Why Is Getting A Secondhand Car Better Than Purchasing A Brand New One?

Some people take one look at shiny new cars and immediately make up their mind to buy without haggling. And some people come into car dealerships intent on bringing home the best for their needs without unnecessarily scrapping their bank accounts and yet too worried about purchasing a lemon car.

However, not many people can afford a brand new car, and there are plenty of cases where secondhand necessarily doesn’t mean bad. For example, secondhand stores can be found almost anywhere now and are the best way to find some premium products at a fraction of the price.

Whichever category you fall in, buying a used car isn’t a piece of cake. You’ll have to put in a reasonable amount of effort to do research and negotiation. Getting a car is a huge commitment as it can be one of the most expensive things you will spend money on. Plus, you get separate bills for the insurance, gas, repairs, and maintenance.

Here’s a list of things that can help you avoid mistakes when buying a used car:

Go for the type of used car you actually need.

The first step is to figure out what type of ride you need. It’s pretty easy. A big family would need plenty of space, making an SUV with a third row or a minivan is an excellent choice. A boat owner needs a towing capacity enough to safely and conveniently transport the boat.

However, Koby from Cash For Cars Perth disagrees. It can’t be that simple according to him. People usually easily trick themselves into thinking that a bigger car is the best, although it’s not what they actually need.

For instance, a boat owner who gets it out twice or thrice a year doesn’t necessarily need to consider getting a car that can carry his boat. It would be a lot practical to get a smaller car that can cater to needs most of the time. A rental pick-up truck can be the solution for occasional outings.

This is also true if you’re considering travelling with more people only on special occasions. In case you need to pick up your in-laws from the airport when they are sending the holidays with you, rent a minivan for those days.

The price of the used car isn’t the only thing you’ll be spending on. You have to pay for maintenance, insurance, and gas, too.

What’s in your budget?

The second step is to decide on how much your budget is. This helps narrow down you’re your choices. You have to know how much you have in the bank and check what type of down payment you can go with and calculate the monthly payment if you’re buying from a used car dealership. And don’t go forgetting about sales taxes.

Secondhand cars are much cheaper.

The moment you’ve purchased the new car and driven out of the dealership is when it instantly becomes a secondhand car, and it starts depreciating its value. That’s why some demo cars are much cheaper than a brand new car. We all know that a new car could lose from 30% to 40% of its value in merely three years.

Here’s some pros and cons when buying a used car.


  • When all know buying secondhand cars are much cheaper, and sellers are more likely to negotiate to sell their car as fast as soon.
  • The sellers of a used car, especially private ones, are less pushy and you test-drive all you want.
  • Car won’t change their style or newer model for every 5 to 6 years. You can find 3 or 4 years old car model exactly brand new car at the dealer but at a much lower price.


  • You cannot specify your cars how they want like extra features, addon…etc., instead of choosing what’s on offer.
  • You only have a three-month warranty if you buy from a used car from a dealer and no warranty at all from private sales.
  • Ongoing costs might be expensive since you will spend a lot more fixing older parts. But if you buy a car from Toyota or Honda, the ongoing prices might be cheaper.
  • You could be stuck with older technology like no MP3 player or big touch screen display.

You might want to consider a used car that doesn’t have a lot of kilometres on it. Remember that a new car loses around 20% of its worth when it’s a year old. 

But you don’t find 0% financing on a secondhand car according to Mr. Koby. The dealer usually charges at least 5% interest on the loan he added. This reduces the advantage of getting a secondhand car when it comes to cost.

Researching used car models

When you have a shortlist to get to the used car you want, it’ll be easier to do research. 

You can also see car reviews online or Youtube, but you can only take them lightly according to Mr. Koby. That’s because journalists don’t have the means to get their hands on reliable information. It can be a lie when they say that something is reliable.

Koby said doing the math for maintenance doesn’t only include how many times the car breaks down. Repairs surely cost a lot.

Expect to pay higher bills if you bring a higher-end, limited, and more complicated model for repairs he added.

Things that need to be considered before paying for a secondhand car

If you have decided on a used vehicle, you have to spend more time to research. You have to look up the condition of the car you have your eyes on.

If you buy from a car dealer, check out certified pre-owned ones to get the best price. And it’s also reassuring to know that the car has been checked and has a warranty. 

Of course, there are also other places such as car auctions you can go to, car yards, eBay, Facebook, newspaper or even within your own community. You might see 1 or 2 car around your neighbourhood that has a “for sale” sign on it!

Karan from Car Removal Perth suggests a 3 or 4 years old car if you want something that will last at least a decade. 3-year-olds have their lease returns start coming in. You have to be more cautious with younger cars as many of them are for daily rentals. This means a car like this doesn’t have a detailed history.

This doesn’t mean you should completely shun former rental cars. Just remember to ask the retailer to give written proof that the paint and panels are original. 

And if you buy directly from the previous owner, have the car inspected by a mechanic you choose, said Karan.

One more thing is to check the kilometres it has travelled. This info will give you a better idea of how many years it may have left than what year it was made.

According to Koby, a vehicle with many kilometres can be a good buy if its previous owner took proper care of it. But be wary of cars that have a lot of kilometres accumulated in a short time. You’ll want to have a thorough check on its history.

Negotiate to get your price.

It’s doesn’t matter if you buy a secondhand car at the used car dealership or at private, but always negotiate to get the best price.

With buying a new car, right timing is essential. Shopping around December can get you huge discounts because dealers are set to monetize old stocks to make space for the new models coming.

If you are buying a pre-owned one, check a reputable source for the estimated price. In Australia, they have a Red book, and in Canada, they have the Canadian Black Book. Having read the history in combination with your judgment of the interior and exterior can help a lot when it’s time to haggle. A scratch or a ding can bring down the price significantly if you’re not afraid to ask.

Karan adds that if you’re only willing to spend a few thousand dollars, it’s better to limit your search on cars sold by private owners.

Car dealers have to make their commission between $1,500 and $2,000 for a used car. This is reasonable if the vehicle is worth $20,000, but completely not if the vehicle is only worth $5,000.