Days of discounted cars numbered

Want to save thousands on your next new car? Time’s running out, according to one of the UK’s biggest car-buying brand, What Car?.

For several years, motorists have enjoyed a buyer’s market in the UK, with manufacturers regularly offering discounts of up to 20% or more.

But a surge in demand for new cars, which culminated in new car sales hitting a 10-year high in 2014, has resulted in car makers and dealers slashing the savings on offer to customers.

Data analysed by What Car?’s target price team, which provides buyers with the level of discount available across hundreds of new models, shows that the average discount achievable at the end of February was 9.4%, compared with 10.3% just six months ago.

What Car? editor, Jim Holder, said, ‘We have always encouraged buyers to haggle to get a good deal, but buyers should be aware that it’s going to become much harder to come away with a substantial discount in the coming months.

‘There are still some sectors, such as executive and luxury cars, where a good deal can be negotiated, but the signs from some of the most popular segments of the market show that manufacturers are starting to stand firmer on their prices.

‘We’ll undoubtedly see customers weaned off generous buyer incentives as dealers become emboldened by continued strong demand.’

The largest reductions are negotiable on executive, luxury and open top models, which have actually seen month-on-month average discounts increase by 0.7%.

Meanwhile, cars from the small cars and SUV sectors are having less generous reductions, with discounts falling from 8.9% to 7.6% and 7.9% to 7.1% respectively.

Volvo is the UK’s biggest discounter, offering an average of 14.7% off its models, followed by Renault (13.6%) and BMW (13.2%).

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