Buying new cars makes motoring cheaper in the long run

Given the ticket price of a five-year old family hatchback and a shiny new model, fresh off the production line, it’d be fair to guess that the older car would be cheaper overall.

However, that’s not so, according to MoneySupermarket, which has analysed the full cost of running new ca…

Given the ticket price of a five-year old family hatchback and a shiny new model, fresh off the production line, it’d be fair to guess that the older car would be cheaper overall.

However, that’s not so, according to MoneySupermarket, which has analysed the full cost of running new cars versus models that have been on the road for a few years.

The price comparison website found that motorists could save up to almost a quarter (23 per cent) on running costs by opting for a brand new model over an older equivalent with a few thousand miles on the clock.

Five models

Their research focused on five popular models – the Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Golf, BMW 3 Series, Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Astra – all cars that are regularly in the UK’s top-ten best sellers.

And they found that in each case, the brand new model incurred significantly lower running costs, compared to a five-year-old model of the same vehicle.

That’s thanks to rapid advances in engine technology that have enabled better fuel economy and lower carbon dioxide emissions. This in turn means motorists pay less in road tax, and on the whole, brings down their insurance due to the progress made in safety features.

A newer vehicle tends to mean less is likely to go wrong when it comes to MOT time too, not that you need to get an MOT within the first three years of a car’s life anyway.

Cost differences

MoneySupermarket’s research found that overall, the annual cost of running a new car is £1,398 on average, compared to £1,645 for a five-year old model. That’s a saving of £247 or 15 per cent.

Of the five cars analysed, the biggest difference was the Volkswagen Golf, where running costs were slashed by £363 (or 23 per cent) by opting for the new car over the 11- or 61-reg model. This brought costs down from £1,592 to £1,229.

The running cost reduction for driving a boxfresh Ford Fiesta – the UK’s best-selling car since 2007 – was £226 (to £1,210 a year) and £259 for the Nissan Qashqai (£1,472 a year)

Guide: Motoring on the cheap – How to drive down the cost of running your car

Kevin Pratt, MoneySuperMarket’s consumer affairs expert, advised motorists not to be deterred by the upfront cost of a new model, as they can provide the best value in the long run.

“A brand new model will have a higher price tag but showroom discounts, finance deals and cheaper running costs mean the difference can be reduced,” he explained.

“Many new cars also come with a lengthy warranty, which will cut maintenance costs for several years in some cases.”

By Amy White

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