Minimising the risk associated with buying your next car

Pre-owned cars still offer great value for money

Reuben Van Niekerk
Consumer Advice
Pre-Owned Vehicle
New Vehicle
Car Shopping
Value For Money

Buying a new or pre-owned car is a big commitment but proper planning can ensure that you get the car you can afford while minimising the risk.

With a large variety of cars available in both the new and used market it can be difficult to find the one that is right for you. It is therefore very important to carefully calculate exactly how much you are prepared to spend on a car and to be realistic about what you can afford.

Tools like affordability and repayment calculators are a big help in this regard. It is also important to factor in other expenses such as fuel, insurance and maintenance in order to make sure that you do not over extend your budget. Ensure that you factor in some leeway for costs that may change over time such as rising fuel prices, interest rate increases, and other unexpected costs associated with driving.

Recent global stock shortages due to a variety of reasons in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a narrowing of the price difference between new and used cars. In a classic case of supply and demand many dealerships increased the prices of pre-owned models and inadvertently caused market wide increases. Motorists need to be careful of paying too much, because the bubble will burst at some stage and when it comes to resell, the deficit between what you paid and what you are offered could be substantially larger than normal.

It is therefore important to shop around and do your research to ensure that you are getting a good deal now as well as a deal that makes sense in the long run.

Despite this unfortunate price volatility, pre-owned cars still offer several benefits. Pre-owned cars or demo models still represent a significant cost saving, even those that are as little as a year old. These pre-owned cars and demo models are often in an almost new condition and benefit from lengthy aftersales warranties and service plans.

Pre-owned cars offered by reputable dealerships such as those in the Motus network are very often sold with added benefits such as extended aftersales plans and guarantees and will be subjected to thorough checks by certified workshop technicians before they are offered for sale.

Pre-owned vehicles are less affected by depreciation than new cars and when buying a pre-owned car, you are starting off from a lower initial outlay and the effects of the depreciation will be less severe on your wallet.

While there is some risk involved with purchasing pre-owned vehicles, this can be mitigated by shopping smartly such as by only considering vehicles with a full service history or getting the vehicle independently inspected by experts.

It is also always safer to do business with reputable dealers, such as those that form part of the extensive Motus network, who will go out of their way to protect their reputation by offering quality products and exceptional customer service.