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Should My First Car Be New or Used
March 8, 2021 Mandurah Mazda Team
Should My First Car Be New or Used

Should My First Car Be New or Used?

Getting a driver’s license is a very exciting and important milestone in life for many people. Passing the test means that you can start thinking about getting your first set of wheels.

When choosing a car, especially for a younger driver, other than trying to find the sweet spot between safety, reliability and price, you must also sort through all the conflicting guidance out there.

For example, some experts say that the bigger the vehicle, the greater the protection (like a Mazda CX-8 SUV) for teenagers and beginner motorists. On the other hand, others advise against bigger SUVs and instead recommend smaller or mid-sized cars (like a Mazda 3 hatch or Mazda 6 sedan) that a new driver will be able to handle more easily.

While many first time buyers will be looking forward to the freedom a car can bring, it also comes with a lot of responsibility, along with the age-old question of “should my first car be new or used?”

When it comes to picking out your first car, the typical image-conscious teenager probably isn’t focusing too much on things like crash-test ratings, reliability and fuel economy. So here are some of the more practical considerations to take into account and help you make a decision between buying a new or used car.

Matching Your Needs to your Budget

First off is to think about what you will be using the car for, and also how long you expect to keep the car.

Are you looking for something that can take you to and from TAFE or uni? Or maybe you just graduated and need something for work and weekend road trips? Have you just got your license, or are you a more experienced driver?

You will also have to work out how much you can afford to spend. A teenager using their own money from a part-time job will have a more limited budget to work with than someone who has the support from mum and dad.

New car buyers get the benefit of being able to choose the exact specifications and customise what they would like included.

You also get the manufacturer’s new car warranty, so you’ll be covered for any problems for a least a few years, making it a safer bet if you’re looking for something that you can use for longer. With new Mazda’s, you can enjoy peace of mind with our 5-year unlimited-kilometre warranty, together with 5 years Premium Roadside Assistance.

Used cars on the other hand usually don’t come with any sort of warranty (other than the statutory warranty provided by dealers). But the greatest advantage of used cars is that they are much cheaper to buy. So if you’re looking for a temporary ride or using it as a stepping stone to a better car in the future, then a used car may be the better option.

Safety and Efficiency

Whether buying new or used, it is recommended to choose a vehicle with as many safety features as your budget allows. This is especially important for new drivers. You want to be looking at all the safety features that can back up an inexperienced driver, such as stability control, automatic emergency braking and blind-spot warning systems.

The advanced computer technology available in newer models is enhancing safety, as well as the ease of driving. Therefore, if you opt for the newest model possible, you’re likely to benefit from features that are simply unavailable in older models.

Used cars, being older models, will not have all the latest safety technology that new cars have. But if your budget doesn’t allow for a new car, buying a newer model used car will give you many of the standard safety features at a lower cost than a brand new car.

Each new generation and newer models brings with it more improved fuel efficiency. So new cars, especially if they have just been redesigned, will likely use less fuel than its previous year model, and help you save money filling at the pump over the long run.


In this world of social media and constant interaction with technology and the internet, a teenager will likely care more about how they can stay connected to their smartphone while driving in the car. Put simply, they want to be able to talk to the car the same way they would their phone.

Features like Bluetooth connections, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto not only offer convenience and ease for staying connected but also come with a safety aspect by helping to keep your hands and eyes off their phones while driving.

Electronic devices and features change quickly and constantly, with car manufacturers always updating their models. So do you want the latest technology? It’s simple: Buy new.

If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, do a bit of research and see if there are used models that still have the features you need.

Resale Value

The depreciation in value is a real doozy when it comes to new cars. Some figures put the average loss in value of a new car at between 20 and 30 percent in the first year alone.

The good news is that as cars get older the drop in value is less eye-watering. So if you’re not planning to keep your first car for long, buying a used car makes sense, as you get back more of your money when it comes time to sell it and upgrade.

The Verdict

Ultimately, deciding whether to buy new or used when buying your first car comes down to weighing the pros and cons and comparing them to your personal situation.

Buying a first car can be stressful, and the team at Mandurah Mazda have the experience and knowledge to assist. They can take you through the range of new Mazdas as well as the wide range of used vehicles they have for sale, and help make your decision making a bit easier. So drop in or contact our dealership today.

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