Is It worth it? New vs. Used Car.
As luck would have it Merryn and I have both been in the market for a new car over the last month – obviously the cars we have ended up with couldn’t be any more different.
For various reasons we both felt it was time to join the world of the 4 x 4, something I swore I would never do…. but then I never thought I would be married with a child living in rural England, so there you go.
For the first time ever in my life (ok, maybe the second) I have bought for a brand new car, slightly gleefully knowing that Merryn is sitting in the background tutt tutting at every turn.
But tell me; Is there anything more satisfying than climbing into a brand new car, smelling the leather, admiring the colour combination you yourself have chosen, and knowing that the first mile on that clock was made by you?
I know rumour has it you lose 10k the minute you drive off the forecourt, but let’s not worry about the incidentals. No one’s filthy dog has been in here, no one has spilt milk (apart from me on day 5 of ownership) , and every scratch your husband finds on the bodywork was created by your own fair hand. My new car drives like a beast – it roars, the Bose sound system makes me feel like Beyonce as I belt out hit after hit at full blast, and I actually really bloody love it . I trust it to get me home, unlike a second hard car whose engine and history you don’t really know.
I know Merryn is pretending to enjoy her 5 year old, navy blue slightly beaten up car with no sat nav as she thinks it has character and the kids can do what they like to it, what does she care, but I wouldn’t give up my new friend for all the tea in China. We will try to ignore the fact that my husband has already banned me from driving it as I have done too many miles in the 4 weeks since I got it, and of course the fact I have already had two warnings on breaking the speed limit from the local speed bores in the neighbouring village….because this is an extravagance that for now, is worth it.
I would like to add that for a penniless fashion designer it is actually easier in some cases to buy new due to the good finance rates on offer as I could never save enough cash for a second hand car.
For once I thought I was being sensible!
First let me clear a few things up.
This is not Tabitha’s first new car.
Tabitha always gets new cars.
And my new car? It might look 5 years old to her.
It is two years old.
Buying a new car makes absolutely no sense at all.
It loses, as Tabitha knows, huge value the second she eases her expensively clad bum into the drivers seat. Over three years the average car loses 60% of its value. And the new car smell? She could get the same effect by sticking one of her many many leather handbags over her head and ripping up £50 notes.
Now we aren’t going to go into exactly what Tabitha has bought but let’s pretend it’s a Porsche Cayenne. Just for the sake of argument.
A new one costs anywhere from £50,000 to £90,000.
Let’s go for the 4.2 V8 diesel at £62,000.
£40,000 could have got her a gorgeous three year old version (looks the same to me and will to around 99.95% of the rest of the country) with a mere 20,000 miles on the clock. And none of the spilt milk her new car now has.
Add in £100 for the handbag (assuming it really is the absolutely new leather smell that does it for her) and £1,000 for the notes to rip up and she is still up going on £20,000. Invest that even a little bit wisely and it’s two years school fees in the bag for the kid.
On to my new (ish) car.
I would like to freely admit that I made a mistake with it.
I went an economy too far. I wanted a Mitsubishi Outlander. My husband suggested buying a used version of the new model. I found a similarly aged version of the old model with only 13,000 miles on the clock for £2000 less (and in a much nicer colour). "Bargain", I thought, assuming that old and new models were much the same.
They are not the same.
Think no sat nav, no heated seats, no reversing camera, no sun roof and shocking awful fuel consumption. I regret it. I regret listening to the salesman at Lookers and I regret buying the particular Outlander I bought I wish I had spent the extra £2,000 and got the newer model. It would still have been a great deal and with its toys to play with I would never have taken the wrong turn on the M6 last week and turned a 7 hour drive from Edinburgh to Devises with a car full of small children into a 9 hour one. Argh.
But here’s what I don’t regret: Saving £15,000 by buying a second hand Outlander.
Yesterday I drove it into a bollard in Asda in St Austell. Thank god, I said to the kids in the 2 slightly squashed rows of seats in the back, we aren’t driving a brand new £70,000 Porsche Cayenne.