Pre-registered cars – how you can save money

Did you know that you can save money by buying a pre-registered car? This is because they are often sold at a discounted price compared to a brand-new car.

The dealer or the leasing company may want to clear their stock or meet their sales targets, so they may offer attractive deals on pre-registered cars, according to the RAC. However, you should also be aware of some drawbacks of buying a pre-registered car too, which we’ll look at.

pre reg car

What is a pre-registered car?

Pre-registered cars are new vehicles that have been purchased and registered by a dealership or a leasing company, but have never been owned by a customer, says Motors. They are technically used cars, so not a new car, but they usually have very low mileage and are in excellent condition.

Why do dealerships or leasing companies do this? A dealership may do this to meet sales targets and get bonuses from the manufacturer. Pre reg cars are usually sold at a lower price than brand-new cars, but they may have some drawbacks. For example, such as a shorter warranty period, higher insurance costs, and lower resale value, says the RAC.

What are the benefits of buying a pre-registered car?

Some of the benefits of buying a pre reg car are as follows:

  • You can get a cheaper sale price compared to brand new models, as the car is technically secondhand and the dealer wants to clear the stock. The discounts can range from 5% to 40%, depending on the make, model and time of year, according to Car Finance 247.

  • You can get a car that is in a like new condition, with very low mileage (usually less than 200 miles) and no previous owners.

  • You can get instant delivery, as the car is already on the forecourt and ready to go, unlike a factory order that may take weeks or months.

  • You might get a car that is well equipped with some desirable options or accessories, especially if it was used as a demonstrator, says Car Buyer.

What are nearly-new cars?

Would you like to buy a nearly new car? For some it can be all about the car price tag and a used car price can be great compared to how much you could end up forking of for a brand new vehicle. So what really is a newly-new car?

According to Buy a Car a nearly new car is generally viewed by the motor trade as one that’s less than 12-months old and travelled less than 5,000 miles.

It’s different to a pre-registered car because it has been put to use in one way or another, whereas most pre-registered cars will have sat in stock, waiting to be purchased. You can find deals on nearly new cars from dealers, brokers or leasing companies, as well as private individuals.

They are usually ex-demonstrator cars, pre-registered cars, or low-mileage used cars. Ex-demonstrator cars are cars that have been used by dealerships for test drives and demonstrations. Nearly-new cars can offer significant savings compared to buying a brand-new car, and they often come with the remaining balance of the manufacturer’s warranty, so you could find yourself some cracking car deals.

pre reg cars

What are the downsides of buying a pre-registered car?

According to the RAC, you should also be aware of some drawbacks of buying a pre-registered car, such as:

  • You will not be the first owner of the car, which may affect its resale value in the future. The car is classed as used, which means you will be the second owner on the logbook. This can affect the resale value of the car, as well as your eligibility for some insurance policies, says Cargurus.

  • You will have less choice of colours, specifications, and options, because you can only buy what is available in the stock.

  • You may lose some of the manufacturer’s warranty period, because the warranty starts from the date of registration, not the date of purchase. Depending on how long the car has been sitting on the forecourt, you may have less time to claim for any faults or defects, says Car Buyer.

  • You may have to pay higher road tax, because the car may be registered under an older emission standard.

If you are interested in buying a pre-registered car, you can browse the stock of nearly-new cars from various brands at Evans Halshaw or Arnold Clark.

How much do pre-registered cars cost?

The cost of pre-registered cars depends on various factors, such as the make, model, specification, colour, and optional extras of the car, as well as the demand and supply in the market. However, as a general rule, you can expect a discount of between 5% and 25% of the initial price of the car. This can add up to many thousands of pounds if you’re looking at a larger family car, such as a Nissan Qashqai or Volkswagen Tiguan, says Car Buyer.

For example, according to Arnold Clark, you can buy a nearly-new Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 Design 5dr for £17,498, which is £2,287 cheaper than the cost when the car was new. Or you can buy a nearly-new Mercedes-Benz CLA CLA 200 Sport Executive Edition 4dr Tip Auto for £28,998, which is £7,662 cheaper than the cost when the car was new.

When is the best time to buy a pre-registered car?

The best time to buy a pre-registered car is when dealerships have the most stock and are eager to sell them quickly. According to Motors, this usually happens around the end of a month or a financial quarter, as dealers try to meet their sales targets and get bonuses from the manufacturers.

Another good time to look for pre-registered cars is when the new registration plates are released in March and September. This is when dealerships want to clear out the old stock and make room for the new models, says Car Buyer. You can find some great deals on pre-registered cars during these periods, as dealerships may offer discounts of between 5% and 25% of the initial price of the car.

pre reg and ex demo cars

Tips for buying a pre-registered car

So overall, buying a pre-registered car can save you a lot of money, as you can get discounts of between 5% and 25% of the initial price of the car. However, you should also be aware of the drawbacks, such as being the second owner on the logbook, having limited choice over the car’s specification and colour, missing out on some of the best finance deals or incentives, and losing some of the warranty period, as mentioned above.

When buying a pre-registered car, you should go car shopping with a plan: make a note of your ‘must-haves’ and secure a car that genuinely suits your needs is always a good idea. You could also compare the prices and features of different pre-registered cars and see how much you can save.

Before you sign the deal, Auto Express recommend to check the car’s condition and history, and make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the sale. You should also ask for a copy of the V5C certificate, which shows the date of registration and the previous owner. Finally, negotiating for a fair price, taking into account the depreciation and the mileage of the car, can be the key to a good bargain too.

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