The two companies produce a Target Price, an 'achievable discount' for every model on sale in the UK, and claim that if every new car over the past 12 months had been bought at this Target Price, car buyers could have saved £3.4billion on list prices – an average of £1,337 per transaction. Sainsbury's/What Car? also say discounting is on the rise- six months ago the average Target Price was £1,200 below list; 18 months back it was £997 below.
The mystery shop-based list is updated every month. The top five average discounts by manufacturer as percentage of list price from data compiled between February 2003 to January 2004 were:
1. Citroën Xsara Picasso range 25% (savings of up to £4,000) 2. Rover 25 range 19% (savings of up to £2,800) 3. Mazda 323 range 19% (savings of up to £2,600) 4. Proton Impian range 19% (savings of up to £2,400) 5. Vauxhall Frontera range 18% (savings of up to £3,800)
The five marques whose dealers were found to offer the smallest discounts were:
1. Honda 4.36% 2. Lexus 4.52% 3. BMW 4.96% 4. Daihatsu 4.98% 5. Kia 5.52%