The age old question we always asked in the trade was why would you buy new when you can save so much on used? I don’t ever think the question has been successfully answered because quite frankly it’s not only about saving money, it’s an emotional thing which excites you and not only because of that new smell and the fact that you are the only person to have ever driven this gleaming thing of beauty.
In today’s market it is even more of a pertinent question. Whereas there were some brands (usually German) a few years ago where the residuals were so high that the difference between new and nearly new, when spending £15k or more, was negligible. The reality now is that with almost all cars there will be a significant saving made on a car that’s 6 months to a year old and has maybe covered up to 15,000 miles.
That’s not really the point though; customers have always, and will continue to, buy something brand new, the emotional experience of choosing the colour, exact model and the specification you have always dreamed of and the intoxicating aroma of brand new leather, especially on a high end example, is extremely powerful . Then there is the new extras like touch screen sat nav, entertainment packs or winter packs with heated front and rear screens, iPod connections, electric memory seats and now certain cars which will even park themselves at the touch of a button. No, like most things that are irrational, I don’t think we have quite seen the end of a man or woman giving up their right to have the exact car of their choice and nothing a salesman or friends or colleagues will say is ever going to change that.
With the factories and dealerships groaning under the weight of all the unsold new cars and fields and shipyards filling up everywhere, the manufacturers will have to come up with some new and radical ways of attracting customers to buy new. Expect to not only find cars with more goodies as standard but also much cheaper in price. Look out for massively subsidised, market leading finance packages and remember most are now designed so that you can just hand the car back without financial penalties at the end of the term. Remember also that although we have less cash in our pockets due to wage freezes, pay cuts and spiralling fuel prices etc, what we may still be able to afford is a monthly payment so if anyone has got a spare couple of hundred quid every month they could still buy that brand spanker.
They can drive away from the showroom with that Cheshire cat smile safe in the knowledge that at the moment depreciation doesn’t bother them and for just a short while all could be well in their world!