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Volume marques prepare for '52' with price cuts

Britain's big three carmakers pushed down new car prices in August during the build-up to the 52-style numberplate, according to a report by The study found the average discount was 0.69 per cent, which equates to a saving of £83 on a £12,000 small family hatchback.

Compared to July, Ford slashed 1.69 per cent off 156 models as it strives to maintain its status as the UK's top motor brand. The price reductions mean the blue oval has knocked £573 off its most popular model, the five-door Ford Focus 1.6 Zetec. .

Vauxhall took 1.86 per cent off its 414-car model range, while Peugeot improved deals by 1.27 per cent on average. Toyota prices fell by 1.82 per cent with the average discount standing at 6.7 per cent off the recommended retail price. .

Buyers with one eye on European imports saw a dip of 0.45 per cent on the average price as suppliers delivered savings of up to 22 per cent off a BMW 320d and 25 per cent off a Ford Mondeo 2.0-litre Ghia. .

Now Steve Evans, chief executive of CarPriceCheck, is expecting the new car market to cool off: “There is a growing feeling that consumer confidence has peaked and sales will soon start to tail off,” he says. “It's no surprise that the volume manufacturers are keen to maximise the busiest month on the calendar for private buyers.”

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