More ways to get a great deal on a new car

Man­u­fac­tur­ers are of­fer­ing ex­tra in­cen­tives to tempt you to trade in your old car for a new one. But which of them will net you the best deal?

What Car? - - The Cost Of Safety Tech - Claire Evans Claire.evans@hay­mar­ket.com

THERE’S A LOT to con­sider when you’re try­ing to get the best deal on a new car. Are you getting a good price for your trade-in ve­hi­cle? Are you pay­ing a fair price for the new car? And if you’re buy­ing on fi­nance, how much ex­tra will you pay in in­ter­est charges?

As if that wasn’t enough to de­lib­er­ate over, there are now two other im­por­tant things to con­sider: is there a man­u­fac­turer deposit con­tri­bu­tion and does your old car qual­ify for a man­u­fac­turer scrap­page allowance?

These in­cen­tives have been in­tro­duced by car mak­ers in the past few years to keep peo­ple buy­ing new cars as well as help the en­vi­ron­ment. And they’ve been ef­fec­tive. Although to­tal new car sales last year were down 5.7% on 2016, the 2,540,617 cars reg­is­tered still made for the third-high­est an­nual fig­ure for 10 years and more than half a mil­lion higher than in the sales slump of 2011, when reg­is­tra­tions dipped be­low two mil­lion.

So why are these in­cen­tives im­por­tant? Well, be­cause each of these can amount to a larger dis­count than any you might be able to hag­gle out of a sales­per­son. That said, you’ll still need to do the maths to cost up the over­all pack­age to en­sure you’re getting the best deal. Our panel (right) can help you work this out. WHAT IS A DEPOSIT CON­TRI­BU­TION? It’s a sum of money added to a fi­nance deal by a car maker (or dealer group) that bumps up the deposit you pay to­wards a new car. By re­duc­ing the over­all cost of the car, it has the knock-on ef­fect of cut­ting the monthly pay­ments and any fi­nal ‘bal­loon’ pay­ment re­quired to buy the car at the end of the fi­nance deal.

Deposit con­tri­bu­tions are gen­er­ally only of­fered on personal con­tract pur­chase (PCP)

and hire pur­chase (HP) deals, not if you’re buy­ing a car with cash.

If the deposit con­tri­bu­tion is big enough, even a deal that charges in­ter­est can work out cheaper than buy­ing the same car with cash or on a 0% fi­nance deal.

WHAT IS A CAR SCRAP­PAGE DEAL?

It’s an in­cen­tive of be­tween £1000 and £8000 that you can get for trad­ing in an older car for a new one.

Last year, a num­ber of car mak­ers launched scrap­page schemes, in­clud­ing Audi, BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedesbenz, Mini and Re­nault. The deals are de­signed to re­duce the pol­lu­tion caused by older cars, as well as to in­crease the up­take of low-emis­sions cars in the UK. Although sales of such cars have risen by more than 30% in the past year, they still ac­count for just 4.3% of the to­tal mar­ket.

Not all car com­pa­nies guar­an­tee to scrap your trade-in car, so if you’re tak­ing up a scrap­page deal to en­sure your more pol­lut­ing car is off the road, then it’s best to check with the man­u­fac­turer be­fore you buy.

To qual­ify for the schemes, the car you’re trad­ing in must com­ply with Euro 1-4 emis­sions stan­dards; this gen­er­ally means it will have been first reg­is­tered be­fore 31 De­cem­ber 2009. Not all schemes are re­stricted to diesel ve­hi­cles; many car mak­ers will also ac­cept Euro 1-4 petrol-en­gined cars.

Euro stan­dards set the emis­sions lim­its for new cars. The first, Euro 1, was in­tro­duced in 1992, and over the years these stan­dards have dras­ti­cally cut the al­low­able level of ex­haust emis­sions pro­duced by cars and light vans. You can check the Euro emis­sions stan­dard of your car at car­fu­el­data.direct.gov.uk.

Since the in­tro­duc­tion of the Euro stan­dards, car­bon monox­ide lev­els have been cut by 82% for diesel-en­gined cars and 63% for petrols, and par­tic­u­late mat­ter has been re­duced by 96%. Since 2001, ni­tro­gen ox­ide is down by 84% and hy­dro­car­bons are down by 50% in petrol-en­gined cars.

Both diesel and petrol-en­gined ve­hi­cles that com­ply with the lat­est Euro 6 stan­dard pro­duce very low lev­els of car­bon monox­ide, hy­dro­car­bons, ni­tro­gen ox­ides and par­tic­u­lates.

WHAT ARE THE PROS?

The scrap­page ini­tia­tive is great news if you’re con­sid­er­ing buy­ing an elec­tric ve­hi­cle or hy­brid, be­cause the dis­count is of­fered on top of the Gov­ern­ment’s elec­tric ve­hi­cle grant. This means if you want to buy a BMW i3 elec­tric car, you’ll get £2000 scrap­page as well as the £4500 gov­ern­ment grant off the list price.

Some, but not all, car mak­ers state that the scrap­page dis­count can be had in ad­di­tion to other ex­ist­ing fi­nance of­fers. For ex­am­ple, trade in a pre-2011 car for a Ford Kuga and Ford says you’ll re­ceive a £2000 dis­count for scrap­page and an­other

£2000 off from an ex­ist­ing of­fer.

IS SCRAP­PAGE THE BEST-VALUE OP­TION?

Not nec­es­sar­ily. If you own an old banger that’s worth less than £1000, you’ll make a sav­ing with a scrap­page deal. How­ever, if the amount of­fered is less than the tradein value of your car – plus any dis­count that’s be­ing of­fered by the man­u­fac­turer on a new car – you’ll be out of pocket if you take up a scrap­page deal. The amounts of­fered by car mak­ers range from £1000 on smaller mod­els to £8000 on the most ex­pen­sive, so it’s worth us­ing our on­line guide (what­car.com/news/scrap­pageschemes) to check how much of a sav­ing is be­ing of­fered and the terms and con­di­tions of each car brand’s scheme.

‘Scrap­page deals are de­signed to re­duce the pol­lu­tion caused by older diesel cars’

AD­VICE To­tal new car sales for 2017 were down 5.7% on 2016

Save thou­sands on a new car at what­car.com/new-car-deals

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