AMID all the doom and gloom, thousands of people will still buy a new car this month. We'll have to see just how many because this week marks the start of a journey into the great unknown against a grim economic backdrop.
For those who have, or can afford, to purchase a motor there has not been such a good opportunity to really drive a bargain.
And that applies whether it is a new Porsche 911 (pictured right) or bargain basement Dacia Sandero (main picture, and due to be unveiled here on Monday).
Keen competition for vital market share – and for survival perhaps in some instances – means buyers are in extremely strong positions.
They don't need to be told to shop around because access to all sorts of media means you can compare and contrast quite easily.
So my humble advice to you now is to:
• Get your figures right and don't stretch yourself financially. Sounds obvious, but it is easy to spend three or four thousand more than you intended or can afford.
• Regardless of what deals you are getting, check out the dealer. Yes, that means putting in some legwork but you need to assess what sort of back-up and support is in place should things not go well with your new, or newer, purchase.
This is a facet we so often overlook but we have stories coming in to us all the time of garages either bending over backwards to help or some not really that bothered. Which would you want?
• Don't spend thousands more on a diesel if you are doing small mileage. A small petrol will do. Your lower running costs will take a long, long time to bridge the gap.
Finally, don't forget you have a 'second' chance to buy a 13-reg in July under the new registration plan – 131 for January to the end of June and 132 from July 1.