Male and female with two young children packing up red car.

Do you really need a second car?

There are many reasons you could be thinking about getting a second car. Perhaps a new job has made car sharing a struggle, you think a more eco-friendly model would be best for the school run, or maybe you've moved house and public transport isn't as accessible any more.

We all know running a car can get expensive. Adding a car to your household is a big financial commitment that requires a lot of thought. Hopefully, this handy guide will help make the decision a lot easier.

The stats

Over a quarter (28%) of households own at least two cars, according to Office for National Statistics figures. Nearly half (45%) of households with two adults and one child have two cars, rising to 53% among homes with two adults and two children.

Whether you're doing the weekly shop, driving to work, dropping your little one to dance class or teaching your teen to drive, a second car could make looking after your family that little bit easier.

So, family or no family, if you've decided to buy yourself a second car here are some things to think about:

New or old?

There are many benefits to buying new. New cars are backed by the manufacturer's warranty, they often boast the latest tech (leading to things like greater fuel efficiency), and there's no uncertainty over their history.

That said, What Car? explains new cars lose 20% of their value the moment they're driven away from the forecourt. They depreciate at such a rate that very few, new cars are worth over half their purchase price after three years – in fact, most will have lost up to two-thirds of their value by this point.

With approximately seven million used cars changing hands every year, there's certainly plenty of choice out there. But if you're going through a private seller as opposed to a dealership, it's vital you know how to spot warning signs and ask the right questions – reading our blog on making sense of car paperwork will help.

Financing a car

If you don't have the cash to pay outright for your second car, there are many other ways to fund it, including hire purchase (HP) or personal contract purchase (PCPs) agreements, as well as personal loans. Each finance option has its pros and cons – we weigh them up in this article.

Keep it simple with a multi car policy

Of course, it's not just the initial price of the car you need to factor in; it's also running costs such as tax, insurance, fuel, MOT and servicing.

Fronting: a word of warning

Fronting is a huge problem in the insurance industry. It's when a more experienced driver states they're the main driver of a car when, in actual fact, it's a much less-experienced driver (for instance, a newly-qualified son or daughter who's keen to get out on the road).

Most drivers will commit fronting in a bid to get cheaper premiums, but it's against the law and will almost always result in claims being denied. There are other, legal ways to save money on insurance, such as paying for cover annually, getting a black box installed, or improving the car's security features.

If it's time to renew your car insurance, for your first or second car, see how much you could save and get an online quote with Hastings Direct today.

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