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What Car? identifies £28.5m saving for August car buyers

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford

What Car? has been able to identify £28.5m worth of savings for car buyers during August as the pre-WLTP emissions test rush to rid car forecourts of unwanted stock takes hold of the marketplace.

The consumer magazine’s New Car Buying service analysed the pricing of 7,500 vehicles to deliver the near-£30 headline-grabbing savings figure, which would be delivered if car shoppers bought their vehicle at its ‘Target PCP Price’ and with the best available finance deposit contribution.

What Car? editor, Steve Huntingford, said: “The total amount of money that buyers could save if every single car was sold at Target Price is staggering and, tellingly, 37% of the total savings possible – or £10.5m – come from finance deposit contributions.”

What Car? identified that shoppers opting for manufacturer finance deals, such as Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) agreements, benefit significantly more than cash buyers, with car buyers paying cash able to negotiate an average 8% discount – or £2,545 – off their car’s list price, whereas those signing up to PCP deals can get another £1,478 in deposit allowances.

Among the biggest discounts available were those on the desirable SUV sector, with discounts on large SUVs having leapt 23% in the last 12 months.

Top 10 manufacturer discounts in the last month. Source: What Car?Savings of nearly 10% possible on even prestige models such as the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLS and Volvo XC60.

The average discount on a large SUV now stands at £3,087, up from £2,502 this time last year.

Huntingford said: “It’s significant that bigger discounts are also now becoming available in the SUV sector – the strength of the SUV market in recent years has meant that dealers have been able to protect their margins, and discounts on large SUVs are still the second lowest of all segments.

“But savvy shoppers can now get good deals on even high-end cars such as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Jaguar F-Pace.”

Overall, Citroen, Seat and Volkswagen are the manufacturers offering the top average cash discounts.

What Car?’s New Car Buying website uses mystery shoppers to highlight the best new car deals, setting a Target Price as the most you should pay for a car. It then links online users with retailers willing to match or beat that Target Price.

Last month an AM survey of car retailers identified that dealers were coming under pressure to sell vehicles tested under the NEDC test regime which will be replaced by WLTP in a switch-over taking place on September 1.

A total of 43.7% of respondents said they had been placed under pressure to self-register vehicles ahead of September 1 as a direct result of the switch to WLTP and RDE (fuel eceonomy) test regimes, with 57.1% stating that manufacturers had introduced incentives in an effort to sell vehicles before then.

> MORE INFO: Here's what the latest manufacturer new car finance offers are (Q3 2018)

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