No one buys new cars any more – at least not with their own money. Apparently the smart people invest their hard-earned in a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP), which allows them to put a lump sum down and get the brand-new vehicle they want parked on their drive.
With a PCP it is possible to pay the resale price and keep the car at the end. Alternatively you can trade it in and take out another PCP, or just hand the car back then walk away. Trouble is, you’re buying into a recurring cycle of regular payment despair that is difficult to get out of.
Unless, that is, you decide to take that deposit and instead use it for a one-off investment in a used car. That’s where the really smart money goes – and over the next few pages we have the proof, with new PCP deals versus used cash options to suit nearly every taste and budget.
Five and a half grand buys an old-school EV, and it will do a silent job for local trips if you want to feel good about the environment – and potentially longer trips too once our national infrastructure can offer full recharging support. For buyers chasing no-emissions motoring, this is a cost-effective way to do it.
Buy new: Nissan Leaf N-Connecta Propilot (£5489 deposit, £389 per month for 37 months)
For your deposit: 2011 Mitsubishi I-Miev E, 6000 miles, £5250
Officially the range is 93 miles and it takes seven hours to get fully charged. This one had the Tamashii Pack, so air-con, and the mileage remains marginal. It’s something for short, local, uncomfortable journeys for shopping or the commute.
Also try: 2012 Citroën C-Zero, 22,000 miles, £5300 | 2012 Renault Fluence, 33,122 miles, £4999 | 2013 Renault Twizy, 3000 miles, £4400