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Buying now can make a great deal of sense

08:40 29 July 2014

Line up a great deal if you buy a new or used car now ahead of the September plate change.

Line up a great deal if you buy a new or used car now ahead of the September plate change.

Andy Russell

If you don’t mind not having the latest registration plate, now is a good time to find some great deals on new and used cars, says motoring editor Andy Russell.

With the new 64 registration plate arriving on September 1 a lot of people will be thinking of changing their car.

And, with the new plate looming, I’ve just encouraged my sons to actually change their cars now as it makes a lot of sense.

Not everyone wants the latest registration plate on their new car. And it’s only for six months anyway now with the switch to the 15 plate in March next year. There used to be a time when the plate changed once a year in August so, if you got in at the very beginning, and you had a ‘new’ car for 12 months.

If you’re not too concerned about being bang up to date with the latest plate or, as many people do now, are going to put your personalised plate on it there are currently some great deals to be had on both new and used cars.

Dealerships are set volume targets on selling new cars and it’s in their interest to make sure they hit them. Admittedly, in the couple of months leading up to the plate changes in September and March, they are not going to be as high as the big-volume months but they are still targets.

So dealers often have cars in stock for immediate delivery – just have a look at some of the adverts in these motoring pages or online – with some attractive savings on list prices. And you might also get better finance deals or even some added extras thrown in for good measure.

It’s not just buyers of new cars who are able to reap the benefits of the looming new plate change looming with used buyers also able to take advantage of some good offers on the forecourts. Even if a dealership is not having an offical used car event to shift some metal, it’s worth going in to see what they can do for you.

With most cars now having three-year warranties, most personal contract purchase (PCP) finance deals running for 36 months and the new plate change months being big business for the motor trade, dealerships are looking to clear some of the used stock from their forecourts ahead of a surge in trade-ins of good, low-mileage cars. But they currently have good, low-mileage cars on their forecourts which will be another registration plate change older soon which will further reduce their value.

So back to my two sons who both took advantage of good deals on used cars – one picking up a fully-loaded ex-demonstrator at less than two-thirds of the new retail price and spreading the cost with a decent deposit and a PCP, the other getting a high-spec one-owner, three-year model on a three-year HP contract.

Great deals served up on a plate!

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