Car buyers looking for a bargain could save as much as £6,300 on new models as dealers look to make sales ahead of the March number plate change.
A new mystery shopper study has found discounts of up to 16% on some brand new models, including Britain’s best-selling car of 2022 - the Nissan Qashqai - and models from desirable brands such as BMW and Volkswagen.
Despite supply chain issues and rising costs for car makers and sellers, the study found there are still deals to be made on factory order models ahead of the launch of the ‘23’ registration mark, as well as finance deals offering savings over cash purchases.
On average, the What Car? study found cash savings of 4%, or £1,875 per car, but it also found far larger reductions on some models. The biggest saving uncovered was a cash discount of 16.7%, or £6,332 on the on-the-road price of the Volkswagen Arteon 1.5 TSI R Line Fastback. That brought the price of the high-end model down to £32,488.
Close behind was the ever-popular Nissan Qashqai. Despite being the most registered car in Britain last year, dealers are still willing to offer big discounts on factory orders of some versions, with £4,120 (14.3%) off the Qashqai 1.3 DiG-T Acenta Premium taking its price to £24,885.
Two more Nissans also made it into What Car?’s list of the 12 biggest discounts, with up to £3,815 (13.2%) off the price of the all-electric Leaf, bringing the cost of a 110kW Acenta 39kWh model down to £25,180. There are similar savings on the Juke crossover, where buyers can get up to £3,183 off a 1.6 Hybrid N-Connecta Auto.
The BMW 4 Series is one the most expensive models on the list, starting life at £48,100. However, a discount of almost 10% knocks £4,413 off the price of a 420i M Sport Convertible, bringing it down to £43,687.
What Car?’s Target Price mystery shoppers also found some models bought via Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) finance can end up costing buyers less than if bought it outright with cash, thanks to generous deposit contributions from manufacturers.
For example, buyers opting for a Fiat 500 1.0 Mild Hybrid can save 7.3% on the list price when buying via PCP finance, thanks to a £2,900 deposit contribution from dealers. And the Ford Ecosport 1.0 Ecoboost 125 Titanium is available with a 4.8% saving over the list price, thanks to a £1,250 deposit contribution.
What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: “The March plate-change is typically the busiest time for the industry, and even with high energy costs for manufacturers, it’s clear there are some great offers to be had on popular new models.
“After months of limited discounts in the face of short supply, it’s great to see a buyer’s market returning. What Car?’s Target Price team constantly mystery shops the market to keep track of the latest discounts and highlight them to Britain’s car buyers.”