buying nearly new pros and cons

not as cost effective as it seems is buying a nearly new car really a better alternative to buying new?

The benefits of buying a nearly new car rather than something straight out of the showroom are pretty obvious. Clearly, someone else will have had to bear the painful initial stab of early depreciation, so your budget might well stretch to something better than would otherwise be the case. Your nearly new car should also have been nicely run in by someone else.

There are some drawbacks however, which you would be wise to consider before taking the nearly new plunge. Firstly, and most obviously, your car will not be the latest model. In fact, it may well have been superseded by a newer design - and that could well mean that the worst days of its depreciation are yet to come. Next, you'll have a shorter warranty, so less peace of mind unless you spend extra to top the cover up.

Restricted choice is another problem of course. You'll be stuck with someone else's choice of colour and trim and you may not be able to find the engine option you really want. If that means a petrol rather than a diesel for example, your 'saving' in upfront cost could be frittered away during ownership. And exactly how much of a 'saving' was it anyway? Add up the discounts now widely available on new cars, or check out the savings on new cars available on the Internet and the nearly new 'bargain' might end up not looking such a bargain after all.

Finance could be another problem. You may not have as many options going the nearly new route. Then there's the question of wear and tear. At least with an older used car, you know that any reputable dealership will have replaced all the main consumables - brake pads and so on. With a nearly new car, they probably won't have bothered. Exactly how much hard use has this car really had? It will be hard for you to really know.

These are all key factors to take into account when considering the nearly new route. If the saving really does override all other considerations, then great. But if not, then a better bargain may well be a fully-fledged used car - or a fantastic deal on a new one.