New Or Used Cars
Image Source: Brandsynario

So let’s say you’re in the market for buying a vehicle in Pakistan! like me. There’s no denying the thrill of driving down the streets in your own car is something everyone wishes to experience. But with shiny new cars filling every dealer, a crucial question arises: brand new or used? While there is no denying the appeal of a brand-new vehicle, the used automobile industry in Pakistan is by far the most dominant! You may have always pondered, why is this the case? Surely, newer is better, no? Let’s delve into the reasons why many Pakistanis find themselves leaning towards pre-owned gems instead.

1. Affordability Takes The Wheel For Used Cars

Let’s face it, brand new cars in Pakistan can come with a price tag that can leave your bank account feeling like it never existed in the first place. It’s no surprise that the first reason to pop-up in anyone’s head is affordability. Import duties, taxes, hefty registration fees, licensing costs and dealer markups all contribute to a significant price difference compared to used cars.

Affordability Of Buying Used Cars
Image Source: Bloomberg

Imagine finally getting a chance to test-drive your dream car, only to be met with a price that shatters those dreams in an instant! Buying a used car makes owning a vehicle more affordable and enables you to go drive around the busy streets without breaking the bank.

2. Slowing Down Your Worst Enemy: Depreciation

Factory new vehicles tend to experience rapid depreciation the moment they leave the showroom doors. However, used cars have already weathered this depreciation storm, resulting in lower upfront costs! You might not get to experience that new-car smell (even though it fades away so quickly) but on the other hand, this sound decision allows you to invest your own hard-earned money in a car that holds its value better!

Car Depreciation In Pakistan
Image Source: CarFax

Heck, in the case of Pakistan, we usually see older vehicles even at times appreciate in value. This serves as way for you to tackle inflation one way or another. While the rate of depreciation in used vehicles is slower, it means that buyers’ investments retain significant value. When it’s time to sell, the resale value remains relatively stable, allowing owners to recoup a substantial portion of their initial investment. An example of this can be taken by the all-time favorite Toyota Indus, which has not only survived more than two decades in the market, but has increased in value for those looking to buy it.

3. A Sea Filled With Unlimited Potential With Used Cars

Pakistan has a well-established and sizable used vehicle market. This converts into a car lover’s dream come true, with a greater assortment of automobiles at different price ranges to suit a range of wants and budgets. The used car market is likely to have something for everyone, whether you’re a young professional looking for a fuel-efficient hatchback. Or even a growing family in need of a roomy SUV for weekend getaways, heck even car enthusiast looking to restore a particular older model to its former glory. It like a hoard of riches just waiting to be discovered! Because the used automobile market accommodates a wide range of tastes, consumers may discover the ideal vehicle within their price range.

Sea Of Cars
Image Source: Time

4. Say Goodbye To Waiting On Your Precious Number Plate

One of the biggest issues that plagues Pakistani consumers when they buy a new vehicle is getting it registered. Even after you pay the heavy surcharge, the system is broken, leaving you stranded without a permit to drive your car. People tend to find alternatives to this issue, but we all know how that ends up going. If you don’t want to be featured on a random televised segment with an illegal number plate, its better you get a car that already has gone through that process.

Fake Number Plates In Pakistan
Image Source: Dawn

Many vehicles on the street nowadays are roaming around with illegal number plates. The most common instance of this you’ll encounter in your day-to-day routine are cars with AFR on their number plates. And you might ponder why so many vehicles are sporting this specific number plate, well truth be told, all of them are vehicles who have Applied For Registration but are not lucky enough to get their real plates delivered. Coming for a guy who had to wait 4 years just for his car to get a legit number-plate, its not worth being pulled over by every cop over a simple mismanagement of the system.

5. Finding Used Gems You Missed Out On

There are instances when restricted manufacturing runs or lengthy waiting lists accompany the newest and best models. In these circumstances, the secondhand automobile market turns into a refuge. Perhaps you will come upon that long-desired discontinued beauty, or perhaps you will locate an old automobile that is no longer offered as new. Imagine discovering a classic Toyota Land Cruiser, ideal for straying from the usual road on those weekend escapades, or a well-maintained Honda Civic from the early 2000s, renowned for its dependability and striking style. You may get your hands on a piece of automotive history that isn’t available in a showroom by shopping the used automobile market. The automobile craze in Pakistan is something you can’t miss out on.

In Pakistan, the concept of “own price” persists. If you want a new car immediately, you may have to pay an additional premium. Waiting times for new cars can stretch from one to ten months or more. By opting for a used car, you avoid this extra cost and get behind the wheel sooner.

The Flip Side Of Buying Used Cars

Despite its size, the used automobile industry may often resemble the Maze Runner. Used automobiles can differ widely in terms of quality and condition. Purchasing a secondhand automobile takes more research and a careful eye for detail than purchasing a brand-new vehicle under warranty. Here are some pointers for negotiating this fascinating and occasionally difficult landscape:

Inspecting Used Vehicles
Image Source: CarAndDriver
  1. Become a Used Car Detective: No matter what you decide in life, its always suggested to DYOR (Do Your Own Research). Nowadays, online marketplaces offer a huge amount of information on used car prices, reviews, and comparisons. Knowing the market value of the car you’re interested in will help you avoid overpaying for it!
  2. Befriending a Trusted Mechanic: A pre-purchase inspection by a trusted mechanic can go a long way. They can identify any potential problems, from engine wear and tear to hidden accident damage. Think of them as your car-buying guardian angel, ensuring you don’t get stuck with a decision you end up regretting.
  3. Don’t Be Afraid to Bargain: Haggling is a form of art for the average Pakistani (specially for desi moms). While you need to respect the seller’s original ask, don’t be afraid to negotiate based on the car’s condition. A little friendly bargaining can save you a significant amount of money.
  4. Consider Certified Options: Some dealerships and marketplaces offer certified used vehicles. These vehicles have undergone a thorough inspection and may come with even a guarantee! While typically more expensive than a regular used car, certified options offer peace of mind and a level of guaranteed quality.

To Buy Or Not To Buy… Used, That Is The Question.

At the end of the day, your personal requirements and financial situation determine whether you should buy a new or used vehicle. If cost is your top priority, there are a ton of alternatives available in the used vehicle market. Nevertheless, by all means, make the purchase if a brand-new vehicle with the latest equipment, and peace of mind are what really matter to you! Remember, the key is to be informed, patient, and a little bit adventurous when navigating the world of used cars in Pakistan. With the right approach, you might just find yourself cruising down the road in your very own dream car.

Stay tuned for more automotive guides like these; this is been your favorite friendly neighborhood gearhead Zayaan, Signing Off!

Zayaan Khan
A Mechanical Engineer who wrangles with drones and designs by day and your favorite friendly neighborhood techie/ gearhead by night. I’ve always been intrigued by how everything works. Blessed with penmanship, I take the latest in tech/ automotive news and craft it into something that keeps you glued to your screen! You can simply call me the “The Engineer who writes”