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10 Reasons Why Buying a Gently Used Car is Better Than Driving One Off the Showroom

10 Reasons Why Buying a Gently Used Car is Better Than Driving One Off the Showroom

It seems like, from when Adam was a lad, Bajans (and the rest of the Caribbean really) were trying to figure out if to buy a brand-new car fresh off the showroom floor or go for a used (often japanese) imported vehicle.

Barbados and a few other territories were a bit unique though, because we focused on what was called the “Reconditioned Cars”. So, dealers were basically importing damaged cars, fixing them up and marketing them for sale just as if nothing had happened. 

Was this Good or Bad? Well, in my opinion, it’s just where the industry was at the time.

We came into the space well after this trend was on serious decline btw 😅 and never practiced this ourselves. 

Nowadays, there are tons of controls put in place from Exporter countries like UK and Japan and some import controls from Barbados that make it way harder to do stuff like this. However some Barbados Used Car Dealers  still do this so BEWARE!

Fortunately, I’ve been told that some consumer protection laws are soon to be put in place to better regulate the imported used car space here in Barbados and the offering to customers. 

So back to the question at hand… 

In 2024, Is it better to buy gently used or new from the Showroom floor?

And the answer is, it really depends on YOU. Thought I was gonna say buy from me right? 😂

Well I’m not that kinda guy. But I’ll give you a few things to consider…

1. Depreciation will hit you for 6 and then some: If you buy brand new from a showroom, be prepared to lose 20-30% of your vehicle resale value immediately. Yep, that’s right. It means if you think you’ve made a mistake on your vehicle choice, even if you paid cash and have no loan and no interest, you’re still in the hole for at least 20% and at most 30% of what you paid for that vehicle. However, with a gently used vehicle (from QV Motors of course) , our vehicles are already valued with this this 20%-30% depreciation, along with any additional 10%-12% for each subsequent year old the vehicle is. It means you’re getting the car at True Price and NOT Show Room Price, so when you’re ready to sell you’ll get much closer to what you paid.

2. Save Big on Car Insurance: Generally, insurance premiums for used cars are lower than those for new cars. Since the value of a used car is lower than that of a new one, insurance companies often charge lower premiums, helping you save alot of money in the long run.

3. Your Dollar Goes Way Further: With the same budget, you can often afford a higher trim level or a better-equipped model if you opt for a used car instead of a new one. Just look at the Suzuki Swift. You can get a gently used Swift Sport from us for the price of a basic key start swift from the Showroom. Gently used means you can enjoy more features, amenities, and luxury options without stretching your budget with a Showroom Car.

4. Proven Reliability: Thanks to consumer reviews, reliability ratings, and vehicle history reports, it’s easier than ever to research the reliability of specific used car models. By choosing a model with a proven track record of reliability, you can have greater peace of mind about your purchase. Also parts are cheaper because gently used cars have been in the market longer and many auto parts stores supply their main parts forcing the price down. Expect to pay sometimes 100% more for a car part from a Showroom car.

5. Wider Selection: When buying a gently used car, like a suzuki swift you’re not limited to the latest model year or what’s currently available in dealerships. For instance you can get an standard XG, XL, Hybrid, RS, Hybrid RS, and even Sport model which is much more range than just going to a Showroom dealership… We heard that they’re even still selling key start vehicles to customers in 2024.. Could you believe it? 🤣

6. Environmentally Friendly: I mean, only if it’s your thing… but going for a gently used car instead of a new Showroom one helps reduce the environmental impact associated with manufacturing and disposing of new vehicles. By extending the lifespan of existing cars, you contribute to sustainability efforts by reducing the demand for new car production. We only have one world right?

And Here’s the BIG ONE.


This is my opinion, but its a strong and valid one. Balloon payments are one of the most dangerous financial products I have ever seen. What is it really? In a nutshell a brand new vehicle dealer will encourage clients to defer a large % of payment towards the end of their vehicle purchase. Its usually 20% to 30%. Sounds familiar? Yes because that 20% to 30% is the immediate depreciation you’ll be hit with when you drive that car out the showroom. It allows them to “match” your monthly payment with the monthly payment if you got a gently used car. 

However this is dangerous.

At the end of the financing period, you will find yourself with a $30k bill which might even be more than your vehicle is worth at the end of a 10 year financing period. Then you’ll have to refinance that AND get a new vehicle. Balloon payments are the revolving Grinch that keeps stealing Christmas. 


In conclusion, while a brand-new Showroom Car might be tempting, it has its very clear drawbacks from Depreciation, Sky High Insurance, Less Features for Money, Smaller Choice Range and the Danger of a Balloon Payment Deals being pushed on unsuspecting purchasers.

I go gently used every single time, and maybe so should you.

Justin QV.