Real savings on new cars are on offer before September 2018 as dealers rush to clear stock that doesn’t meet new emissions rules.
Motorists can save more than a third in the “everything must go” sale, which analysts at online motor retail specialist BuyaCar.co.uk say is one of the biggest one-off discount events ever.
The price cuts affect large numbers of car manufacturers. Savings of several thousand pounds are available on cars made by Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Seat and Nissan.
These deals have been triggered by a new exhaust emissions test that comes into full force on September 1. From that date, every new car on sale should meet the new test standard. Until then, manufacturers are desperate to sell vehicles that were tested under the old system.
It means that the price of a brand new petrol-powered Seat Toledo family car has been cut by £7,550 – a 36 per cent discount. The deal, from BuyaCar.co.uk, the online car retailer, is only available until the end of the month, by which time the car must have been ordered and registered to its first owner.
Other manufacturers have already pre-registered cars to beat the deadline. Typically this means that a car dealership will be listed as the first owner, but they are otherwise little different to brand new models.
The influx of these cars is helping to push prices down: there are savings of more than £12,000 on a 2018 Jeep Cherokee with delivery mileage from BuyaCar.co.uk, while you can save more than a quarter on a pre-registered Ford Focus. These type of deals are expected to continue into the autumn, as the vehicles are technically used cars, and so the test deadline will no longer apply to them.
“There’s rarely been a better time to buy a new car,” said Austin Collins, managing director of BuyaCar.co.uk.
“It’s the automotive equivalent of reducing the price of food that’s approaching its best before date. On September 1, some of these cars cannot be sold as brand new models, meaning that consumers have the upper hand. You’ll miss out on the new ‘68’ number plate that will be fitted to all new cars from September 1, but savings of £5,000 or more should make up for that.”
Car manufacturers are reluctant to reveal exactly how many cars they need to sell before the end of September, and many are thought to have been quietly pre-registering models for several months, and then feeding them into the market. Despite the lack of publicity, this increased supply has been helping to push prices lower.
Philip Nothard, of Cox Automotive, which monitors the used car market on a continuous basis, said: “There’s been an increase in pre-registration activity in August, but there seems to be a feeling that some of it has already happened in May, June and July.”
Not every manufacturer is scrambling to sell cars, as many are taking advantage of a loophole that allows them to continue selling some older cars, which haven’t passed the new test, for up to a year after September 1.
They can apply for a derogation, allowing a certain proportion of older cars (up to ten per cent of their previous year’s sales) to be sold under this loophole, but the deals available suggest that this won’t be enough to clear all manufacturers’ stock.
The new EU emissions test is known as the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test (WLTP). The laboratory test sets limits for certain pollutants and is used to calculate a car’s fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions, providing more realistic mpg figures than before.
Below are some of the best August deals on new or pre-registered cars available for immediate delivery from BuyaCar.co.uk. Prices include a finance incentive.
Seat Toledo 1.0 TSI 110 Xcellence
Jeep Cherokee Limited M-Jet
Ford Focus Zetec Edition 1.0 EcoBoost 125
Toyota Aygo x-Play 5dr
Nissan Qashqai N-Connecta 1.5 dCi
Mercedes GLE 250d 4Matic AMG Night Edition
BMW 116d Sport
Vauxhall Grandland X SE 1.2
Audi A5 S Line 1.4 TFSI S Tronic
Citroen C3 Aircross Feel 1.2 PureTech