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Buying a used car this month could save consumers the cost of Christmas, says CAP Automotive

Buying a used car this December instead of waiting until January could save enough money to cover the cost of Christmas, according to car price analysis experts CAP Automotive.

December is always a quiet time for used car sales – followed by an explosion of interest in January and this seasonal rollercoaster for demand impacts prices, which savvy car buyers can use to their advantage.

The Money Advisory Service 2013 Christmas Survey showed UK adults spent on average £487 each to celebrate Christmas.

CAP looked at historic used car price changes over the festive period, to find makes and models that were valued at £500 less in December 2013 than in January 2014.

The results showed that buying before Christmas could save enough money to cover Christmas.

CAP’s retail & consumer specialist Philip Nothard said: “For many of us the idea of spending more money in December might be particularly unappealing, but the CAP figures show that it can offer some genuine savings in the long term if it's a car you're after.

“The influence of what we call ‘seasonality’ may already be familiar to the savvier of consumers.  For example, some take advantage of it by purchasing their four-wheel-drive in the height of summer and sell it again when others are contemplating how they’ll get through another snow-bound winter. 

“The trick is to go against the trend and buy when other people aren’t looking for the same thing – and that means December can be a brilliant time to change your car.

“Our figures show that the potential savings for motorists who bought last December instead of waiting until January were significant.

“These savings may not seem gigantic in comparison to the overall cost of the car, but the clever car buyer knows that a few hundred pounds are not to be scoffed at.”

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