Buying a Car: Should you go for a New Car or a Used Car?

There are a lot of questions that are involved when deciding on buying a car, the first and the most important one is, should you buy a new car or an old car? There is always confusion and a sense of fear as you are going to do this once every 3 to 5 years.

True, that buying a new car ensures low risk, less hassles and full factory warranty for a few years that will give you peace of mind. But, buying an old car does mean a lot of savings. Because no one tells you about the sinister-sounding financial word: depreciation! A new car loses close to 20% of its value from the moment it is driven out of the showroom. Even if it does not lose that much, driving it for a year will ensure that it loses 20% of its value. Not all cars depreciate at the same rate, some rare brands do hold their value exceptionally well. But, if suddenly no one wants the car from the brand that you bought from, you are staring at a way higher depreciation after that.

Not that we can conclude, that used cars are better. While buying a used car, careful consideration of the necessary check points would ensure that you get a car that is as good as a new one. People used to disapprove of used cars by saying it was a sure shot way to buy someone else’s problem. Not anymore. Over the years, cars have never been more dependable. Cars today can deliver more than 100,000 miles before they need major repairs. Regular maintenance on the car like oil change, brake jobs and tires have been reduced as a result of the quality improvement.

Advantages of buying a New Car include –

Made to Order – Gives you the option to spec your new car just the way you want it, like getting the right combination of interior and exteriors color options.

It’s not Used – New car does zero out the hassle by making sure that the car has never met an accident, has not been mistreated by its previous owner, clean history, no wear or tear and more importantly less smelly.

Warranty – Like the other points mentioned above, the option of having a warranty gives you that peace of mind without paying anything extra.

Latest Gizmos & Tech – Cars today come with the geekier tech packed inside. Navigation, USB, Bluetooth, Touch Controls, steering mounted Controls, Launch Control (that you never use), different drive M\modes,

Financing – More financing options and, the banks offer lower financing options on new cars because they are worth more and have yet not depreciated.

Maintenance – Car manufacturers these days offer free scheduled service maintenance for a certain period or mileage, basically saving the cost on its maintenance in the initial years of ownership.

Advantage of buying a Used Car include –

Savings on price – Because buying a used car can save you close to 30% or more, it allows a buyer to step up to a higher-class model.

Depreciation – New cars depreciate the moment you drive out of the showroom. With a used car, there is not depreciation the moment you drive it off. Also, less mental pressure about the first dent or chipped paint as the previous owner would have taken care of those for you.

Cheaper Insurance Rates – The older the car gets, the lesser you pay on its insurance as a result of the depreciation on its price and age of the car.

Easy Registration – Buying a used car saves you a lot time and cost. A used car would require way less registration processes as most of the processes have been done by the previous owner. Also, the cost of registering a used car goes down every year because of its age and depreciation.

Certified Pre-Owned Cars – Buying a used car from a certified pre-owned car dealer ensures that the car has been thoroughly checked and ensuring factory warranty attached with it.

Buying a used car is always a better value proposition. Because, cars are so robustly built these days that a car used for 2-3 years still looks, drives and feels like a new car. Also, if you are learning to drive, then a used car makes a lot more sense as it would save you immensely on the ding that you would occasionally have on your car before ruining your brand-new car with your not so fancy driving skills.

If you get it thoroughly checked by a mechanic, you have nothing to worry when buying a used car. As a car buying consultant, you can reach out to me anytime via email with any questions when buying a New or Used Car.

Image Credit – www.cardekho.com

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Car Dashboard Warning Lights – What They Mean?

 

Images have been the best way to make a human understand since ages. We almost always picture the words when someone talks to us. If you still don’t believe me here is an example of it. Car, Apple, Phone, Ball, Rat. Now, I’m pretty sure that your brain did not flash you words but instead the images of all the examples of the words I mentioned above. That is the power of visualization that our brain has and understands that way.

Today, cars are equipped with electronics, safety devices and packed with sensors to monitor the condition of the car. Every time you turn your ignition key to the on position, there are various lights and symbols that illuminate on your dashboard. Also, when the key is turned on, your car performs self-test to make sure all the systems are working perfectly. And all these lights go off once the car starts. There will be times when one or more of these lights will stay on to inform you of potential problem that would need your attention.

