Decision time ahead: get a good deal now or wait until July
THE dilemma facing many motorists is whether they should buy now or wait until July.
Independent Motors has had a sizeable number of people asking what is best to do.
It all boils down to money – and value for it – in the short and long term.
Undoubtedly the landscape changed once April dawned: just three months to a new 142-reg plate. That has already and conclusively made up many people's minds.
However, the business can't just shut down for that length of time.
So there are, and will be, deals (one of which is outlined below). Therefore potential buyers, who haven't yet finally decided and are open to persuasion, have some or all of the following to consider.
* You will get a deal which may not be repeated in July when there will be a glut of sales.
* Still only three-and-a-bit months gone. If you get a car, especially an updated model/version that has arrived since January, for a couple of thousand less that is good business.
* You get nearly nine months' driving out a 'new' car – as opposed to six months if you buy in July.
* Your July trade-in may not be worth altogether as much as it is now because it will be three months older.
BUY IN JULY
* There will be deals – and good ones – as manufacturers compete fiercely for the last great chance to rack up sales in 2014. There was a massive spike in sales last July.
* You get a brand new 142-reg and its ultimate residual value may be a bit higher than its 141-reg counterpart.
* There will be newer versions/models of existing lines that will likely have more equipment and represent better value overall.
* You have much more time to ensure you get the colour and spec of car you want. You can also shop around and bargain.
There are no hard and fast conclusions to be drawn because each person's case is different but local deals could sway the decision one way or the other.
Last year I heard of cases where dealers told long-time customers to wait because they had new versions coming and – importantly – would have a buyer lined up for their trade-in.
So far this month, rentals have pushed up registrations so it is impossible to say how many private purchases there have been.
But there are soundings of new deals to keep those new-car sales figures ticking over.
Among the drives to get customers will be a swappage deal from one of the big names.
The Ford deal is targeted at getting owners of cars that are aged between six and 10 years old into a new motor (Fiesta, Focus, B-MAX or C-MAX).
There will be a cash incentive on top of trade-in allowance.
Expect more over the coming weeks.