New or Used Spa Pool – Which is Best? (Pros, Cons, Considerations, and More…)

Considering buying a second-hand spa pool? Wondering if a used spa is a good idea? This article describes what to look for in a used spa pool and provides you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

old or new spa hero

If you’re a budget-conscious buyer who is considering adding a spa pool into your home, buying used may seem like a financially-wise choice. Be aware though that it can be risky. Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of buying a second-hand spa.

What should you look for when buying a used spa?

Before you start shopping for second-hand spas, it pays to know what to look for so you can make sure you buy one that’s reliable, works well, and will last at least a few years.

Spas are often sold when they’re empty, not operating, and are bought in as-is condition. There are deals to be had with second-hand spas but they can be a risky purchase too if you don’t know what you’re looking for. So, before deciding to buy one, remember to consider the following:

  • The shell. Check if it is cracked or disintegrating. If this is the case, the spa is most likely not repairable or it will cost more than you paid to fix the shell.
Nitro spa shell

Nitro™ Spa Shell

  • The pumps. If the pumps are old, seized up, electrically malfunctioning, or leaking, you’ll have to spend money to address the issue. This will cost at minimum $399 for a circulation pump and up to $900 for a jet pump not including the technician's labour if required.
Spanet heat pump

SpaNet® heat pump

  • The heater. An old or damaged heater from poor water maintenance will require a new heater element which can cost up to $699 excluding technician labour.
  • The controller. Find out if it is defective and or is now obsolete. If the pumps are the heart of the spa, the controller is the brain. If it is defective, the spa will most likely be useless. If the controller is modern, then it most likely can be repaired which can cost up to $750 not including technician time. If it is an obsolete or aging controller, then a new controller will need to be purchased and fitted and this could run into a few thousand dollars.
spa controller
  • The base, frame, and/or cabinet. If they are cracked, rotten, warped or faded–they will be difficult and expensive to repair if even possible.
  • Plumbing. There is a chance that the plumbing could be damaged or broken causing a leak. If the spa is fully insulated, any leaks will be challenging to find and repair.
  • Jets. Inspect if they are not corroded and brittle. The use of high levels of bromine or not keeping the water balance correct causes the deterioration of plastic parts, including the jets. Many old jets are obsolete. This may not sound like a big issue, but if you cannot replace the jet face, you will need to replace the jet body, which is a big job.
hydrotherapy jets
  • Spa Cover. If the spa cover is nearly seven years old, it will most likely be water-logged and this will not only make the cover heavy and hard to handle–it also transfers heat out through the cover which will increase your heating costs. Depending on the size, a new swim spa cover can cost up to $1,600 and a portable cover would average around $699.
Spa with cover

For more information about what you need to know when buying a spa pool, this article is a comprehensive resource that can help you.

What are the pros and cons of buying second-hand spas?

Weighing up the pros and cons is always a good place to start with any big purchase. That's no different when comparing used and new spas. We've covered the pros and cons of new vs. second-hand spas below.


  • Save Money

With a second-hand spa, you get a more affordable option for your spa needs. Buying a used spa pool can easily save you thousands of dollars. If you are fortunate, you might find a spa that’s in reasonably good condition and has been properly maintained.

Check this article on what to look for when choosing who to buy a spa from and what to look for in a spa store.

  • No Wait Time

You are unlikely to be waiting for stock to arrive when you buy second-hand. Most second-hand spas are ready to go as soon as you buy them.


Sometimes when a spa comes with a drastically lower price tag than a new unit, a used one can be really tempting. However, before you start to look around for the best deals on used spas, take a moment to think about the trade-offs such as the following.

  • Running Costs

Second-hand spas with older parts could cost a lot more to run than their modern energy-efficient counterparts.

  • Replacement Parts

We often have people who have purchased second-hand spas off of GumTree or eBay contact our parts department looking for parts and services for their second-hand spas.

If you've purchased an older spa then it will have older parts and, depending on the brand, you may struggle to find replacement parts - especially if the brand has gone out of business.

  • High Maintenance

Depending on the age of your spa or how well it's been cared for it could require more maintenance to keep the water clean and clear as the filtration system, pipes and parts may be older and not up to the standard of new systems which are designed to require very little maintenance and use less sanitiser.

  • DIY Delivery

If you buy second-hand and not from a business, then you'll need to organise your own spa delivery and installation. This could mean paying for professional help to move it.

  • Expired/Voided Warranties

If you purchase a used spa pool, you shouldn't count on having any warranty. A standard spa warranty lasts for several years but might be voided if the spa is sold or transferred to another person. Unless you buy a used, genuine spa pool from a reputable retailer, you will almost certainly not get any kind of warranty.

Since most second-hand spa pools will most likely be sold as-is, if there are issues with the unit, you may end up spending more than what you thought you have saved. Without a service plan or warranty from a dealer, you will have to handle the maintenance and repair costs that might be incurred.

  • Unknown Usage History

One of the major problems that you will face with buying a used spa pool is not knowing what damage and problems it may have.

