should you buy a new, nearly new or used car?

Deciding what kind of car you want to buy next is a big decision. With countless options available, it’s hard to know where to begin and as it’s a huge financial investment, you’ll want to choose wisely. A big part of the selection process is to work out whether your next car is going to be brand new, nearly new or second hand as this can have a huge influence on how much you pay, the kind of finance deals and warranties you’ll have access to amongst other factors. In this post we will outline the varying degrees of newness of cars, what each term means and what the advantages and disadvantages of each type are, to help you make a decision.

Made to order new

This is the newest kind of car you can get, whereby your car is yet to be made and will be built according to your exact preferences by the manufacturer.


  • The main obvious advantage of this is that your car is completely new and built exactly how you want it, down to the interior finishes, engine type, wheel trims and more.
  • You will receive a full manufacturer warranty with your car.
  • You won’t need to worry about any unknown history or former problems of the car.


  • Because your car is being made to exact specifications, there’s usually a long waiting time for it to be made so you won’t have access to your new car for a few months from initially placing your order.
  • Your car’s value will depreciate hugely, meaning that when you sell the car on, you won’t make all of your money back.

Brand New

A brand new car is one that has been made and is in storage somewhere but has yet to be registered.


  • You get the full manufacturer warranty
  • Your car is fully built, operational and ready to drive away so you won’t have to wait a long time to get it.
  • Modern cars are increasingly being made with fuel efficiency in mind as well as added safety features.


  • Your car is already made so you wouldn’t be able to design it to match your preferences.
  • The value of your car will take a huge hit once it is driven away from the showroom (usually around 20%!) so you’ll need to consider this if you are planning to sell it on in the future.
  • Often when a brand new car breaks down, electrical issues are to blame, which is something you’ll have to visit a garage to get repaired.

Nearly New

There are essentially two kinds of nearly new cars. The first is a brand new car that has been registered, with the dealership named, as its official owner.

  • The main advantage of a pre-registered nearly new car is that your car will still be brand new, but because it has been registered it will usually be more affordable than brand new, unregistered cars.
  • The disadvantages of this kind of nearly new car are that the manufacturer warranty will be much shorter, as it will have commenced on the date that it was initially registered by the dealer and not on the date that you buy it.

The second type of nearly new car is a vehicle that has been used but only minimally i.e. it is less than one year old and has been driven less than 10,000 miles.

  • The main advantage of this kind of nearly new car is that you’ll get a big discount on the price since the biggest depreciation of a car occurs within its first year of use. In addition, you’ll likely still have a chunk of the manufacturer’s warranty left over.
  • The disadvantages are that you’ll have to choose from what’s available so you won’t have much say over things like colour, engine specifications etc. There’s also the fact that somebody else has owned and used the car before you although for most people this is not a major drawback. You also won’t have the full warranty.

Part Exchanged New

Part Exchange is when you trade in your existing car to a dealer in return for some money off of a new one.


  • Passing over your car to a dealer in return for a new one makes the process of getting a new car much simpler and you won’t need to worry about the hassle of selling it on.
  • You’ll get a discount off a new car because you have given in your old one.


  • You might not get as much money off your new car as you would have had you sold your car separately.


Used cars are simply ones that have been owned and used previously.


  • There is a massive variety of choice from a range of makes and models from previous years. Almost 8 million used cars are sold every year so you won’t be short on choice.
  • Used cars are significantly less expensive than new ones.


  • Most used cars are unlikely to have any of their warranty left which means that you will have to pay for any repairs it may need.
  • The higher the mileage on a car, the more wear it will have endured making it more likely need repairs.
  • Older cars are usually less environmentally friendly because they are usually less fuel-efficient than new ones.


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