If you want a car that’s fresh off the production line, then there’s only one way to go: you need to buy new. Going down this path comes with a significant premium attached, as most cars will lose around half their value within the first three years on the road.
Fortunately, there are ways you can soften this blow. Let’s take a look at a few winning strategies for those looking into a new car purchase.
Time your Purchase
Certain times of year give buyers greater leverage over dealers, who have quotas to meet. Typically, you’ll want to buy out of season. Look for convertibles in winter, and big black off-road vehicles in summer. Look toward the back portion of any given quarter, as this is when the best deals will come into play – but don’t leave it too late, or they’ll be snapped up entirely.
Look at Pre-Reg
A pre-reg car, on paper, isn’t a new one. Technically speaking, it’s had one owner. This is because the dealer has bought the car and registered it to the dealership. This allows the dealer to meet their sales target by cheating, if only slightly. This is because of the strange incentives of car dealers, who are often paid more to hit sales targets than they are to sell any given car. Ask around for a pre-reg vehicle and you could net a substantial discount.
Factor in every cost
Looking only at the list price would be a big mistake. The cost of a car over its lifespan can often be significant. It’s important to look at every detail. If you’re buying on finance, then work out the cost of interest. Look at how much you’ll be paying in taxation, fuel and insurance. It’s also worth factoring in any known reliability issues. Certain brands are notorious for being unreliable, and they’ll cost you more in services and MOTs. If you’re doing a part-exchange, then make sure you get the best deal for your existing car by getting a free car valuation from a reputable dealership.
Look at models that hold their value
While all cars will depreciate a little bit, the effect is far more marked on some cars than others. According to polling by Autocar, the brand most resilient to depreciation is Mini, followed by Audi and Volkswagen. At the other end of the spectrum are Fiats, Peugeots and Skodas, whose brand is not quite so prestigious.