New cars cheaper than used

  • Used car prices still rising
  • Big scrappage savings on new models
  • New car finance can also be cheaper than used
What Car? has found that used car buyers might be better off buying new, especially if they have a car that's eligible for the government's scrappage scheme.

Popular models such as the Fiat 500, Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Golf can all be bought new under the scrappage scheme for less than a used version that's up to a year old.

A used VW Golf 1.6 TDI S 5dr (59 plate, 200 miles) we found cost £16,200, yet the same car new is cost £12,430 under the scrappage scheme (including the available VW incentives). Similarly, a Fiat 500 1.2 Pop (08 plate, 23,000 miles) will cost from £6995, while the same car new costs £295 less with a scrappage grant.

Even used car buyers who can't take advantage of scrappage should consider buying new – in many cases the difference can be less than £2000 and that can be eroded further when the extra year's warranty and any low-rate dealer finance is taken into account.

What Car? editor Steve Fowler said: ‘It's a bizarre market this year: new car prices have already risen by 9.5%, but used car prices are an astonishing 30% higher than they were a year ago.

‘It's long been the case that nearly new cars represent excellent value when compared to new, but not right now. Whether you're a scrappage buyer or not, it's worth checking our Target Price and doing the maths to see if it's more cost-effective to buy new!'

New vs used – price comparison


Fiat 500 1.2 Pop
New on scrappage - £6700
New What Car? Target Price - £8700
Used'08/08, 23,215 miles , £6995
You'll save
Buy new on scrappage, rather than used, and you'll save...
£295



Hyundai i10 1.2 Classic 5dr
New on scrappage - £5195
New What Car? Target Price - £6882
Used '08/58, 5000 miles, £5700
You'll save
Buy new on scrappage, rather than used, and you'll save...
£505



Skoda Octavia 1.4 S 5dr
New on scrappage - £9495
New What Car? Target Price - £11,072
Used '09/09, 3000 miles £9995
You'll save
Buy new on scrappage, rather than used, and you'll save...
£500



Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI (90) S 5dr
New on scrappage - £12,430
New What Car? Target Price – £15,331
Used '09/59, 200 miles, £16,200
You'll save
Buy new on scrappage, rather than used, and you'll save...
£3770



Volkswagen Passat 2.0TDI CR (110) S 4dr
New on scrappage - £13,860
New What Car? Target Price – £17,879
Used '09/09, 5442 miles, £14,488
You'll save
Buy new on scrappage, rather than used, and you'll save...
£628

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