From the time the first ever car in India was bought in the 1890’s, buying a car has been a huge dream for all Indians. The pride in being able to buy your own car, and the joy in showing it off to friends and acquaintances, is immeasurable. And while cars have become much more affordable today than they were till about a decade back, that sense of pride and joy has not diminished.

Buying a car requires months of planning, discussions, visits to the showroom and research. Especially as the automobile market in India is flush with choices. However, the pre-owned car market has also been growing exponentially, even more than the new car market in the last few months. In this scenario, do you buy a new ‘new’ car or a new ‘preowned’ car?

A brand-new car

It is true that the feel and smell of an ‘outright new car’ is intoxicating. Coming straight out from the factory with zero miles, with latest features, customizing options and good warranty coverage, it gives a sense of achievement to its proud owner. However, buying a new car has its own shortcomings.

  • You lose money as soon as you buy a new car because of depreciation.
  • The maintenance cost can be pretty steep, especially as spare parts are also becoming increasingly expensive.
  • The anxiety of paying the EMi is energy-draining if you don’t get a good deal.
  • With potholed roads and chaotic traffic conditions in most cities, the likelihood of a car breaking down or meeting with an accident is quite high. And the repairs are again expensive.
  • Eventually, when we want to resell the car, the ratio of the resale value to the original price paid is not attractive enough for new cars.

So, is it worth buying a new car? Or should you opt for

A new-to-me car

The used car space has carved a niche for its functionality and practicality. Controversies regarding its reliability, trust, history are subjects of the past as used cars are now being sold through pre-owned marketplaces that place a lot of emphasis on inspection and certification. The Indian pre-owned car industry is showing a steady upward swing because of its value for money attributes. It may be pre-owned but satisfies the most valuable aspiration – ‘new to us car’.

Interestingly, the price difference between new and pre-owned is more appealing for bigger cars, so a pre-owned Volkswagen Vento, for example, can be bought at just about 35% of the cost of a new one. The merits are plenty

  • Cost factor – you pay a fraction of the cost for the same car, or use the same money to buy a much newer and bigger model than you had originally planned
  • Low insurance rates
  • Less depreciation value
  • If you buy from a trusted marketplace, then you know the detailed history of the car, and so are already aware about expected repairs and maintenance  
  • The ratio of resale value to original price paid is much better than that for new cars

So, what do you want to choose today?

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