It’s a buyers market for cars

It’s a buyers market for cars

As car dealers attempt to fuel sales with substantial discounts and offers, now could be one of the best times to buy a new or used car. esure car insurance gives advice to motorists on what to watch out for and how to get the best deal on the forecourt.

According to new research by esure, an estimated 4 million1 Brits (12 per cent) are currently considering a car purchase and many may see the launch of the new ‘09′ registration plate on 1 March as an opportunity to get a good deal on a new, used or pre-registered car. Being such a substantial purchase, it’s crucial for motorists to do their homework and review their options before signing on the dotted line of a finance contract or sales order.

esure offers motorists looking to buy a new or used car some money saving tips:

Always haggle down the price:
Surprisingly only two thirds (68 per cent) of motorists questioned2 admitted they would bargain down the price tag of a new or used car. It’s a buyer’s market due to the recent fall in demand coupled with an over-supply of vehicles - so salespeople will be ready to barter. In fact, according to SMMT figures3 there was a further 31 per cent decline in new car sales in January. Start with a low offer price and be prepared to walk away - it’s more than likely you’ll be followed!

Research finance options:
Motorists could be left out of pocket by not researching which type of finance options suit their circumstances best and failing to compare APRs. Alarmingly, 68 per cent of motorists surveyed2 said they don’t do any research at all on finance deals available to them when buying a car.

Never walk into a dealership solely drawn by a 0 per cent finance offer:
Potential buyers shouldn’t assume that they are eligible for dealer finance. It is subject to acceptance criteria which includes a person’s credit history and level of debt.

Get an insurance quote before signing on the dotted line:
Motorists may be enticed by deals offered on higher-performance cars or upgraded models but before putting a deposit down they should check if their insurance premium is affordable and that they are still insurable. Surprisingly, a quarter (24 per cent) of motorists surveyed2 wouldn’t get an insurance quote before making a new car purchase.

Consider a manufacturer’s financial stability:
The collapse of a motor manufacturer can have a knock-on affect on a car’s re-sale value plus the availability of vehicle parts - these factors should be carefully considered by potential buyers. For example, in the event of an accident, motorists may find that their car has more chance of being written-off for relatively minor damage as parts become difficult to source.

Sell your car privately rather than part-exchange:
Motorists may take less of a hit from the slump in used car prices by selling their car privately. Although 40 per cent4 of motorists polled admitted that they wouldn’t want the hassle of having to sell their car privately, it can reap financial rewards by planning ahead and taking time to market the vehicle.

Consider pre-registered rather than brand new:
Pre-registration is a common practice and can help motorists secure big discounts on new cars. The car is registered in a supplier’s name first and the private buyer becomes the second owner of the car. However, the vehicle is effectively brand new - the price is only lower due to these administrative differences.

Don’t just shop at a main dealer:
Consider all options available such as buying from a car auction; approaching private vendors via online sites, magazines (such as Autotrader) and classified ads; and even car swapping amongst friends and colleagues.

Watch out for new Government initiatives:
Ministers are currently looking at introducing a ‘scrapping incentive scheme’5 where motorists will be offered up to £2000 to scrap cars over nine years old. This may be worth holding out for.

Mike Pickard, Head of Risk and Underwriting at esure car insurance, said: “With a recent fall in demand for new cars crippling the car manufacturing industry and a slide in the value of the used car market, now could be one of the best times to buy a car. Discounted prices, cashback offers, 0 per cent finance deals, the reduction in VAT and even buy one get one free offers at some dealerships are there to entice motorists to part with their cash.

With many drivers considering a change in car, whether it’s bargaining on the forecourt or shopping around for the right finance and insurance deal, spending an hour or two researching the options available could make a real difference to your wallet - particularly in such a strong buyers’ market.”

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