Skip to content

Good time to buy pre-registered 13 plate car?

As the new 14 registration plate approaches, canny buyers are thinking of picking up a good deal on a new car. There are sure to be many such bargains around, as the availability of good finance packages continues, but there is a way that you can make that money go even further. As the 13 plate period draws to a close, many dealers will be ensuring that they meet their sales targets by indulging in a practice known as pre-registering.

As the new 14 registration plate approaches, canny buyers are thinking of picking up a good deal on a new car. There are sure to be many such bargains around, as the availability of good finance packages continues, but there is a way that you can make that money go even further. As the 13 plate period draws to a close, many dealers will be ensuring that they meet their sales targets by indulging in a practice known as pre-registering. Essentially, the dealers sell the cars to themselves in order to meet sales targets.

This may seem like an extreme practice but actually it can make a lot of sense for the dealer. The profit margin on new cars might surprise a lot of people; it can be as low as a few percent of the sticker price. But by hitting the manufacturer’s sales targets, the dealer can earn a bonus of up to 15% of the retail price of the cars he sells. This makes hitting those targets absolutely vital. The dealer then registers the car, which counts as a sale, to ensure that he meets his quota and gets those juicy bonuses.

This can be very good news indeed for the car buyer. What it means is that at this time of year, the dealer begins to build up a stock of pre-registered 13 plate cars. These are technically second hand and are usually sold as low mileage ‘ex-demonstrators’. In reality, the cars may only have delivery mileage on the clock. With the new 14 plate coming in, these cars will rapidly lose value and tie up the dealer’s cash flow, so he may be really keen to sell.

This is where the canny buyer can land himself a bargain. The pre-registered car is essentially exactly the same as the incoming 14 plates. In fact, it may be identical to the un-plated car that sits beside it in the showroom. The only difference is in the price. The dealer knows that he needs to sell the car quickly, so now is the time to bargain hard and get that price right down. For those who are unconcerned about the snob value of a new registration plate, it is a relatively simple job to save thousands on a new car.

Opinion is divided as to how many pre-registered cars are sitting on dealers’ forecourts across the country but estimates stretch to 20% of the total cars ‘sold’ last year. With such an opportunity, it really is time to get down to that dealer and land a bargain.

Posted by on

Back to February 2014

Back to top