Wait, today is that idle day nuh? Rolls eyes 🙄😒. Let’s talk about cars!
My recommendation, especially for first-time car buyers, is that you purchase a used car. My first and current vehicle were purchased used, so in this case, I practice what I preach. Here is a list of the reasons I endorse buying used vehicles instead of new vehicles.
- Vehicles devalue very rapidly when purchased new. Your brand new car loses value the moment you drive it off the lot. After the first year, your vehicle will lose approximately 20% of its initial value. The depreciation will continue each year and for the first five years of the vehicle’s life, it will lose 15-25% each year. After the first five years, your vehicle will lose more than half its initial value. It makes no sense buying a new vehicle unless you plan to keep it long term (15-20 years).
- Used cars are more affordable. Based on my first reason, this is a given. But to provide a reasonable example, I will use my personal interests. I am interested in upgrading my ride and I am thinking of the Toyota Hilux. I got a quote from Toyota Jamaica for 7.5 million JMD for a 2020 model. A quick search on jacars.net showed me where I could buy a 2015 model for as low as 3.5 million JMD, a staggering 4 million JMD in savings on a quality vehicle.
- Cars nowadays last longer so buying an old car is still good value. My old Honda kept me moving for about 4 years without any major issue. It never left me stranded on the road and when I sold it the new owners drove it straight to Westmoreland from Kingston with the AC on and had no issue. That car was 16 years old. Buying an older vehicle doesn’t mean you are getting lower quality. A used car is good enough.
- Jamaican roads will make your new car, an old car very fast. I can speak at length about our roads but that is one ‘hole’ other conversation. In short, our roads are terrible. I would not be comfortable driving a new vehicle on these roads (unless its a pick-up truck). This is a significant reason I am considering an upgrade.
- An older car has all the features you need. When I upgraded to a 2013 car from my 2003 car, I discovered features I didn’t even know cars had. Two years later, I am still discovering new features. When I wake up and walk towards the car, the lights inside turn on so I can see inside before entering. I do not have to touch the key at all. Once it is in my possession I can start the car and turn it off without the inconvenience if reaching into my pockets. Once started the car connects to my phone and starts playing my playlist. The car automatically adjusts my seat, mirror and steering wheel to my pre-defined preference. The list of features that make the driving experience better is endless; from cruise control to headlights that turn with the steering wheel at nights. The first point I am making is that this is a 7-year-old car and it has all the modern features I would ever need. the second point I am making is that all those features aren’t even needed as I didn’t even know that they existed until I bought my car and I never had the need for these features when I had my 2003 Honda. New features are for marketing purposes, let them age and depreciate first.
- Loans and concessions are available for used cars. Even buying a used car cost a lot of money but loans and concessions are available for vehicles up to 6 years old. The difference here is that instead of getting a 10-year loan, a financial institution will offer you a 5-year loan for such vehicles.
- Parts are readily available for used cars. Dealerships of new vehicles usually provide free services to customers so accessing parts may not be a major issue. Parts for older vehicles are however easier to access and are much less expensive as they are already in circulation. The savings will continue on parts when you purchase an older vehicle.
- Mechanics are experienced in servicing used cars. New cars are high-tech and most of Jamaica’s mechanics are not equipped to service these vehicles. I used to service my Honda at Superior Auto. I usually use an old mechanic called ‘Youngy’. Yes, I know we are very clever with nicknames. He does an excellent job with my Honda, but when I switched to a luxury hybrid, his response did not inspire confidence so I have not used him since. I have realized that mechanics are afraid to work on hybrids as they are not trained to work on the ‘new’ technology. Most older cars are not hybrid vehicles and may make servicing easier.
- Lower insurance. With the lower cost of older vehicles, the insurance cost is also lower continuing the savings you will achieve by buying an older vehicle.
- Better for the environment. For those of us who love the environment, this is something to consider. Using older vehicles is better for the environment. It is arguably better for the environment to buy a used car then it is buying a hybrid electric vehicle as quoted in this article. It cost a lot of energy to make a vehicle, buying new is increasing your carbon contribution to global warming, more so than buying an older car.
I fully support buying used. Go for it!
Oh and … Happy Valentines day 🙄