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Days of big discounts on cars numbered

A surge in demand for new cars means that the days of handing out big discounts are numbered, according to What Car?.

Car manufacturers have been known to offer discounts of up to 20% or more, but new car sales hitting a 10-year high in 2014 has resulted in car makers and dealers slashing the savings on offer to customers.

What Car?’s data shows that the average discount achievable at the end of February was 9.4%, compared with 10.3% six months ago.

What Car? editor Jim Holder said: “We have always encouraged buyers to haggle to get a good deal, but buyers should be aware that it’s going to become much harder to come away with a substantial discount in the coming months.

“There are still some sectors, such as executive and luxury cars, where a good deal can be negotiated, but the signs from some of the most popular segments of the market show that manufacturers are starting to stand firmer on their prices.

“We’ll undoubtedly see customers weaned off generous buyer incentives as dealers become emboldened by continued strong demand.”

The largest reductions are negotiable on executive, luxury and open top models, which have actually seen month-on-month average discounts increase by 0.7%.  

Volvo is the UK’s biggest discounter, offering an average of 14.7% off its models, followed by Renault (13.6%) and BMW (13.2%).

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  • Peter - 11/03/2015 15:32

    Absolute nonsense ....apart from a handful the majority of manufacturers would see a dramatic reduction in market share if both they and their dealers altered their sales strategy .

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  • Abner Maload - 14/03/2015 09:48

    How many times have we heard this? And then there's a sales downturn, someone panics and the discounts go back up again. We need another manufacturer to go under and take surplus supply out of the system, like Rover in the early Noughties. Harsh but true.

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  • a Vauxhall retailer - 16/03/2015 22:00

    We have seen targets rise within our AOI about 30 % as apparantly the market was tracking at this upward pace. Now, 9 weeks into the 13 week quarter and the panic is on. There are some big bonuses at risk with big dealer groups so many dealers have decided to discount like crazy. We're talking of dealers offering roughly £2000 extra discounts that aren't even in the cars. The only winners are the manufacturers as the market certainly isn't there in these increased numbers. It's the same game as ever ...only 10 times worse.

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