How to save money on new cars

I used to work for a main dealer, I sold both used and new cars. There are ways to save on new, you just have to do a little bit of research to get the best price.

Never just assume as one dealer has “given you his lowest price”, that it will be the same at every other dealer. If you get quotes off multiple dealers, you will get different prices.


The reason behind the different prices, it could just be a couple of hundred, or could be thousands of pounds, is because of buying power.

Let’s take Tesco and a corner shop for example. They both sell Heinze baked beans, Tesco will sell millions every month, while the corner shop will sell dozens every month. Who will get better rates off Heinze?

If you said Tesco, your correct and as Tesco buys them cheaper than the corner shop Tesco will also sell them cheaper than the corner shop.

The same logic applies for main dealers.

As I constantly mention on this website,

“A main dealer is a franchise of the brand”, exactly the same as anyone can buy a franchise of McDonalds or KFC, anyone / business can buy a franchise of Audi, BMW, Citroen, Ford, Honda Jaguar, Land Rover, you get me point.

So, that’s why when you call a main dealer, they are never just called, VW London, they will be called Inchcape VW London. Inchcape are the franchise of the brand.

So, using the same logic as Tesco’s and the corner shop, the biggest franchise of the brand will usually have the best prices.

Some of the biggest franchises of manufactures are groups like

  • Pendragon
  • Inchcape
  • Arnold Clark
  • Sytner
  • Lookers

When to buy

Choosing the right time to buy can also save you money. Dealerships have targets to meet and these are usually quarterly. So, to meet targets dealers will do more to close a deal, typically end of March, June, September and December.


March and September are new registration months, so it’s best to wait until the middle of these months, due to the start being there busiest times of year.

December is diabolical for car sales, so you can get some real bargains this time of year. I have come to the conclusion for this, being that a car will just not fit, under the Christmas tree.

Playing them off each other

Each franchise will have a set limit, of how much discount they can give, its just a matter of finding it. One of the easiest ways to do this, is get multiple quotes, then play each dealer off each other, to match or beat that quote.



Car wow

I used to despair when a customer came in and whipped out a car wow quote, reasons being we could never match it, or come anywhere close. This was because of buying power, what you would find is huge groups like,

  • Pendragon
  • Inchcape
  • Arnold Clark
  • Sytner
  • Lookers

, would always have the best quotes, while my franchise was very small, meaning our buying power was not as good as the groups listed above.

Car wow, will find you the best deal and price on new cars, the only negative thing about this, is lead time and collection.

Leadtime is how long it will take, for the vehicle to be build, it can sometimes take months. Collection can be pain, due to where in the UK the car is, for example let’s say you live in London and the lowest price is in Glasgow, you would have to travel up there to collect the vehicle.


Now this technically won’t be a new car, due to you being the second owner, but there can be some huge savings, I’m talking thousands of the list price.

When the franchise is not meeting their target from the manufacture, what they sometimes do is buy new cars and register them, to themselves, to meet targets.

These vehicles will practically come with, delivery millage and still have the new car smell. There are a couple of downsides to consider though.

  1. You will be the second owner
  2. The APR rate will be higher due to being a “used” vehicle
  3. The deposit contribution will be less due to being a “used vehicle”
  4. The warranty won’t be as long as a new car, due to being second hand

If the saving out ways the four points above, then go ahead, typically the saving on a pre reg is around 20% but can be a lot higher, if the dealer hasn’t managed to sell it, or it’s an unpopular model.

These vehicles will often be advertised on Autotrader, as used vehicles, so finding them is not to difficult. Check your local dealer’s website, as they will also be advertised on there.