The lights you see on the dashboard are colour coded meaning each colour has a different meaning associated with it. There are three types of colours used for indications – Red, Yellow & Green. Red coloured lights indicates a potential safety issue or a serious problem with the car or an important reminder that may need your attention. You should stop your car immediately and attend to the problem. Yellow or Orange lights in some cases indicates something to operate with caution or something that needs repairing or servicing. Green or Blue lights is a visual cue and also an indication that a system is on. A flashing light on the dashboard means it needs an urgent attention without any delay.

While manufacturers these days provide with a detailed car manual, explaining what different warning lights mean on the dashboard in order for you to be better prepared in case of an event. It is highly advisable to go through your car’s manual. The following are the most common warnings and information lights that appear on your dashboard and their meaning. Please note that every car dashboard may be different and symbols listed below may have different designs and colours.

Temperature Warning Light –
It is a serious indication that your engine temperatures is too high or your coolant level is low indicating that not enough fluid is in the system to cool down the engine. The same light in some cases also becomes blue indicating that the coolant temperature is below the optimum performing temperature. The engine should be shut off immediately. It may also indicate a faulty temperature sensor.

Engine Oil Pressure Warning –
This light comes up when there is low oil resulting in low oil pressure. It can also indicate a faulty engine oil pressure sensor. Low oil levels can cause some serious damage to the moving engine parts.

Battery Warning –
This light indicates that the voltage is below normal. This can also mean that the alternator is not working properly to charge the battery and hence the battery drains itself out. When the light comes up, the first that should be done is to switch off anything that draws power from the battery like air conditioning, heating system, music system, electrically heated glass and electrically heated seats. This leads to minimum power requirements from the battery till you reach a professional to help you out.

Brake Warning Light –
It indicates that the brake fluid is low or the hand brake is on. If the light does not go after the hand brake is released, your car would need a professional help.

Airbag Indicator –
It indicates that there is a problem with the air bag system. It needs to be resolved urgently.

Seatbelt Indicator –
In case you are not wearing your seat belt, it’s a safety reminder to buckle up your seat belt.

Door Ajar –
It indicates that one of the door is not closed properly or the door jamb switch has malfunctioned.

Check Engine Light –
It indicates an issue with the engine or can be a minor electrical issue. It can also mean a fault in the engine management system related to emissions or running. The car should be shown to a mechanic as soon as possible.

Traction Control Light –
It either indicates to warn you of a low grip condition for the car which should go off once the car regains traction or a problem with the traction control system.

ABS Warning Light –
It indicates a fault with the anti-lock braking system. This does not mean a brake failure but additional safety features are switched off and may not work during an emergency braking.

Tyre Pressure Warning –
It indicates a faulty tyre pressure sensor or one or more tyres has low air pressure. Tyre pressure should be inspected immediately to fill them to correct pressure.

Glow Plug Warning –
It is a warning for a diesel engine. Diesel engines require help in starting up during cold temperature. The glow plug is a heating element which is activated during the startup. It usually goes off after sometime but if doesn’t it indicated a faulty glow plug which should be replaced.

AWD Light –
This light indicates that the All-Wheel Drive system is activated.

ESP Light –
It’s similar to ABS indicator, indicates a potential problem with the Electronic Stability Program.

High Beam Light –
This light has been for decades indicating that the high beam light is turned on.

Low Windshield Fluid Indicator –
Indicates low windshield washer fluid which needs to be topped up.

Low Fuel Indicator –
Indicates Low Fuel and you need to visit the nearest petrol station.

Service Reminder –
The car’s on board computer shows this indicator to inform you that it’s time to give your car for servicing.

Before buying a second hand car, care should be taken to make sure that none of these warning lights mentioned above remain on after starting the engine. If any of these do remain on, it indicates a problem in the system that the warning light is associated with.

Have you ever had any warning lights on your dashboard? What was the problem and what did you do to solve it?
Let me know in the comment section below.

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