Most of us would opt for a new car given the choice, but it’s not a possibility for everyone. New cars are extremely expensive, plus if you’re a relatively inexperienced driver, you probably won’t want to risk something new in case you scrape or bump or causing expensive damage. An older car will be cheaper to buy up front, but they do come with a downside, running costs can add up. Here are some things to bear in mind before making your purchase.
When it comes to very old cars, insurance can be higher because there’s more chance of you breaking down. Plus the parts for older cars are more difficult to find, so an insurer knows they’re likely to have more trouble if it does end up getting repaired through them. However insurance varies massively by vehicle, and also depends on your age, driving history, where you live and even your job. So it’s not true to say that all old cars will be expensive to insure, your best bet would be to run some quotes through a price comparison site and see. The variation in price between similar cars and ages might shock you.
Car tax is a legal requirement for UK car owners unless you have a SORN (statutory off road notification) from the DVLA stating that your car is not being driven on the roads. Because car tax is based on the emissions it creates, it means that some very eco-efficient and electric newer models are actually free to tax. Others vehicles can cost up to £1000 a year, so it’s important to check this out. When you’re buying a newer car with higher levels of emissions, you could end up spending a small fortune on tax, and it could bump your overall car ownership cost right up.
An older car is going to have older parts, which is fine as long as they are in full working order. But it does mean they might require a little more maintenance to keep them at their best. A fuel injector cleaning service for example can help to restore your mpg remove deposits of carbon and prevents the loss of power in the car engine. In an older car, you might need to bleed the brakes or change the coolant hose. Either way, keeping an eye on these kinds of parts and making sure they’re well maintained will prevent breakdowns and expensive repairs later on.
Sometimes an older car can seem like a great deal but end up costing you a fortune in insurance, tax, and repairs. However some older cars drive like a dream and can give you no hassle at all, so it really is the luck of the draw. If you do choose to buy an older car, be aware that the running costs can be more expensive. Do your research on the vehicle, find out what kinds of things have been replaced and whether it has had any ongoing issues. Find out if it’s worth the risk, or whether you should save for something newer.