New plates in September. So should you buy in August?

Man driving car

If you’re looking to snap up a new set of wheels, it could pay to act now rather than wait until the new registration plates arrive on September 1.

Dealers will be keen to clear out their existing stock before the new ‘65’ registrations land on their forecourts, so you might be able to drive away with a bargain if you buy this month. If you can’t afford a car just now, then February is also a good month to buy, as plates change in March too. If you’re planning on buying a four-wheel drive then you might be in an even stronger position as demand is lower in the summer months than in the winter, when the weather is bad. Here’s our rundown of some of the ways you might be able to secure a new motor at an affordable price.


When buying a new car from a dealer, never accept the price you’re first offered. Remember that they will be particularly keen to sell in August, so always negotiate. You’re in a strong position as they will need to hit targets, particularly towards the end of the month. Do plenty of research before you visit the dealer. See what various dealers are asking via their websites and advertisements so you can arm yourself with haggling weaponry. Print off any good offers you can find so that you can ask the dealer if they are prepared to match them. Once you’re at the dealership, don’t be deterred if you’re told there aren’t any discounts to be had. Ask to speak to the manager and explain that you are serious about doing a deal today. Be confident and don’t show any sign that you’re prepared to compromise. Stick to your guns and don’t accept dealers’ excuses that they can’t offer a discount on the particular model you are interested in. If the dealer really won’t budge on price, then see if you can get them to throw in any optional extras such as an upgraded stereo system or floormats, or maybe a full fuel tank. If you can’t agree on a deal you’re happy with, then be prepared to walk away. There are plenty of other car dealers around, so try your luck elsewhere.

Part-exchanging your car

Part-exchanging your car can solve two problems. It means you’ll get rid of your existing motor without having to go through the hassle of having to advertise and sell it privately, and it’ll mean you buy your new car for less. The downside, of course, is that you’re likely to get less for your car if you part-exchange it than if you were to sell it yourself.

Selling your car so you can be a cash buyer

If you’re not in any big hurry, then selling your existing car so you can get some cash to put towards your new car could leave you better off in the long run. You’ll have to be prepared to show prospective buyers the car and to advertise it in newspapers and on websites. Before selling make sure you get a good idea of what your car is worth. If it’s not worth very much, then it might not be worth the trouble of selling it. You also need to bear in mind that if it takes a long time to sell your car, you could end up missing out on the original deal you spotted at the dealership.

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