How to get the best deal on a nearly new car
March and September tend to be busy times for car showrooms as new car registrations come out on the first day of those months. We’ve already had the ‘17’ plate and drivers are now gearing up for the ‘67’ plate.
Simon Benson, director of motoring services at used car website AA Cars, said the arrival of new car registrations presents a great opportunity to pick up a nearly-new or used car at a reduced price.
“For every new car sold, more than three used cars change hands too so there are bargains to be had. In September dealers are keen to free up their forecourts to accommodate an influx of new stock so are often willing to part with ’17’ plates, for example, at a fraction of the price,” Benson said.
He added that a lot of the cars bought in September will be done so through part-exchange deals, which means that dealers will often have a glut of second hand stock allowing drivers to barter a good deal.
Further, given the regulatory changes on the horizon regarding diesel cars, it’s likely there will be diesel deals to be had. “If you’re looking to do high mileage, this might be the perfect opportunity to drive away with a bargain,” he said.
Another trick is to shop on a Friday as dealerships tend to be quieter, meaning salespeople will be more attentive and keen to move stock.
When it comes to the art of negotiating, it pays to have done your research. Benson said: “Shop around online and get a gauge for how much similar models and ages are going for – this will give you more leverage when haggling down a car’s cost.”
Buyers also need to think carefully about how they pay for the car. Benson explained: “Personal Contract Plans (or PCPs) have never been more popular because while they are complex, they provide an easy means of budgeting with affordable monthly payments. But, at the end of the term, you are likely to have to hand the car back unless you pay a final ‘balloon’ payment representing the residual value of the car; or you can start a new agreement.”
See YourMoney.com’s Buying a new car? The finance options explained for more information.
Paying from savings remains the most popular way of paying for a car, Benson said, and there are some competitive rates for personal loans, too. “You need to think carefully about how you pay for your car and make sure you compare offers from the dealer with the wider market,” he said.
However, if you are a cash buyer, keep this under wrap until you’ve negotiated a better price on a car. The salesperson may think you’re going to get a finance package which is why they may be willing to come down on the price, but you can turn it down later in the process.
If they’re playing hardball by refusing to go down on the price, you could always ask for free extras, such as a sunroof, tank of petrol or vehicle excise duty; if you don’t ask, you don’t get.