BUYING a new car is a significant investment, no matter if you are buying it outright or paying through finance.
Combine this with the uncertainty over Brexit for both buyers and car dealers and used cars are becoming more popular with consumers.
There are many advantages to buying a used car, notably less depreciation, paying less for additional features and cheaper repairs.
It has also never been easier to buy a used car, searching online or asking around your local community to find the best-used cars for sale Aberdeen has on offer, for example, is also a great way of finding used cars.
One possible disadvantage to used cars however is, depending on the age of the vehicle, the level of technology built into it. The development and speed of technology in the automotive industry is some of the fastest of any consumer industry, and as a result, a three-year-old used car could feel out of date quickly if you are coming from a more recent new car.
There are however several additional features which can be added to used cars depending on the needs of the consumer which can bring older cars more up to date with technology. The following three products are either available now or have started to be developed, which can all enhance the usability of used cars.
The ‘Black Box’
One of the most common buyers of used cars is young or first-time drivers. From insurance companies point of view, these drivers are a high risk of having an accident, and therefore their insurance costs are much higher than experienced drivers.
One way which young or first-time drivers can lower their insurance costs is by fitting telematics devices, known as a ‘black box’.
This system tracks the usage of the car, and insurance providers often have set limits which, if crossed, result in higher costs for the driver. Examples of these limits include driving at specific times, such as after 11 pm, or exceeding set mileage distances for the year.
Installing the system under the dashboard is one option, or some can be plugged directly into the 12V outlet depending on which system the buyer chooses. Tracking speed, cornering, braking and accelerating are all possible along with the time and how far the car is driven.
An additional benefit for drivers adding a ‘black box’ to their used car is that, in the unfortunate events that the car is stolen, the GPS within the ‘black box’ can be used to track and locate the car to recover it.
There are additional costs to be aware of when considering ‘black box’ insurance, such as installation, removal or repair costs however policies which include a ‘black box’ can be significantly cheaper for first-time or young drivers.
The second technological advancement is geared towards the business community and can improve the running of company cars, which is an excellent use for well-maintained used cars. The technology here is similar to that used in the ‘black box’ in that it uses telematics.
Vehicle tracking of company cars allows fleet managers to see detailed usage reports from drivers. Hardwired systems can also produce highly accurate fuel usage data which can lead to significant improvements in fuel efficiency.
These improvements come from analysing the driver’s behaviour behind the wheel and alerting them to actions which contribute to high fuel usage. These include speeding, engine idling and harsh actions such as acceleration, cornering and braking. Once drivers have been alerted to this behaviour and corrected, the fuel savings can be significant which is both beneficial to company finances and the environmental impact of vehicles.
Autonomous driving kits
The final piece of technology which can improve the running of used cars is a product that has been developed, and is still being developed, but could have huge implications. The number of new cars which are coming to the market which incorporate self-driving features is increasing each year. Companies are starting to offer kits which can be added to ‘any car’ and adapts the customer’s existing car into a ‘self-driving’ or autonomous vehicle.
Development of these systems is still needed, and there are still questions over the level of autonomy that is on offer from the packages which are advertising now. It is clear, however, that with the shift in motoring towards autonomy, kits which can adapt non-autonomous cars into self-driving ones will only become more popular. Once a system which is developed and proven to work and operate safely, the potential for the used car market is extraordinary.
Overall, these three systems, two of which are very accessible now, can make significant improvements to used cars for both businesses and consumers buying them for private use.