- Dealers are offloading their stock before a new emissions standard next month
- From September, all new cars sold must meet the new WLTP regulations
- Some models fail to comply with these standards and are being sold before
- What Car? says buyers should fast-track purchases to get best deals
If you’re in the market for a new car you should definitely consider fast-tracking your purchase to this month to make the most of some incredible deals.
Manufacturers are willingly shaving up to a THIRD off models before the end of August in a bid to offload some of their existing stock – and it’s all because of a new emissions test that comes into force on September 1.
Under the new rules, all new cars sold must meet these tougher emissions regulations that comply with the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test (WLTP).
That means dealers across the country are desperately flogging in-stock cars that fail to meet these standards ahead of the deadline.
The WLTP has been introduced so that figures regarding fuel economy and emissions quoted by car makers is more accurate.
And, in theory, the test should also tighten some of the previous loopholes that existed that allowed some manufacturers to cheat emissions tests and falsify the claimed environmental impact of their models.
As a direct result, the new test procedure has proven difficult for some car makers to certify their cars that can’t meet these new standards.
Some – including Audi, BMW, Peugeot, Porsche and Volkswagen – have even had to resort to taking selected models off sale entirely because they can’t meet the new criteria.
While this has caused a significant headache for manufacturers, it has opened the door for UK buyers to get their hands of some heavily discounted cars.
The biggest savings are for in-stock models that do not meet the new regulations but remain road legal, and which are typically available as ex-demo or pre-registered vehicles so that dealers can sell them beyond the 1 September cut-off.
However, there are also deals being struck for models that do meet the new WLTP standards as retailers feel the pressure to keep sales turnover high ahead of the new registration plate change next month.
To discover which franchised dealers are clipping the prices of their new cars by the most in August, What Car?‘s New Car Buying mystery shoppers have been doing the rounds and haggling with salesmen.
It has highlighted 15 models in particular that you can buy this month with a saving of up to 20 per cent.
The Citroen C4 Spacetourer, for example, can be had this month with at least 20.5 per cent off the retail price.
Even the UK’s best-selling model – the Ford Fiesta – is subject to discounts of eight per cent and more in August.
|Car||List price||BuyaCar price||Saving (£)||Saving (%)|
|Seat Toledo 1.0 TSI 110 Xcellence||£20,930||£13,380||£7,550||36%|
|Jeep Cherokee Limited M-Jet||£34,715||£22,495||£12,220||35%|
|Ford Focus Zetec Edition 1.0 EcoBoost 125||£20,640||£15,000||£5,640||27%|
|Toyota Aygo x-Play 5dr||£10,910||£7,970||£2,940||27%|
|Nissan Qashqai N-Connecta 1.5 dCi||£25,580||£18,980||£6,600||26%|
|Mercedes GLE 250d 4Matic AMG Night Edition||£54,690||£41,809||£12,881||24%|
|BMW 116d Sport||£24,425||£18,810||£5,615||23%|
|Vauxhall Grandland X SE 1.2||£23,130||£17,995||£5,135||22%|
|Audi A5 S Line 1.4 TFSI S Tronic||£35,495||£28,500||£6,995||20%|
|Citroen C3 Aircross Feel 1.2 PureTech||£15,805||£12,749||£3,056||19%|
Other manufacturers have already pre-registered their stock 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 anchor the price of specific models.
Fans of big American (or Italian, as it is now owned by the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) SUVs can save more than £12,000 on a 2018 Jeep Cherokee with delivery mileage, while you can save more than a quarter on a pre-registered Ford Focus.
Austin Collins, managing director of BuyaCar, said motorists should make the most of the discounts as there has ‘rarely been a better time to buy a new car’.
He added: ‘It’s the automotive equivalent of reducing the price of food that’s approaching its best before date.
‘On 1 September, 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 1 September, but savings of £5,000 or more should make up for that.’
The car sales site said that manufacturers are reluctant to reveal to the public exactly how many cars they need to sell before the end of September.
Many are thought to have been quietly pre-registering models for several months and then feeding them into the market.
Despite keeping this information under wraps, dealer’s increased supply of vehicles into the market has been helping to push prices lower.
Philip Nothard, of Cox Automotive, which monitors activity on the used car market, 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.’
Car buyers are being warned that not all manufacturers are scrambling to sell their stock of cars, with some taking advantage of a loophole that allows them to continue selling some models that fail to meet the standards for up to a year after the 1 September deadline.
Auto makers can apply for a derogation – this grants them permission to continue selling up to ten per cent of their last year’s total registrations as new models, even if they don’t meet the new emissions test standard.
However, it’s understood that this won’t be enough to clear the existing stock at dealers around the country.