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To pre-own, or not to pre-own? That is the question.


If you’re in the market for a new car in 2015, consider buying a pre-owned model. As the new year ushers in resolutions, household spring cleans, de-cluttering and re-evaluation of life’s commodities.

Vehicles are just one of those changeable items that people can revise according to their updated desires, needs and budget. With everyone taking stock in this way, pre-owned car dealerships are surely on the receiving end and teeming with new makes and models on their showroom floors.

The benefits of buying a pre-owned car should not be overlooked. The used car industry, as a whole, is certainly coming up tops as the preferred choice for a large percentage of South Africans. According to Wesbank’s Vehicle Sales Confidence Indicator (Q1 2014), ‘For every new car bought, 1.27 used cars were financed’, and that figure is set to rise. ‘Car buyers are increasingly turning to the used-car market to find value, as new-car prices have outpaced consumer price inflation,’ researchers say.

There’s a lot of competition out there and used car dealerships have certainly upped the ante with their value-added packages. For example, it is not uncommon for a pre-owned car to go through a rigorous certification programme, with manufacturer-backed inspection standards and measurements. These programmes can also include the option of extended warranty deals and road-side assistance. This, together with other products, like dealership’s own financing platforms, extended servicing deals and cash back payment plans; makes shopping around for the best deal in town a fairly time consuming task. And to make the whole deal a lot sweeter, the new Consumer Protection Act, which really disparages unscrupulous deals and protects buyers for up to six months after the purchase of a pre-owned car, is the big brother looking over the shoulder of every deal made.

If you’re still not convinced, here are some extra benefits for you to think about:

Better Price and Affordability - Consider that the smell of brand new upholstery doesn’t come cheap. The total cost of vehicle ownership includes, in most cases, a monthly instalment on the purchase price, insurance, as well as fuel and maintenance costs. The price gap between new and used cars is enormous and with this in mind, buying a pre-owned may better suit your monthly budget.

Slower Depreciation - ‘New cars lose a large portion of their value, with some losing as much as 40% during the first year’, according to Comparatively speaking, the market value of your pre-owned is not going drop so horrendously.

Variety is the spice of life - Pre-owned buyers are not limited to models that were released over the past year or two, but have a much wider selection to choose from. If there is a specific make and car type that you’re looking for, chances are you will find it.

I think it’s safe to say that the benefits of owning an already-clocked carriage, to get you from A to B, are well worth considering. Let's be honest, even Cinderella was willing to take a ride in an up-cycled, pre-owned pumpkin, and look where that got her!


WesBank Vehicle Sales Confidence Indicator Q1 2014,,,


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