Before we reach the end of 2009 there may be a few last minute opportunities to bag a bargain for those thinking of buying a new or used car before next year. There will almost certainly be changes introduced from January 2010 onwards that will make buying a car a lot more expensive. Some of these changes will be introduced by the government and some will actually be market driven. Here are a few that we know of and if and when there are any reasons to change this advice or update it we will let you know.
Buying a new car
VAT looks set to return to at least 17.5% and some commentators think it could be even higher.
Because of progressing concerns over the weakness of Stirling most car makers will continue to combat this by raising prices on new cars.
There will shortly be a “showroom tax” introduced which will probably be linked to co2 emissions and could be between £100 and £1,000 on top of the retail price.
There will almost certainly be a shortage of new cars as manufacturers continue to be cautious about volumes of units being built.
Dealers will look to reduce working capital for yearend figures and will be more likely to offer far better terms and, in addition, there will probably be plenty of sales promotions to entice buyers to make a purchase to maximise sales in 2009.
Buying a Used Car
Prices have definitely hit a plateau and in some cases are actually falling, therefore with more choice about buyers can regain the upper hand.
Dealers will be reducing their inventories to ensure cash reserves are adequate, so deals are far more likely in the coming weeks.
Sales events will be a feature pre-Christmas and a seasonal adjustment in demand will give dealers the jitters and they will be keen to ensure they do not experience the horrors of last year.
Prices of used cars ALWAYS rise in January and as New Year confidence and demand returns dealers, with more customers to choose from; will pass those rises onto customers.
These are a few examples of why buyers could and should take advantage while the time is right and grab a bargain as an early Christmas present. But remember this is just a guide and a happy outcome will depend on good research and ultimately on what dealer you choose.
If a deal looks good value before the New Year the price will almost certainly be higher in 2010.
As and when we get any more info we will be sure and pass it on.
Photograph: Abbas Kiarostami