Timing is everything when it comes to bagging a great deal on a new car. Seasonal factors can influence how much you pay - sometimes to the tune of thousands of pounds. Here we look at the best times to buy a new vehicle in the UK.
Autumn and winter is probably the worst time to buy an SUV or off-roader because the bad weather increases demand - and therefore prices. You could make big savings by buying in the summer months.
Equally, convertible sales are low in winter, for obvious reasons. As such, you could walk away with a bargain if you buy your drop-top in winter.
Models replaced with ‘facelifted’ versions
Carmakers periodically update the look of their models. You could save a large sum if you find out when these 'facelifts' are due, then visit the showroom and ask for a discount on the outgoing version (sometimes called a 'run-out' model). If having the latest model isn’t important to you, you could save hundreds.
The end of June and December
Dealerships have sales targets to meet every quarter, which means they may be more willing to give you a discount as these deadlines approach. The ends of June and December are when salespeople really want to improve sales figures - so drop by your dealership then.
It’s also worth noting that some sales staff will accept a loss on a sale if it means they get their sales bonus for a particular period, so it’s always worth driving a hard bargain.
Delay purchases of 'buzz' models
When a new model comes out there can be a lot of consumer excitement, which usually means less leeway on discounts. If you wait a few months after launch, you might be able to wrangle a better deal.
Before the number plates change
The trend of bagging cars with new number plates in March and September means you can get some great deals in the preceding months - February and August - when demand dips. For the sake of having last year's registration, you could have hundreds of extra pounds in your pocket.
Take advantage of weekly targets
Salespeople have weekly targets, so dropping by on a Friday can make it easier to land a better deal. Weekdays are also slower in general, making sales staff extra keen.
Sudden changes in buying behaviour
Try to keep an eye on general events within the motor industry, as these can influence prices. For example, when new diesel charges have been introduced (surcharges, parking fees and taxes), forecourt prices on diesel cars have gone down.