Question: I just bought a new car. Should I say shehecheyanu? Does it matter that it is second hand?
Answer: The Mishna (Berachos 9:2) teaches that one recites a beracha upon hearing good news, building a new house or buying new items. According to the Gemara (Berachos 59b) one recites hatov vehametiv when others benefit from the good news or new items; otherwise, one says shehecheyanu (See Shulchan Aruch OC 222:1; 223:3, 5).
The Shulchan Aruch (OC 223:6) and Mishna Berura (223:13) explain that this only applies to items that are important and one is particularly happy about acquiring. The Shulchan Aruch (OC 223:3) writes that this applies equally to used items.
The Magen Avraham (223:5) notes that many people are not particular about this practice and the Shulchan Aruch Harav (Birchos Hanehenin 12:5) and Kaf Hachaim (OC 223:20) write that one only needs to recite shehecheyanu when buying new clothes. Nonetheless, R’ Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe OC 3:80) writes that one should recite shehecheyanu when buying a new car for oneself. When buying a family car, however, one should recite hatov vehametiv (See Rivevos Ephraim 1:375).
R’ Chaim Falagi (Lev Chaim 3:52) held that one buying something on finance does not recite a beracha as their simcha is diminished somewhat. R’ Eliezer Waldenberg (Tzitz Eliezer 12:19) however, disagrees, arguing that one even recites shehecheyanu when one is left a significant inheritance when one’s relative dies.
If the car needs servicing, one should wait until any repairs have been done before saying the beracha (See Mishna Berura 223:17).
In conclusion, one should say a beracha on buying a new car, regardless of whether it was used or bought on finance. If they were buying it for themselves, they should say shehecheyanu. If they were buying a family car, they should say hatov vehametiv.