Make the most of new car registration discounts


Big discounts available ahead of September’s new registration

  • £14,153 off a BMW Activehybrid 7 SE or £7208 off a Volvo S80 2.0 D4 SE Lux S/S
  • What Car?’s tips to ensure you don’t pay a penny more than you have to


New car buyers can negotiate some stunning discounts as manufacturers rush to record sales ahead of September’s registration plate change; however, eager buyers are being warned by What Car? not to let their enthusiasm ruin a great deal.

September heralds one of the busiest months of the year for new car sales, thanks to the arrival of the new ‘65’ plate. In September 2014, 425,861* new cars were registered, a rise of 5.6%** on the same month in 2013. In total, UK car sales have now risen for 41 consecutive months as the economy rebounds.

The unique What Car? Target Price team reveals that substantial discounts are still available on new cars – the biggest current discounts available are £14,153 off a BMW Activehybrid 7 SE or £7208 off a Volvo S80 2.0 D4 SE Lux S/S. You could also save £6501 on a Mercedes-Benz SLK 250 CDI.

However, the UK’s biggest car-buying brand, What Car?, is also urging eager buyers to hold their nerves in negotiations with dealership salesmen in order to secure the best prices. editor, Jim Holder, said: “The temptation for buyers is to rush into the dealership as soon as the new registration arrives but there are some things they should be aware of before committing to a deal.

“While dealers will naturally try and capitalise on the arrival of the new reg plate in September, there’s no reason to think that large discounts shouldn’t be available. At What Car? we mystery shop dealers of every make and publish the highest prices you should really pay – and our Target Price figures suggest there are some bargains to be had if you haggle well.

“The key is to do your research before you set foot in the dealership, and to drive a hard bargain every step of the way. If you know what you want and what you should pay, it’s you who should be celebrating harder than the salesman.”

Advice from includes:

  • Always consult What Car?’s Target Price research before you visit a dealer – and remember it is the most you should pay for your new car. Try to negotiate lower; if the dealer won’t budge then give us a call
  • Finance commission is a major source of income for dealers. Some will give away all their profit on a car but still make money through the finance deal. Get a written finance quote, check the APR and shop around for the best deal from other finance companies
  • When a salesman asks how much you would like to pay per month, always keep quiet. Just ask for the best price possible and shop around at other dealers, so you can compare prices
  • A salesman will also often claim that he has to go away and check a deal with his sales manager. This is normally a ruse to blunt your attempts to negotiate. Ask politely to deal directly with the decision maker
  • Don’t be fooled in to thinking the manager is on your side. They will often appear to overrule salesmen with ‘one-day only’ prices and by raising a trade-in value, but neither of these decisions are likely to be to your ultimate benefit
  • Sometimes the dealers will make more money on add-on sales than for the actual car. So think carefully before committing to special paint treatments, GAP insurance and the suchlike
  • Don’t let the dealer scrabble back some of your savings elsewhere; insist the car is delivered with a full tank of fuel and car mats, for example
  • Watch that you don’t lose some of your hard-earned savings by getting a lower than expected price for your trade-in. Agree a price for your trade-in separately, if possible. Be resolute every step of the way

Latest What Car? Target Price research indicates the largest average savings by sector can currently be found in Luxury with savings of 12.35% or £9226, then Executive, with average savings of 10.59% or £3843, and finally Estate with average savings of 10.20% or £2789.

Latest deals from the What Car? Target Price team

Segment Car List
City car Fiat Panda 1.2 Pop £9375 £7839 £1536
Small cars Citroën C3 1.0 PureTech 68 VT £11,075 £8995 £2080
Family cars Renault Mégane 1.2 TCe 115 GT Line S/S 5dr hatchback £20,070 £15,601 £4469
Executive cars Volvo S80 2.0 D4 SE Lux S/S £33,720 £26,512 £7208
Luxury cars BMW Activehybrid 7 SE £66,200 £52,047 £14,153
Estates Volvo V70 2.0 D3 SE Nav S/S £31,620 £24,698 £6922
MPVs Renault Grand Scenic 1.5 dCi 110 Dynamique Nav £22,615 £17,561 £5054
Small SUVs Peugeot 3008 1.6 VTi 120 Active £19,250 £15,835 £3415
Large SUVs Mitsubishi Outlander 2.0 PHEV GX3h £33,304 £26,188 £7116
Coupés Renault Mégane 1.5 dCi 110 Dynamique TomTom S/S coupé £20,945 £16,275 £4670
Convertibles Mercedes-Benz SLK 250 CDI £33,150 £26,649 £6501
Hot Hatches & SportsHot hatches Renault Mégane 2.0T Renaultsport 265 coupé £25,935 £22,265 £3670

Please visit for more information on Target Price data and car-buying advice, or call the Target Price team on 0845 527 6394.