What is the age of the pool? The older the pool is, the higher the chance that it has some issues. Is the pool well maintained? A pool that is poorly maintained will not last as long as a pool that is well taken care of.

There might be water damage to the pool or cracks, leaks, mould growth, electrical problems, etc. This means there might be repairs, cleaning, and maintenance on the spa pool which will cost money.

  • Performance

You could find that along with higher running costs, your second-hand spa may not perform as well as it did when new due to age and how it was used and maintained. A common issue with older used spas is the motors can be quite noisy compared with new models. Keep this in mind when deciding where to place your second-hand spas – such as keeping it away from bedrooms and home offices.

How much does a second-hand or used spa cost in New Zealand?

We’ve scoured through ecommerce platforms and retail store websites that sell second-hand spas to get information on how much second-hand spa pools typically cost, and we’ve found that prices range from as low as $1,000 to as much as $13,000. Prices are determined by several factors such as the spa pool’s brand and model, as well as its age, size, condition, quality, and warranty. Where you are buying it from also affects the price – is it from a spa owner who just wants to get rid of it or from a store that needs to make a profit? Here are some samples of second-hand spas with different prices and the description that comes with them so you could get a general idea of what options there are:





ListingFacebook MarketplaceTrade MeTrade Me
UnitNot indicatedPassion Renew (3-seater)Hot Spring Excursion Premier (5-seater)
DescriptionHave upgraded so out it goes. Needs a good clean. Near new cover. Lounger seat arrangement. Some jet covers need silicone to reafix but only if you’re fussy. No leaks. Extra insulation has been stuffed around pool shell which makes it a lot cheaper to maintain heat levels.2 years old & excellent condition . 40 massage jets Hybrid heating Capacity: 850L Ozone Water System Set of stairs, cover lifter and chemicals included. Pick up Whitianga. An amazing sized family pool. This is one of the top pools in the Hot Spring make in the Freeflow Range. Multi-color LED light system 1960mm x 2180mm x 840mm 2 Speed Powerful booster pump Ozone - Fresh Water III 1103 liters 5x Seater All heats up to 40c and everything functions like it should. Small bumps/marks etc to be expected… as it is used.

The above are just samples of how second-hand spa pools can cost. Always remember to do proper due diligence before proceeding with any purchase. Please also ensure to have any spa unit you buy to be tested and tagged by an indepenedent qualified electrician to New Zealand’s safety standards.

Watch: Why a new spa is better than our used spa

Should I buy a second-hand spa or a new spa pool?

Of course, we sell new spa pools so we would always advise buying new if you can afford it.

You can see from the pros and cons listed above that there are not many pros to buying second-hand compared with the peace of mind and confidence that comes with owning a brand-new spa pool.

Voided warranties, faulty parts, difficulty getting replacement parts, poor energy efficiency, and noisy motors are just some of the problems you could face if you buy a used spa.

However, we also know that everyone’s circumstances and needs are different so, while you may want a new spa, it’s not always possible.

In these cases, we would say – sure, buy a second-hand spa but, do your research. Make sure you know what to look for and what to avoid, so you aren’t spending money on something that could cause you headaches in the future.

Have a look at the tips above, and also read this article on what to look for when buying a spa pool, so you have a good idea of the most important parts of a spa and how to tell if it’s good quality or not.

Depending on who you buy from, your used spa may come with a warranty – albeit limited. If not, you could also ask the seller if they would provide you with a written guarantee that you could return it and get a refund should anything go wrong. It’s worth a shot!

Budget-wise, if you can find a spa that is in great working condition with a warranty, then it could be a great option for you and start you on your spa ownership journey a lot sooner than if you had to save up for a new one.

Remember too, many retailers offer finance on new spas, so while you may not be afford a new spa right now – with low-interest finance or Interest-Free (ZIP) you could own and enjoy your brand new spa while you pay it off.

Who sells second-hand or used spas in New Zealand?

If you are thinking about buying a used spa pool, you can find listings on eBay, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, or Trade Me.

If you’re after a lower-priced spa, Spa World™ has a number of spas listed on the clearance section of its website. These spas are either ‘like new’ (they may have a scratch, dent, or a demonstration model) or they could be second-hand spas. Availability will vary depending on what state you live in.

As mentioned above, you could also buy a new spa with low-interest finance or Interest-Free (ZIP), which would allow you to own a spa today and pay it off over time.

In Summary

Now that you know what to look out for and what to avoid when buying a second-hand spa, you can now make the decision between purchasing a new or used spa.

Also, remember that although used spas can be cheaper, they may not always be the best choice, especially with the risks at stake. You may find that you are better off buying a brand new spa using low-interest finance or Interest-Free (ZIP) so you can buy a new spa but spread the cost over one or two years, with a full warranty, ongoing technical support, and much less risk.

If you’re after a cheaper or low-cost spa–no problem. Spa World™ often has items on clearance or returned stock available. Be sure to check with your local retail branch as it varies from store to store. Check our store locations here to find your nearest Spa World™.

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