Am I better buying new or used?

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Will Nightingale
15 February 2008

Am I better buying new or used?

Q: I've got a maximum of 5000 to spend on a new car, but only need something small for trips around town. Looking on your website, the only new car I seem to be able to afford is the Perodua Kelisa. Would I be better off buying this car new, or something else second-hand?
Kate Holland

**A: The Kelisa is certainly cheap, but it's not great. We'd spend 5000 on a used car that's still got a fair amount of its manufacturer warranty left.

If space isn't important, we'd go for either one of the following: a Citroen C1, Fiat Panda or Kia Picanto.

The C1 would be the cheapest to run and would only cost 35 a year to tax, but luggage space is frankly poor. An '06/56-plate 1.0 Vibe should cost around 5000. Also consider the Peugeot 107 and Toyota Aygo, which are basically the same car but slightly dearer.

The Picanto is great value and a bit bigger. We'd go for the 1.1 LX, which should cost you around 4700 for an '07/56-plate.

The Panda is probably the best of the three, but it won't do quite as many miles to the gallon as the other two. You should be able to pick up an '07/07-plate car within budget.

We'd recommend looking around for the best deal you can. Try to make time to drive all three cars and see which one suits you best.