A new or second-hand car?

Deciding is about more than just the financial benefits

A new or second-hand car?

Deciding is about more than just the financial benefits

The price is the main deciding factor for many of us when choosing whether to go for a new or second-hand car. But there are several other key things that may influence your decision. Find out more about the pros and cons of buying a new or second-hand car.

Is a second-hand car always cheaper?


Buying a car new will always cost more than buying the same one second-hand. On average, new cars lose 40% of their value within the first two years. So in terms of what you pay for a vehicle, a second-hand one beats a new one every time.

Maintenance costs

The other side of the story is that a second-hand car may have hidden defects you're not aware of, potentially leading to excessive maintenance costs in the first year of ownership. The risk of that happening is, however, limited by the fact that a second-hand car must be put through the vehicle inspection test again before it can be sold on.

Comprehensive cover or not?

On average, fully comprehensive insurance is usually taken out for the first three years in the case of a new car. This is not a requirement, but is advisable. Where a car is second-hand and already a few years old, most people just go for the compulsory third-party liability insurance, possibly with partial comprehensive insurance added on.  

Loan for a new car is cheaper

While buying a new car is more expensive, you can get a KBC Brussels loan for a new car at a significantly lower rate than one for a car that's already a few years old.

Form of credit: instalment loan. Lender: KBC Bank NV, Havenlaan 2, 1080 Brussels, VAT BE 0462.920.226, RLP Brussels, FSMA 026.256 A. Subject to your credit application being approved by KBC Bank NV.

Get your dream car your way

The benefit of going for a new car is that it lets you add on paid options like a different colour or five doors instead of three to get it just how you want it. Bear in mind however that personalising your new car will take time, while a second-hand one will mostly be available immediately. In other words, availability could be a key factor in making your choice.

Is a second-hand car just as safe?

A second-hand car will already have mileage on it, but does that necessarily mean it's less safe to drive? It shouldn't be, as second-hand cars always have to go through the vehicle inspection test again before they can be registered in the name of a new owner. If you buy a second-hand car from an approved dealership, they often come with additional years of guarantee.

With a new car, on the other hand, you get all the latest comfort and safety features plus the dealer may well also give you an extra warranty. Whether that's worth paying more for is entirely dependent on your financial breathing space.  

In conclusion

Choosing whether to go for a new or second-hand car boils down to more than just price. Availability and safety are also important. While a new car may well give you more options and save you hidden defects, it may also take longer before it's available. Second-hand cars aren't necessarily less safe and obligatory vehicle re-inspection testing gives you several guarantees in this regard.