New registration plates have been out for just a month but dealers are selling ‘used’ 69-plate cars at up to 40% off
- There has been a flood of 69-plate cars coming onto the used market
- That’s despite the new number plate only being released on 1 September
- Dealers are pre-registering models in bulk to meet manufacturer targets
- They then sell these cars as second-hand vehicles at discounted rates
- BuyaCar listed 10 examples it has found with savings of 16% to 41%
Bagging a car with the latest registration plate is a major attraction for those who like to buy new motors – but despite the 69-plate arriving just a month ago, savvy buyers can get one ‘used’ at a big discount already.
Struggling dealers have been pre-registering new cars in bulk and selling them as used models in a bid to meet sales targets, it’s been revealed – and this means huge savings for buyers.
Some of these vehicles – all of which have the latest ’69’ plate available from 1 September – are being offered with discounts of up to 40 per cent, according to motor retail site BuyaCar.co.uk.
The biggest saving the car selling site found was for a luxurious £76,515 Audi A8 (pictured). You can get a 69-plate model S-Line diesel with £31,515 off, which is a 41 per cent discount
It said it has seen a wave of more than 500 cars on the new 69 plate appear on its website, which is unprecedented given that it’s only been out for a month.
While these cars are appearing on the second-hand market, they are essentially new vehicles, mostly with a handful of delivery miles on the clock.
This phenomenon of dealerships pre-registering cars to keep up with sales targets set by the manufacturers is not new, especially in September.
It is one of the two busiest months of the year (along with March, the other month when a new number plate is released), and manufacturers expect a spike in activity.
Dealers tend to have big sales offers and finance deals available as buyers look to get a new vehicle displaying the latest plate.
But it appears they did little to attract a flow of customers last month.
And that means that a string of popular cars are being offered at big discounts for those willing to go hunting for a ‘used’ car that’s all but new.
BuyaCar listed 10 examples of 69-plate models it has seen hitting the second-hand market with massive savings, despite being less than a month old
Month-old bargains: A flood of pre-registered cars with the 69-plate introduced on 1 September are already on the used market with huge discounts, like 17% off an Audi Q3
Austin Collins, managing director of BuyaCar, explained: ‘There have always been opportunities to buy the latest plate at a discount in the months following a new plate launch, but in the past year they have begun appearing much sooner.
‘The reason is that dealers make a substantial part of their profit from bonuses paid to them by manufacturers for meeting registration targets.
‘That means the dealer can often afford to heavily discount the screen price because they have already earned most of their money by putting the car on the road.
‘With an influx of pre-registered cars this soon after a new plate launch we expect the choice of bargains to grow substantially between now and the end of the year as dealers also come under pressure to store large volumes of stock and seek to clear them out.’
Dealers are selling nearly-new 69-plate Mazda 6 family cars with a fifth off the list price
Big or small: Huge savings can be found on the Land Rover Discovery (left) and VW Up (right)
Demand as a whole for new vehicles has been in decline in recent years, mainly caused by the slow demise of diesel and – especially now – the looming impact of Brexit on spending.
SMMT figures released on Friday showed car sales inched up just 1.3 per cent in September compared to a year earlier, even though that comparison was against a weak new registration plate month last year.
What it does mean is that those who are interested in buying a car can get the latest vehicles on the 69 plate at substantially cheaper prices.
Discounts ranging from 16 to 41 per cent were already available on a growing number of 69-plated models – only a month into the new plate season.
And BuyaCar says these bargains are likely to continue appearing, as dealers come under pressure to register enough cars to meet big sales targets near the end of the year and overcome the predicted dip in demand while Britain’s exit from the EU hangs over the nation’s head.
How about a capacious family MPV? You can get almost 22% off if you find a 69-plate pre-reg Seat Alhambra on the second-hand market
Practical or sporty: The Fiat Panda (left) and Audi TT (right) can be found as used models with a 69 number plate with 26% and 18% saving on the new list price
These tough times for dealers spell great opportunities for canny car buyers, though.
For instance, you can already get £4,660 off the price of an £18,355 Nissan Juke on the very newest plate – that’s a saving of a quarter.
The biggest proportional – and cash – saving the car selling site found was for a luxurious £76,515 Audi A8.
You can get a 69-plate model S-Line diesel with £31,515 off, which is a 41 per cent discount.