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New Cars vs Nearly New Cars

If you’re eyeing up some of the latest releases, but are wondering how you could save some money, you may want to consider a nearly new car.

These are cars that will already been sitting on the forecourt, and may have clocked up a few miles. But they are essentially new; they’ve just been ordered for test purposes, or as stock for the showroom.

So what are the differences between new or nearly new cars? Is it worth paying more for that brand-new feel; or are the discounts offered on nearly new vehicles too good to resist? Here, we’ll way up the pros and cons of both to help you make your mind up.

New cars

If you’re buying a new car, you’ll be having it made-to-order through your dealership. You’ll agree to payment or your finance arrangement, then a delivery date will be set. There are both positives and negatives in opting for a brand-new vehicle.


  • You get to make all the decisions. From the power of your engine, to all the trims and colours – you get to make all the decisions. You ultimately have the freedom to go as fuss-free or as kitted out as you like, adapting your model to feature all the things you need, and do away with all the things you don’t. This means you only ever pay for what you were looking for.


  • You get to take advantage of warranty packages and any special offers. When you buy direct from the manufacturer through a dealership, you’ll receive any warranty packages as the car’s first owner, with the cover period commencing the day you collect your car. The manufacturer might also offer you some ‘sweetener’ deals if you’re close to buying – such as throwing in an extra feature for free, or pledging an extended warranty period.


  • You get to experience that ‘new car feeling’. It might seem odd, but there really is a tangible sense of magic when you get behind the wheel of a brand-new vehicle. The only way you can be sure you’ll have that new car smell is if you’re the very first to get your hands on it.



  • You’ll have to wait. When you buy a car to order, you’ll have the luxury of picking all your own trims and finishes, but this does come with a wait time. This could range from a few weeks, up to several months, so remember to factor this in when making up your mind. Your dealer should be able to give you a reasonable estimate of the time you should expect to wait for the marque and model of your choice.


  • You’ll see greater depreciation. All new cars, over every marque, segment and model experience significant depreciation across their first three years on the road. When you buy brand new, you have to accept that you won’t get anywhere near as much as what you originally paid back.


  • You’ll pay for the privilege. There’s no doubt about it; buying new will cost more than opting for nearly new or used versions of any given model.


Nearly New cars

Unlike new cars, nearly new cars are not made to order. They’ll already be waiting at the dealership, having been bought in as stock or used as test cars. They’ll likely only have a few hundred miles on the clock, be less than three years old and should boast plenty of the up-to-date touches you’re looking for. So, what makes these such a great option? And what are the drawbacks?



  • You’ll pay less. Simply for having already been delivered and having some miles on the clock, you’ll receive a hefty discount when you opt for a nearly new car deal.


  • You won’t have to wait or pay any delivery costs. With the car already siting at the dealership, you’ll be able to drive it off the forecourt as soon as you take ownership (provided you’ve got insurance, of course). That means no delivery fees and no wait time. The latter is great news if your old set of wheels really haven’t got much life left in them, or if patience isn’t your strongpoint.


  • You’ll see less depreciation. Any nearly new car will experience the significant depreciation that any of the latest releases do, however, taking into account the discount you received for buying new as opposed to nearly new, you should receive a greater share of your investment back when it’s time to sell.



  • You don’t get to choose. When you’re looking at nearly new cars for sale, you may not find the perfection combination of features, colours and finishes you were hoping for. Dealerships may have a vast range of models available in their stock, covering a variety of options, but you’re unlikely to find one that has that perfect combination you wanted.


  • Your manufacturer’s warranty could be running out. Nearly new cars could be anything from mere weeks, up to as much as three years old. If you do buy a nearly new car that’s a little older, you may find that the manufacturer’s warranty has been eaten into quite significantly. You may only have a couple of years’ cover left.


  • You might not get that ‘new car’ feel. There is something special about getting your hands on a brand-new car, and when you buy nearly new, it can’t be guaranteed that you’ll get that same sense of magic. Even where the car has only covered a handful of miles, it might not have that ‘fresh out of the factory’ feel that many buyers love.


  • You might get some wear. At the cheaper end of the nearly new car deal category, you’ll find models that have clocked up over a thousand miles on the road. That means some signs of wear will be inevitable, and the car won’t be in absolute pristine condition. It’ll should still largely look and feel new, particularly at a glance, but the shine may have worn off just a little.


Stock cars

Stock cars are models prospectively ordered in by dealerships, to be kept on the forecourt and sold on. They’re an increasingly popular choice; there are no wait times and the car can be test-driven there and then. With a good understanding of what their customers love about particular models, there’s usually a great range of options available, with several variants of the same model for you to choose from.

Browse our nearly new cars today to find out more.