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Thursday 30 March 2023 Dublin: 8°C
# car shopping guide
5 tips to save on a new car: Nab yourself a 181 bargain with our savvy shopper's guide
Save money on your new car purchase.

IF YOU ARE looking to buy a 181-registered car there are some bargains to be had, you just need to be a little savvy with your shopping.

Luckily, we’ve put together our top tips for dealing with the dealers and driving away a 181 car at a reasonable price.

Timing is everything

January, February and March are strong months for sales but there is a drop off from April through to June. So now is the perfect time to shop around. Most car dealers work to monthly and quarterly sales targets so waiting until the end of the month is a good idea and will put you in a good bargaining position. June 30th (the last day of the 181 number plate and the last day of the first half of the year) is also a good time to head into your local dealer as they will be trying to boost sales figures.

It’s also worth looking out for bank holiday and other limited-time sales events. There are two more bank holidays before the new 182 period – May 7th and June 4th – so ring around your local dealers or search online for upcoming offers.

Be flexible 

If you remain open minded about colours and optional extras, you can bag a bargain especially if you wait for these key end-of-period dates. Just head to your local dealer and see what they need to get rid of fast and get haggling.

Seasonal shopping

All-wheel drive and 4×4 models are sought-after in winter so buying now ‘out of season’ might save you some money as you get ahead of the price curve.

Buy a run out model

In 2018 there are a number of new models being introduced which should see bargain price tags slapped on to the cars they’re replacing. New models on the way include the new Audi A6 Avant, Ford Focus, Hyundai Tucson and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class as well as many others.

The savings on a run-out model can be significant, especially if a dealer has a lot of stock of the old model to clear before the new one arrives.

As long as you’re keeping the car for more than a couple of years, the extra small hit of depreciation will average out somewhat.

Buy a pre-registered car

The practice of pre-reging (dealers and car makers selling cars to themselves to artificially inflate their sales figures) means there are a few good ‘dealer demo’ or ‘delivery mileage’ or ‘ex-demo’ cars to be snapped up.

As these cars are show cars, much like show homes, they are usually very well kitted out with optional extras and a high spec. As long as you don’t mind not being the first registered owner, an ex-demo car is a great way to get a nearly-new well-specced car at a good price.

Cars are pre-registered to save the dealer some money so don’t be fobbed off, make sure you save some money too. Negotate well and you could an ex-demo car for around 17 per cent less than a new version.

Of course, the best time to buy a car is when you feel ready and when you have found the car that suits your needs and your budget but if you are looking for a 181 car following this guide should help you drive a bargain.

READ: 6 tips to help nervous drivers become more confident behind the wheel >

READ: 6 Irish drives that end with great sunset views >

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