Want a new car? Buy a 7 year old one.
Depreciation is a great asset in the world of budget motoring
Brand new cars come with a lot of kit as standard nowadays, which makes them safe and have more entertainment to mask the miserable drive, but all this makes them quite expensive. Now instead you could go out and buy an old barge but the chance of it having Bluetooth is not great, however, there seems to be a goldilocks age, where you get the same kit, but a bit more style and power for your money. So I've picked 3 manufactures, to demonstrate even there cheapest new offerings can be beaten in value
Volkswagen, the peoples car the as name goes have got a range of cars currently for almost anyone, but there cheapest little car as of today is the UP!. As well as being the second car ever to use punctuation in its name, the up is an exceptional little car, its so good that both Jeremy and James likes them very much, but hang on, in base spec, its £12,705 pounds, for a dismal 1.0 making less power then a 10 year old Toyota Prius.
However it isn't all unwarranted, as for a little city car it has all the kit you would want including an infotainment screen, smart phone navigation side curtain airbags and daytime running lights. For a small city car its amazing, even very young me remembers when small car meant a radio, some vents to blow hot and if you were lucky cold air out, and an airbag to make EURONCAP happy. I thought I had bitten off more then I can chew, but staggeringly, you can have all this kit, and leather seats, and back doors for £11,499.
Oh, and 266hp transmitted through all four wheels, this is a 2012 Volkswagen golf R. It has got a lot of the kit from the UP!, missing bits and pieces but overall the same things can be done. Where the UP! was nippy, this is fast, with a 0-60 of just over 5 seconds, and if you want something more recent you can get MK7 GTIs in budget too, which was a current model up until a few months ago. When it comes too VW, don't Bother with the UP! or the polo, all the car you ever need, is in a golf variant. low running costs? nearly new 1.4, space? golf estate, power? This golf R. And its not a banger either, having service history and only 32,000 miles on the clock, its in excellent condition and is not going to be much worse then a new car.
Nissans cheapest offering has been a staple of British roads for over 35 years, Loved by old people, young people and driving instructors across the land, the humble hatchback has catered to everyone, and this latest iteration seems to build on the market they have made, by loading it from factory with all of the safety tech, including automatic braking, so a poor judgement from a learner or slow reaction times of a pensioner are less likely to cause an accident. This obviously raises the price, so to keep it cheap, its equipped about as well as a lower spec Vauxhall Astra... from 2005.
But even then, it has rear door pockets, something you don't get in a 13 year old Toyota Prius, however, there is another Nissan for the same money, which I think is more worth the money, even without the rear door pockets, or rear doors.
Back in the 1960s, Nissan decided to release a sports car in America, called the 240z. It did immensely well, and ever since, the Z line of sports cars have been on sale. The latest one is the 370z, and although the end is near for it as the 400z has been revealed, you can still buy a 370z new, but don't, because for the price of a Nissan Micra, you can have a Nissan 370z from 2012. Now this doesn't come with automatic braking, but has leather seats with good lumbar support, a screen with satellite navigation and Bluetooth audio.
It also has 8 Bose speakers and good service history, and only 46k miles, its almost new. Never written off, no issues glaring, good MOT, There is no catches, and this is yours £12,890. But how does this theory fair for higher up brands.
Jaguar, unlike VW and Nissan, doesn't carry a small hatchback, or a hatchback at all, and its cheapest offering is an SUV. The jaguar E-pace has been around since 2017, and outside of launch hasn't made waves, being a later product of the SUV craze. The base model comes with a lot of kit, however is still lacking in some areas, When "D150 badge" is listed as a feature, does make you wonder weather its worth it. That said, it does have automatic windscreen wipers and all round electric windows
Your certainly not paying for performance, as it comes with a 150hp Diesel engine, going through only the front two wheels, and you even have to change gear yourself, and no, its not a drivers car, the manual is not for engaging driving, its a FWD diesel. Even this base model costs £30,500, That a fortune on the used market, as this jaguar XJ shows, Its proper jag, propelled by a 5.0L Supercharged V8, going to the rear wheels through a silky smooth 8-speed gearbox. The car comes with leather seats and almost all the same kit as the E-pace.
Its finished in a beautiful red, and is only 5 years old. It also is jaguar pre owned and comes with Jaguar approved warranty. It is basically the flagship for the price of the base, and its special, as it is going to be the last XJ with a huge thumping V8 as the next generation heads to be electric.
We all know these cars suit different markets, the only car that might be interchangeable are the Jags, but its fun for comparisons sake, and shows if your going to get a boring spec, why not buy a 2 year old approved used one?