Should you buy a New or Used Car in 2022?

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Used Car

2022 is proving to be an interesting year for the automotive market. The silicon shortage, having blighted production throughout 2021, looks set to persist into the coming year, too. This has depressed supply in the new car market, and had a range of ripple effects throughout the used market, too.

If you’re in the market for a car this year, then you might be wondering whether it’s best to go for a used vehicle, or a new one. Let’s run through a few of the factors you might consider.

Depreciation

If you’re buying new, then you’re going to pay a hefty premium in the form of the depreciation, which is most acute during the first few months and years of the car’s lifespan. While ongoing costs like fuel, tax and insurance are often taken into account by those making purchasing decisions, depreciation is often overlooked – despite its impact when you come to resell.

Price

Used cars tend to command a lower up-front cost. There are a few factors which will help you to maximise this saving. If you decide to shop at a time of year when a dealer has an oversupply of used cars, then you might be in for a saving. These times tend to arrive in late winter and late summer, when the number plates have just changed.

Choice

There’s no denying that buying new will grant you more choice when it comes to trim options, colours, and additional features. While it’s possible to respray an older car, this will add to your costs. When you’re buying new, you can get exactly what you’re looking for right out of the gate.

Warranty

If you’re buying new, then you’re protected by a manufacturer’s warranty, which will provide you with peace of mind during the first few years of the vehicle’s life. If you’re shopping for a fleet of new cars for a business, then this might be a significant advantage. 

Availability 

As we’ve already alluded, the new car market has been heavily impacted by the silicon shortage. This means that you’ll be faced with a long wait for your new car. If you’re looking for something in a hurry, then this might be enough to push you to seek an alternative on the used market, instead.

Reliability

Given that used cars have suffered more wear and tear, they’re more likely to run into problems, and to fail their annual MOT tests. To avoid these problems, it’s especially important to know what you’re looking for when you go to inspect the car. Make sure that you insist on a test drive, and that you take note of any flaws. It might be that you can use what you see to negotiate a discount; it might be that you spot a red flag, which persuades you to look away.