Buyers are expected to flock to car showrooms across the country to snap up last-minute deals on new models to beat the upcoming tax hike.
Motorists are on a six-week countdown to cash in on the latest offers and savings before the new, higher Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates kick in on 1 April.
Thousands of pounds worth of discounts are currently available on best sellers, like the Ford Fiesta 1.0-litre EcoBoost, that are road tax-exempt under the existing regime but will cost more than £500 over four years under the new laws.
Experts predict March will be “a bumper” month for car sales with dealers across the UK already stockpiling models to ensure they meet the expected surge in demand.
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) said dealers want to be able to guarantee buyers can register their new car before the 1 April deadline; those registered even a day late can end up costing owners hundreds of pounds more over time.
All new cars registered from 1 April will face new tax rates that are expected to raise the Treasury billions in added revenue. First year rates for all cars have been increased, with a flat yearly tax of £140 introduced thereafter. Only zero-emissions cars remain tax-exempt under the new regime, while cars with a list price above £40,000 will also be hit with a £310 five-year annual charge.
Philip Nothard, retail and consumer specialist at cap-hpi, advised: “Drivers who are looking to buy or already waiting for a car on order should move quickly and talk to their dealer to understand if they are likely to win or lose on their new vehicle.”
Foray Motor Group, a leading network of Ford dealers in the south west of England, revealed it has placed a £4million order to fill its compounds with new Fiesta and Ka+ models to meet expected customer demand.
Group sales manager Tom Croft said: “It’s a big commitment, but one that we need to make to fulfil anticipated customer orders. March is forecast to be one of the busiest months ever for new car registrations. I don’t want to have to say to customers that we’re sorry we can’t deliver.”
With the help of sister site, online retailer BuyaCar.co.uk, we analysed data to find the best offers available on the best-selling cars. Scroll down to see the top 5.
The top 5 new cars to target for discounts
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Model:Audi A4 2.0 TDI S line 4dr
List price: £32,600
Finance deal: £28,482
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Model:Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Zetec 3dr
List price: £14,795
Finance deal: £11,589
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Model:Vauxhall Astra 1.0T ecoFLEX SRi 5dr
List price: £19,215
Finance deal: £16,329
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Model:Renault Kadjar 1.5 dCi Dynamique Nav 5dr
List price: £22,745
Finance deal: £20,062
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