New vs. Used: What is the best way to buy a car?

New vs. Used: What is the best way to buy a car?

If you needed to buy a car tomorrow, where would you go?

It sounds like a straightforward enough question. But the more you think about it, the more complicated it becomes.

Gone are the days when you only had a couple of options of make and model, and you could stroll into the dealer and just pick one. We now have 65 car manufacturers in Australia, and dozens of models that fit into any one category – and that’s just in showrooms.

Jump online, and you’ll be faced with thousands upon thousands of options. New, used, demo – the choices are endless.

Finding the right car at the right price can seem impossible. But there are ways around it if you know where to look – and what to look for.

Don’t get stuck on new vs. used

There are multiple options for purchasing a car, but the two most popular are new and used. When we talk about new vs used, many people think we’re talking about cost vs. convenience.

It’s widely believed a new car is more expensive, but easier to acquire. A used car is less expensive, but takes more effort to find and purchase.

And when you take a look of the popular pros and cons of each, this holds true:

Pros and cons of new and used cars

In my experience, car buying often comes down to price. Regardless of what you can or can’t afford, cost will likely be the deciding factor in your car choice.

I see many people who believe they’re making a smart decision by buying a barely used car. If it’s just a couple of years old, you skip the depreciation, maintain the warranty and can still get your modifications done.

But does that make a used car the cheapest option? … not necessarily.

It pays to consider the long term

There’s nothing wrong with working from the price. In fact, it’s one of the best places to start. But people often get caught up in the purchase and forget a car is more than its purchase price.

It’s vital to think of the long-term costs that come with owning a car, including:

  • Depreciation
  • Service costs
  • Insurance & Registration
  • Stamp duty
  • Modifications

And it’s not just direct costs; you also need to consider your lifestyle, as that will have an impact on costs too. Do you need a large car for your family? Or good fuel economy for a long commute?

These costs exist regardless of how you purchase your car.

But how often do you calculate these costs in advance? How do you know how much they’ll be? What happens if suddenly your circumstances change – work, family, style?

It’s become pretty obvious that there’s no simple answer to which option is ‘best’. Therefore, it can be worth your while to look beyond the two obvious choices and at some of the other options available.

Widen your options, not your budget

There’s more to car purchasing than new or used. Finance, leasing or demo models are all legitimate ways to purchase a car that could be more suitable for your finances and your lifestyle.

Let’s take Novated Leasing for example. It’s a form of finance where you pay your car off over time. But it’s not going to leave you more out of pocket in the long run. In fact, it’s the opposite.

If you choose to go down the Novated Leasing route, you’ll get:

  • Expertise to help you make the right car choice
  • Best purchase price
  • Brand new car
  • Reduced income tax
  • Calculated costs ahead of time, including fuel, maintenance, and insurance — and all included in the payment plan
  • Short-term leases to accommodate lifestyle change

The best bit is that there’ll never be any surprises – even if life throws a couple at you.

This is an example of how a less obvious option can be financially superior. Novated Leasing offers an easier and more cost-effective option to traditional car purchases, and for a choice as big as a new car, it’s worth looking at all the options.

At INSIDE EDGE, our Novated Lease specialists can give you a better idea of the benefits available to you, your car options, the long-term costs, and the best choice for your personal circumstances. Click here to talk to find out more.

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