Price is now (if it wasn’t already) the most important factor when choosing a used car according to a recent survey and with over 10% of prospective buyers choosing to defer a purchase due to economic concerns it’s a sensitive subject.
Unfortunately for manufacturers 16% of people who bought new last time would rather buy used next time around and although only 6% of people surveyed said that environmental concerns would be a factor when they next buy, this was a rise of 2 % on last year and 4% on 2006.
None of the above findings come as any shock. The environmental issues will not go away although I still think that the pressures to go green are financially more hurtful to the motorist than for any other consumer. The question of used over new in today’s climate is however much more understandable when you consider that as recently as 6 months ago a customer considering a new car could easily be persuaded to buy an ex-demonstrator because of low mileage good spec and the saving compared against a brand new model. Well those days are long gone now as although you may get a nicely specified car the manufacturers are so keen to keep the kettle boiling, as it were that spectacular offers are always only a short time away. Because of the need to keep this flow of cars and not having stockpiled units in fields around Europe the offers will get all the more attractive.
The effect on used cars however means that as there are more cars than buyers. With people feeling the pinch and opting for downgrading their gas guzzlers and performance cars for cheaper more environmentally friendly examples, this in turn means that if a car company has deep pockets they can take advantage of current market conditions and buy some very cheap used stock, pass those great savings on to the consumer and still make a profit.
In short if you have the money right now there will never be a better time to buy. But before you decide to go for it check out what the deal is for a new example and then compare it with a 6 month or year old model and see what saving you can make especially with German cars which traditionally have had by far and away the best residual values of any make on the road.
You never know you might be able to actually afford that car you have only dreamed about!