Why it may suit your pocket to buy nearly-new car this month
Plenty of 'pre-reg' stock currently on the books
Pressure rises on dealers as 172-reg looms
Over a couple of days at the end of March, 8,500 new cars were registered.
Some, for sure, were for direct sale to buyers who had waited patiently for delivery.
But most - the vast majority, it is reckoned - were pre-registered.
In other words, they didn't necessarily have a buyer waiting to drive them away there and then.
Those cars were registered by/for dealers, and the prime purpose of the exercise was that the brand maintained market share and dealers met targets.
It is now widely practised, and accepted, that 'pre-regging', as it is called, is part and parcel of the strategy of doing business in a market that has narrowed real buying focus into two months or thereabouts at the start of the year and five weeks from July 1.
The bad news is that anyone who buys a new car early in the month - most pre-regging seems to kick in over the final week - may feel a bit let down after paying full price, only to see nearly-new versions being sold subsequently for a lot less .
But the good news - and the purpose of this article - is that the activity opens up the possibility for canny buyers to get a car with a good few thousand euro knocked off their 'new' selling price.
Make no mistake about it: these cars have zero or next-to-zero mileage.
They are mere elements in the strategy of acquiring or shielding market share for all concerned.
But if you are prepared to overlook the fact that, technically, and only technically, most have one previous owner (a dealer most likely), you could drive yourself a really decent bargain.
That can be the case especially at this time of year when dealers have a fair number of used cars - from nearly-new to ancient - to shift from their forecourts in the lead-up to 172-reg buying and selling.
In other words, prices, margins and timeframes may be squeezed just now - and you may benefit.
This is the ultimate case of balancing your options.
Against buying nearly-new are the obvious negatives, though the fact it is a one owner already will have no impact on its trade-in value down the line should you buy now.
But the car may not benefit from facelifts and the added spec that a newer version for 172-reg might have.
However, that won't be the case in many instances and, anyway, facelifts can be relatively minor.
The big thing in buying nearly-new favour is price. I know of examples where a person was thinking of buying a fresh, used car and with a bit of juggling was able to buy 'new'.
It really is a case of shopping around, doing your sums and seeing what you can work out.
Given the way the market has gone the last couple of months, it is fair to say you could save money and still have a 'new' car.
But it takes a bit of research. If you put in the hours, I think there are rewards to be reaped.