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…