4th March 2020 - Shane Ennis
Savvy shopping tips to help you save money when buying a new or used car.
If you want to save some money on the cost of buying a new or new-to-you car, we have some savvy shopping tips to help you do so. From hitting the showrooms at certain times of the year, buying off-season and opting for an ex-demo or pre-reg model we’ve got the insider advice to help you save big and drive a bargain.
When buying a car in Ireland, timing is key. You can actually save money by choosing your shopping day and month wisely.
If you are looking to buy a convertible, these are highly desirable in the summer months. Demand drives up prices. However, if you are looking for a bargain, shop for your droptop in the winter months.
Same goes for buying a 4×4. These are more sought after in the winter months, so shopping during the summer months could save you money. Seasonal factors affect the car trade, much like in fashion.
Picking the right month to shop can also help you negotiate some money off the price. In general, dealerships usually see slower sales of new cars in May and June and November and December. This is because buyers are usually holding off for the new registration period. Therefore, hitting the showrooms during these months will work in your favour as dealers will be looking to hit targets and get rid of old stock.
If you can make it to the dealerships on a weekday this may also work out in your favour as there is less of a demand than on the weekends.
Another key time for dealers to sell off stock and hit sales targets is at the end of each quarter, so, again, this is a good time to shop and negotiate a deal. As is the last day in January, as dealers try to reach their first month’s target and their much needed post-Christmas bonuses.
The last selling day in June and December are also great dates to nab a bargain as this is the last day of the registration period. Dealers need to shift stock to make way for newly registered cars.
But whatever you do, don’t feel pressured into buying a car. The best time to buy is when you are ready, but hopefully, the above advice will help you when you are ready to part with your money.
To hit sales targets, dealers and carmakers sometimes sell cars to themselves and register the cars in their name. The cars often just sit in the dealership but technically they will have ‘one previous owner’. These are the cars that should be snapped up as you can save up to 17% compared to the price of a new version.
When cars have been pre-registered, they will sometimes be used as demo or tester cars. Usually, these cars are full of bells and whistles and top specification so the dealers can use them to show potential customers all the features of the car. These cars are also used for customer test drives. As these demonstration models are used to drive sales, they are very well cared for and looked after. However, if there are any blemishes you can use these as a bargaining tool.
When the car is no longer needed as a tester car, it becomes an ex-demo model. Most ex-demo cars will have been used for around three to six months and will have mileage on the clock – anything from 300km to 10,000km. Therefore, when it comes to buying an ex-demo car, you should be able to get a hefty discount. Just bear in mind that the manufacturer’s warranty starts when the car is registered. Therefore, if the ex-demo car is six months old it is already six months into its warranty. Use this as a bargaining tool.
Ex-demo cars can have as much as €4,000 knocked off the price of a brand new model and are an excellent way of getting into a nearly-new, well-specced car at a very good price.
New models of cars are introduced to the market every year. As people are always drawn to the shiny and new, buying one of the older models – the run-out model – is a great way to save some cash, especially is the seller has lots of the old models to shift before the one arrives.
For 2020, new models on the way include the Hyundai i10, Renault Zoe, SEAT Leon and Volkswagen Golf, but a quick online search will tell you all the new models on the way.
No, not on your 21st birthday, but the right car age. As soon as you drive a new car out of the showroom, its value depreciates by thousands of euros . When the car reaches one-year-old it is worth, on average, 19% less. After three years, the car is worth around 35% less. Therefore, if you want to save money on a car purchase, buy a car that is at least one-year-old. To save even more money, buy a car that is at least three years old.
A quick internet search will bring up a list of cars in Ireland (or wherever you are buying) with good value retention. This data changes from year-to-year, so make sure your search is up to date. From data gathered in H1 of 2019 , the Skoda Octavia is the Irish car that retains its value the most with an average depreciation of 33%. In second place is the Volkswagen Golf, then Ford Focus, Audi A4 and BMW 5 Series. Buying one of these cars will help you get the best offer when it comes to selling.
So there you have it, some savvy shopping tips to help you save cash when it comes to buying a car. Now go forth, negotiate and nab yourself a bargain.