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Buying a new car? Expect a smaller discount

A boom in new car sales has meant the average saving to be had has dropped, according to consumer motoring magazine What Car.

The average markdown has decreased by £204 from £2,564 in 2014 to £2,360 in 2015. That means you can now expect to save 8.9 per cent on the list price compared with 10.14 per cent last year.

Record high car sales means the trend is likely to continue as high demand allows dealers to be more reserved in their potential discounts, the report warned, even though inflation fell below zero in the UK.

What Car editor Jim Holder said it was worth looking around for the best deal as it is still possible to save up to a fifth on a new ride. Estate cars, for instance, were 10.5 per cent cheaper on average, while executive models and luxury models could yield a saving of 11.14 and 12.67 percent, respectively. 

Holder said of the findings: “Dealers need to turn a profit and, while demand remains high due to strong consumer confidence, they feel able to stand firm.”

“A reduction in average discounts from £2564 to £2360 might not sound a lot, but it’s been a steady trend for a number of months now and consumers will have to get used to it. Our advice, as always, is to shop around and negotiate the best discount possible, not only in cash but in terms of options, too,” he added.

The analysis was carried out by What Car’s Target Price team. It looked at the average saving up to May 2015.

New car sales, which have risen for 39 consecutive months, have played a significant role in the UK’s economic recovery. Recently, however, the sales increase dropped to a modest 2.4 per cent in May 2015. While that may indicate things are levelling out, sales are still at a point last seen in 2005.

Buying a model that is about to be replaced is a great way to save money if you can stomach being behind the times. And never be afraid to haggle, folks, as 10 minutes of playing hardball could save you hundreds – maybe even thousands – of pounds.

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