Manufacturers are finding new incentives and finance schemes to try to entice car buyers into showrooms following the sharp year-on-year falls.
With household budgets under pressure, Chevrolet has launched a three-year PCP contract hire package from £125 a month, including road tax, warranty, servicing and breakdown cover.
It is available on all Aveos, and some Lacetti and Captiva derivatives. Chevrolet asks for a 25% deposit on the 7.9% APR package. There are also three-year 0% loans on the Aveo and Epica.
The three years of free servicing is restricted to 30,000 miles but this can be upgraded to 60,000 miles for a one-off £100 fee.
Until the end of the year at least, Chevrolet is dropping the £1,450 price premium of the Captiva diesel over its equivalent petrol version.
Other car manufacturers are stepping up incentives (see the table and ‘special offers’ opposite).
Sustained financial support is seen as inevitable with concern already rising that next March’s ’09 plate market may not be able to give sales a boost.