New, used or nearly-new: which is best for you?

Deciding which is best for you is a tricky thing to do. We summarise the pros and cons to help you choose

Pros of buying a nearly-new car

Price – the car will have already lost a percentage of its original purchase price before you buy it. That means the original owner will have borne some of the losses in depreciation rather than you, meaning you have nearly-new car, but for thousands of pounds less than a brand new version.

You may lose less money – because the car is worth less when you buy it, it theoretically has less to lose in value. So it's possible that you'll retain a greater percentage of what you paid for the car when you come to sell it on.

Condition – it’ll usually have been looked after quite well, either by a dealership or by a car leasing or car hire firm. You can expect a full service history and for those services to have been undertaken by a main dealer.

This week's hottest new and nearly-new car deals

Cons of buying a nearly-new car

Choice – your choice is likely to be restricted. You may not be able to find the full range of engines available, and you might find the trim levels available are restricted too.

Condition – there’s a chance the car will have been treated roughly. If it’s an ex-lease car, it will often have had one careful owner, but there’s no guarantee. Hire cars often have a particularly hard life.

Paint – a lease car or ex-demonstrator may have been put through a car wash on a regular basis. This reduces the lifespan of the paint.

Next, we look at the benefits and downsides of buying a second-hand car.

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