Friday 30 September 2016

How to get a good deal on a 161 plate - in a seller's market

Published 17/01/2016 | 02:30

It's still possible to get a good deal as long as you follow a few golden rules
It's still possible to get a good deal as long as you follow a few golden rules

It could be harder to drive a good deal when buying a car this month - because it is a seller's market.

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The number of new cars being sold is up almost 30pc over the last year - and many of the cars being snapped up are in the high end of the market. Sales of Audi in Ireland, for example, jumped by more than a fifth last year.

It's still possible to get a good deal when buying a car though - as long as you follow a few golden rules.

First, hold off until the end of January to go into a dealer as you're more likely to get a better price then, according to Padraic Deane, editor of motorshow.ie.

"Dealers want to sell the maximum number of cars and they are always happy to exceed targets - but they have only a certain capacity to stock second-hand cars," said Mr Deane. So, if you arrive at a dealer looking to trade in your car around now, he may not have the same appetite to do you a deal as he would when things are quieter - and he has fewer second-hand cars in stock. "Many dealers have a clog of second-hand cars at the moment and if a garage is already holding similar second-hand cars to the one you're looking to trade in, he won't have that much of an appetite to give you a good price," said Mr Deane.

Another reason you could find it easier to get a good deal on a 161 model in late January is timing.

"The current buying season started last October - and generally, that season will be over by mid-February," said Mr Deane. "Once the current season is over, people start thinking about the 162 plate."

Second, consider buying a Volkswagen. "Volkswagen is anxious to show that it is still one of the top selling cars - despite the recent emissions scandal," said Mr Deane. Volkswagen dealers may feel under pressure to sell more cars as a result - which could make them more inclined to offer you a good price.

Third, think about buying a pre-registered car. These are effectively brand new cars that are heavily discounted because they have already had one registered owner. However, the owner is usually the dealer. "A pre-registered car may have only been driven 100km," said Mr Deane.

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