Car dealers around the country have pushed up their new car discounts by more than 10 per cent since February, offering buyers the chance to save thousands of pounds as they try to maintain sales in a struggling market.
Data from consumer title What Car? has revealed that dealerships are now offering cash savings worth £16.8 million as they try to counter falling registrations and industry uncertainty.
Analysis of the UK new car market by What Car?’s Target Price mystery shoppers found the average discount on a new car at the end of May stood at £2,595 – or 7.9 per cent off the average list price.
That is in the face of figures that show new car registrations have fallen 3.1 per cent so far this year, with the SMMT blaming economic and political uncertainty, confusion over low-emissions zones and the end of the Government’s grant for plug-in hybrids.
Rachael Prasher, managing director of What Car? said “Across the UK car market, we are seeing manufacturers slash cash prices by £16.8m. This isn’t manufacturers panicking or throwing in the towel, but using the basic economic rules of supply and demand to maintain sales volumes.”
Biggest brand discounts
- Citroen – 12.9%
- VW- 11.2%
- Seat – 11%
- Vauxhall – 10.6%
- Smart – 10.2%
- Mercedes – 8.9%
- BMW – 8.8%
- Audi -8.6%
- Mitsubishi – 8.5%
- Volvo – 8.4%
According to What Car?’s research, Citroen offers the best cash discounts across its model range, with an average of 12.9 per cent off the list price. Volkswagen and Seat dealers offer the second highest price reductions, at 11.2 per cent and 11 per cent off list prices, respectively.
However, discounts vary dramatically between models, with some being offered with up to a quarter off their standard price.
For example, you can save 24.6 per cent off the price of a Volkswagen Passat, a discount of more than £5,600. Vauxhall dealers are offering between 21 and 22 per cent off the Mokka and Astra, and premium brand Mercedes is discounting the SL400 by 21.3 per cent.
Savings also differ across different styles of cars, with less-popular body styles offering bigger price cuts.
10 biggest discounts
Make and model Discount Volkswagen Passat 1.5 TSI EVO 150 S saloon 24.6% Vauxhall Astra 1.0T ecoTEC SRi 5dr hatchback 21.8% Mercedes SL 400 AMG Line Premium 9G-Tronic 21.3% Vauxhall Mokka X 1.4T ecoTEC Elite 21.0% Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI 115 S 20.0% Vauxhall Corsa 1.4  Energy 3dr [AC] 19.9% Nissan Juke 19.5% Seat Leon 1.5 TSI EVO SE 5dr hatchback 18.6% Volkswagen Sharan 2.0 TDI SCR 150 SE Nav 17.5% Suzuki Baleno 1.0 Boosterjet SZ-T 17.3%
Estate cars, MPVs and luxury cars came with the highest discounts, at an average of 10.3 per cent across the three segments, while the typical discount on SUVs, hot hatches and sports cars were all below six per cent.
Prasher added: “The differences in discounts across sectors shows manufacturers are being tactical with their approach – offering larger cash reductions in areas with less demand, while keeping prices stable in sectors they know are popular and sell well.”