Car dealers in England are set to offer big discounts on popular mainstream models this month as they reopen their doors from today following the second national lockdown.
With showrooms forced to revert to online sales and click-and-collect services over the last month, UK car registrations look on course to only just break 1.5 million units in 2020 – down from 2.3 million last year.
With the pandemic pounding car sales in 2020, there will be a real drive in December for manufacturers to shift as many new cars as possible to bulk out end-of-year figures. As a result, market research suggests dealerships will offer average discounts of almost 7 per cent on new 70-plate models.
Dealers readied for December sales: The biggest saving available is on the £27,085 VW Passat 1.5 TSI SE Nav 4dr petrol, with 22.3% off – or £5,833
Britain’s biggest new car discounts for December have been revealed by What Car? as part of its Target Price mystery shopper analysis.
It has calculated that the average discount in December will be 6.6 per cent, which equates to a cash saving on average of £2,726.
However, there are some cars that will be subject to more substantial reductions than others.
The biggest and most impressive deal is more than a fifth off the price of a new petrol-powered Volkswagen family car.
The VW Passat saloon in ‘SE Nav’ specification with a 1.5-litre TSI engine is available with a 22.3 per cent cash saving from dealers.
And it’s not the only model that sales staff will strike a deal on.
The second most sizable saving is on the VW Touran MPV with the 1.5-litre TSI EVO petrol engine in SE Family trim. It usually retails at £30,105, though in December buyers can save up to 19.5%, cutting £5,621 off the asking price
Drivers can get a discount of 17.8% on the Nissan Micra 1.0 IG-T 100 N-Tec 5dr. It normally retails at £17,265, though you could save up to £3,035 this month
The Seat Arona is a versatile compact SUV. In the 1.0 TSI 110 FR [EZ] spec, it’s economical too. In December. motorists can save 16.9% on the £22,035 asking price, which equates to £3,677
The Seat Arona SUV can be had with 16.9 per cent slashed off the retail price, while the in-demand Mercedes A-Class – one of Britain’s best-selling new cars this year – is being discounted by more than 11 per cent by dealers.
Analysis of the Target Price mystery shopper data also revealed Smart, Seat and Nissan offer the largest discounts across their ranges.
Smart was found to offer 12 per cent reductions on average across all its models, while Seat was found to discount its vehicles by 11.4 per cent and Nissan by 10 per cent.
The biggest financial saving is on the BMW 5 Series – an amount of £6,695. That’s due to a discount of 16.6% on the 520d MHT M Sport 4dr Step Auto, which normally costs £43,070
The Peugeot 108 1.0 72 Active 5dr is an affordable supermini, costing £13,185. This month, sales staff will shave up to 16.5% off the RRP, a saving of £2,023
Vauxhall’s Grandland X, in 1.6 Hybrid SE Nav 5dr Auto, trim also makes the top 12 best deals on mainstream models. The RRP is £36,700, though a 15.6% saving in December cuts that by £5,618
The Renault Kadjar is the sister car to the Nissan Qashqai and is subject to big savings. The 1.3 TCE GT Line 5dr usually costs £27,695. In December, buyers should be able to get a discount of 15.3%, or £4,084
Premium names, including BMW, Audi and Mercedes, are among the most-discounted brands, with savings of 8.1 per cent, 7.2 per cent and 6.6 per cent, respectively.
Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: ‘With the second lockdown lifting, we’ve found the average new car discount is 6.6 per cent, but with dealers looking to shift stock following a month of closures, there are some great deals to be had.
‘With savings of more than 20 per cent available on some of the country’s most popular models it shows how keen retailers are to get customers back into showrooms, and underlines why buyers must do their research before they buy in order to ensure that they are getting a fair deal.’
Another car with large discounts in December is the Seat Ateca. The 1.0 TSI 115 Ecomotive SE 5dr usually retails for £23,670, though a 14.6% saving is the equivalent of pocketing £3,406
How about a deal on an electric city runaround? Smart’s Fortwo Coupe 60kW EQ Passion Advanced 17kWh 2dr Auto [22kWCh] has 13.9% off the £20,550 RRP, which is £2,812
For wind-in-your-hair driving, you can save 13% on the Mini Convertible with the 2.0-litre Cooper S engine in Classic II trim. That’s £3,258 off the £26,255 asking price
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class has been one of the best-selling new cars of 2020. In desirable A180 Sport trim – usually £25,255 – drivers can save 11.2%, or £2,715
Registrations on course to hit a 38-year low in 2020
Despite market-wide deals on offer, car registrations are on course to hit a 38-year low in 2020 after showrooms in England were forced to bolt their doors to customers for the second time this year from today.
Latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed that new vehicle sales slipped by a mere 1.6 per cent in October, suggesting some stability was returning to the market.
However, the second wave of lockdown measures in England – requiring showrooms to shut down from 5 November – is likely to be a hammer blow to the sector, with the trade body projecting it will knock a further 100,000 registrations off the books by the end of December with full-year sales falling to their lowest level since 1982.
As of mid-October, the industry had been expecting to register about 1.66 million new cars in 2020.
However, the second lockdown has seen market forecasts projected down by a further 100,000 units to 1.56 million.
This would equate to a total year-on-year decline of around 750,000 registrations and a £22.5 billion loss in turnover for the UK motor sector.
It also means that 2020 is now on course to be the weakest year for the industry since 1982.
November passenger vehicle registrations are due to be revealed by the SMMT in the coming days.
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