‘New cars often best deal financially’

A new investigation has found that pre-registered cars can actually end up costing the consumer more than a brand new car.

Following a report by the BBC that up to a fifth of the UK car market could be pre-registered vehicles, car-buying site www.carwow.co.uk decided to investigate how good a deal these cars really were.

Pre- or self-registered cars are cars that dealers register to themselves at the end of a month or quarter to help them hit targets. By law dealers must keep them for 90 days before selling onto their first ‘real’ owner. For the consumer, this means they can purchase a new car with only delivery mileage on the clock, that’s only 90 days old, for less than the outright cost of new models.

Carwow researched the top selling models of 2016 to uncover why not everyone rushes to buy pre-registered vehicles if they offer the best deal.  The site’s partner dealers provided it with quotes on the same specification of vehicle, comparing the monthly cost over a 36-month PCP agreement with a customer deposit of £1,500 of a pre-registered vehicle from 2016, with a new factory order placed on the same day through carwow.

The result was an average saving of £43 per month for consumers buying a brand-new car. Over a three year PCP agreement, that equates to more than £1,500.

For example, it found motorists paid £191 per month for a new Ford Fiesta compared to £233 for a pre-registered model; for VW Golf the difference was £237 compared to £298; while a new Vauxhall Astra Elite would cost £279 per month or £307 pre-registered.

James Hind, founder of www.carwow.co.uk, said, ‘It’s clear to see that new is often the best choice financially for those seeking their next car. Pre-registered vehicles have their limitations; firstly, there’s less choice. Buyers can only have what the dealer has got, meaning they may need to compromise on colour or specification.  Secondly, the chances are, they’re older vehicles.

‘Dealers will pre-register the oldest and cheapest cars on their forecourt first, meaning they’re often the oldest stock or the least desirable models. For those looking to order a new car, it’s clear they’ll get more for their money buying a new car than they would a pre-registered one.’