that fits your personal specification. You can the colour, the upholstery and add a selection of flashy modifications. As long as you’re prepared to be a little patient, you’re likely to get what you want.

However, don’t go overboard personalising your vehicle as you may want to sell it in the future, and having a car too tailored to your taste might not appeal to others. Ultimately, these personal touches could affect your ability to sell it down the line. 

Most popular car modifications in the UK infographic

Then there are the practical plus points. For a start, your new vehicle doesn’t need an MOT for the first three years of driving. It’s likely to be more fuel efficient than an older model too, which means it will be cheaper to run than you might be used to.

A big bonus for the ecologically savvy is that new vehicles are usually much more environmentally friendly than their older counterparts, helping not only the environment but also saving you money on road tax.

Because of this some vehicles are completely exempt from road tax (such as electric cars), because the tax is based on CO2 emissions, while others are liable for as little as £20 a year. Obviously, some cars used more fuel and therefore produce more emissions which will attract higher a tax, some as much as £500 annually.

Finally, brand new cars should be in perfect working order for a number of years after purchase, making servicing and maintenance costs low. You may also find a brand new vehicle comes with a 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 car insurance or breakdown cover.

New car cons

The biggest problem with buying a new car is that as soon as you drive it off the forecourt, it depreciates. You’ve probably heard the myths that the value goes down by hundreds, or thousands, of pounds in mere seconds, and while this may be somewhat exaggerated, it is true that cars lose value rapidly during the first year on the road. 

It’s important to consider this, and ways to mitigate this risk, before signing on the dotted line for your new car. If, for example, you have bought an expensive new car such as a high-end sports model or gas-guzzling SUV, its swift depreciation might encourage you to consider GAP insurance

Most popular car modifications in the UK infographic

GAP insurance protects you from losing money if your car is stolen or written off and your insurer’s payout is less than the value or cost of the car when you bought it – over three years you could lose as much as 60% of the value. While gap insurance is an extra expense, it provides peace of mind to some motorists that prefer to only drive new cars.

Don’t forget that having a brand new vehicle could mean you face higher insurance premiums than you might for a used vehicle of a similar specification. This is because new cars could be considered more attractive to thieves. New cars might also be more expensive to repair in the event of an accident due to more modern, expensive technology – for example, if you have a smart keyless system.

Pros and cons made easy

Pros

 

Cons

You can personalise it to your specifications, such as colour, upholstery and modifications.

 

If you personalise the car too much, you might have trouble selling it.

You don’t need an MOT for the first three years of driving.

 

New cars depreciate in value quickly in the first year.

 

New cars are often more environmentally friendly, and you could pay less tax.

 

You may see increases in your car insurance as new cars are seen as more attractive to thieves.

You shouldn’t need expensive repairs or servicing for a few years at least.

 

Your premiums may increase due to expensive technology on new cars, e.g. smart keys.

Get the best deal for new car insurance

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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