A car is the second most expensive thing most of us will ever buy, so it’s important to make the right choice. But should that choice be a used car or a new car?

If the answer was obvious, everybody would either be buying new cars or used cars. Unfortunately, there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer, and no one-size-fits-all solution; you just have to do what’s right for you. There are some pros and cons of new and used cars that everybody should consider before making their choice, however, and we’ve weighed them here — and found a deal that we think combines the best of both worlds.

Why you should buy a new car

Peace of mind

In general, new cars are less likely to break down than used cars, and will usually come with a full five-year manufacturer’s warranty. The less time your car spends in the shop (and the less it costs you while it’s there), the better.

You know where it’s been

A new car hasn’t been in any accidents, has no wear and tear, and hasn’t had any dodgy owners who have treated it badly. You definitely don’t want to buy a used car at auction — this is where cars that would fail an extended road test often end up.

Shiny new features

The newer the car, the newer the tech inside. If you have to have the latest gadgets (and don’t want to have to add them yourself), you’ll find them in the new-car showroom.

Fuel economy

Car manufacturers are always looking to boast about improved fuel efficiency, so it’s only logical that a newer car would be more fuel efficient than a used car — as long as you’re not comparing gas-guzzling apples to environmentally friendly oranges.

Choice

If you’re buying new, you can usually get specific about which options, trim, accessories and colour you want and have your car made to order, or at least ask the dealer to find your ideal combination.

New car smell

Yes, this is that important to some people — but unless you have the superior olfactory senses of the main character from Perfume, you have to ask yourself if it’s really worth paying for.

Why you should buy a used car

Depreciation

Cars lose value all the time, but the sharpest decline happens straight away. On average, a new car loses between 20 to 30 per cent of its value the moment you drive it off the dealer’s lot. Ask yourself — is there a good reason that you, and not some other chump, should take that hit?

Bang for your buck

Because of said depreciation, you can save a significant amount of money by buying a late model used car instead of a brand new one. You can buy the same car for less money, or you can step up to a nicer model and buy a prestige car that offers more features for the same amount of money you would have spent on an inferior new model.

Choice

OK, so you obviously can’t build a used car to order, but buying used does open up other options for you — you don’t have to be a slave to what’s in fashion this year, and you can include models that are no longer made in your search. The seemingly infinite options at your disposal means your search will probably take longer than it would if you confined yourself to new cars, but it might be worth it to find the one you really want.

Durability

The manufacturing standards of today’s cars mean that the benefits of owning a new car, in terms of wear and tear and durability, are often overstated. Realistically, a well-built car can cover 400,000 kilometres or more before it has any major issues, and if it’s a prestige car, the higher standard of engineering should make it even more likely that you’ll have a trouble-free run.

Why you should buy a premium used car

If you can’t choose between a new car and a used car, local dealers Brisbane BMW appeal to the best of both worlds with their BMW Premium Selection. These are the only used BMWs approved by BMW. Only a select few vehicles are chosen for the Premium Selection, and each one must meet BMW’s impeccable standards.

Each BMW Premium Selection vehicle comes with a range of features you wouldn’t usually expect from a used car, including:

  • 100 Plus Point Check by factory-trained BMW technicians
  • Two years or 50,000km BMW scheduled servicing
  • Two year BMW warranty
  • Two year BMW roadside assistance
  • Two year BMW accident management
  • Option to extend BMW warranty, scheduled servicing, roadside assistance and accident management
  • Six months complimentary car washing

BMW Premium Selection vehicles are fitted with nothing other than genuine BMW parts and accessories, and come with complete BMW service histories to prove it.

Brisbane BMW (800 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley) will host a three-day used car carnival from Thursday 23 October to Saturday 25 October. For more info, call (07) 3853 0022 or visit BrisbaneBMWusedcarsales.com.au

Just so you know, this post was sponsored by Brisbane BMW. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we believe our readers will appreciate.