Which? Car offers aid

Time 13 years ago

which-car-offers-aid-to-dealersWHICH? Car magazine has held out an olive branch to dealers – by saying it’s a great time to buy new cars.

The consumer magazine, which last week revealed controversial findings of an undercover dealer survey, has this week taken the opportunity to highlight what bargains new cars currently are.

8 per cent of drivers surveyed by the magazine said they will be buying used cars this year, while just 3 per cent plan to buy new cars.

Another 4 per cent plan to change their car but don’t know whether to buy new or used – unsurprising in such a volatile market.

Richard Headland, editor, Which? Car, said: ‘You could say there’s never been a better time to buy a car.

‘The downturn has thrown the car industry into turmoil and that means there are some amazing car deals available – whether you’re looking to buy new or used.

But new or used? ‘Most buyers will be going for second-hand cars this year to save money, and there’ll be bargains galore in this market as supply outstrips demand.

However, the magazine has launched a ‘Target Discount’ price: ‘If you can match our Target Discount, some new cars won’t cost much more to run than used cars,’ said Headland.

The magazine says readers should aim for some big discounts:

•    Fiat Grande Punto – 27 per cent
•    Ford Focus – 28 per cent
•    Ford Mondeo – 26 per cent
•    Audi A8 – 19 per cent
•    Citroen Xsara Picasso – 29 per cent
•    Mazda RX-8 – 21 per cent

Conventional thinking, says Which?, suggests that nearly-new cars, or older used cars, offer the greatest value.

But it found that this isn’t always the case. Applying a 28 per cent Target Discount to a brand-new Fiat Panda 1.3 MultiJet sees it cost £6488 – making nearly-new and 3-year-old Pandas look poor value.

The ownership costs over a 3-year period vary by just £340, so in this case, buying new makes most sense.

Whether dealers will be as keen to match the discounts Which? claims is, of course, another matter entirely…

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James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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