UNDERSTANDING THE UK CAR MARKET - Traditionally, purchasing a new car in the UK has always been an expensive pursuit. Manufacturers have been able to restrict the means by which we buy new cars in the UK - they have been able to dictate who can sell a particular brand of car to you and where they can be sold.
While in recent times the prices of new cars in the UK have been falling, they remain well above those in other European countries - this means that it's possible to save a lot of money on cars if you're prepared to do some research and buy your car from a source outside the UK. This may seem like a hassle, but with several thousands of pounds to save it can prove to be more than worthwhile - and if you have a thing for travelling then buying from abroad can help satisfy your wanderlust while saving money on your new vehicle.
WAYS OF CUTTING THE COST OF YOUR NEW CAR - As we saw above, we can really save some cash by purchasing our new car from Europe - an option that we'll investigate in more detail shortly. However, first we'll take a look at ways to cut the cost of your new car within the UK itself.
Research - Approach the purchase of your new car as you would if it were a home. If you were going to buy a new home you would probably consider several different ones, perhaps in different areas before making your choice. Similarly, you may have a preferred make and model but do not stop yourself from considering other models. If you are on a budget ask yourself what t is that you're looking for from your auto - is space important because you have a family? Whatever your requirements write them down and then list all the makes & models that fit your criteria. You'll probably notice that there may be savings of a couple of thousand between 2 different cars that both fit your requirements.
When researching which is the cheapest & best possible option for you, this process of identifying close substitutes to your preferred choice is vital. You will need to investigate the car's "platform", compare to its rivals and then make a choice based on this.
So what do we mean by looking at the cars "platform"? Simply a platform is the very basic structure upon which the car is structured - the core upon which the fittings and body are structured. Many different cars are actually derived from the same platform. For example Ford uses the Mondeo and Fiesta platforms to produce a wide variety of individual cars from the Puma to the Probe and much more. So lets say you really like the look of the Ford Galaxy - you should then investigate other similar cars built on the same platform.
Once you have done this look at the offerings of your rivals - get hold of some car magazines and see which cars are listed next to your preferred choice. There may be some big price differences that you can expose to your advantage.
Tip - Avoid paying high prices for "special editions" - this is rarely little more than different seat covers or some other small changes. What you're actually paying for here is the "exclusive" factor.
Buy An "Ex Fleet" Car And Make Some Serious Savings - The Ex Fleet market in the UK is huge and certainly worth considering if you wish to make some significant savings. Ex fleet cars are commonly sold at http://www.global-ebooks.com/UKGovAuctions.htm , car supermarkets, and used car dealerships. Typically, the mass sellers such as Ford, Vauxhall, Nissan, Peugeot and others all sell to the ex fleet market.
Buy A Pre Registered Car & Save Money - Pre registered cars are classed as "sold" by manufacturers, mostly to make their sales figures look better. Usually the cars have only a few miles on the clock but because they are classed as "second hand" they tend to be much lower in price. In effect you will enjoy a car that is practically new at a seriously reduced cost. Franchise dealerships and car supermarkets are the places to find these gems. A lot of pre registered cars also come with a manufacturers warranty which makes the deal all the more sweet.
Buy A Car From A UK Auction - Thousands of cars are sold at very low prices through auctions that are held in the UK. This includes liquidation sales for companies that have gone bust as well as government held auctions where all kinds of items including cars are sold off at very low prices. For more details on auctions try the http://www.global-ebooks.com/UKGovAuctions.htm
CUTTING THE COST OF CARS BY PURCHASING OVERSEAS - Importing cars from overseas has never been a more viable option - and it's a great way of saving a lot of money on a brand new car without having to compromise on features or status. It's possible to either do this yourself or use an agent. Using an agent does cost slightly more of course but is a good option if you can't spare the time to actually go abroad yourself.
DIY Importing - There are several factors you need to consider if you wish to import a car yourself - for a start you need to ensure the car you purchase fits British specification. Finding a dealer that will sell to you can also be an issue though this is less of a problem than it used to be.
Some Factors To Consider - Remember that you'll need to factor in a longer delivery time for your purchase. The deposits required from European dealers also tend to be much higher than in the UK (up to 30%) and be wary of foreign exchange fluctuations in currency that can alter the final price of your car. You will also have to insure the car for delivery to the UK - phone some UK insurers or the dealership itself and see what your options are.
A survey of http://europa.eu.int/comm/competition/car_sector/can be very useful and this site also links to various manufacturers that will sell directly to the UK.
Using An Agent - Agents that specialise in providing discounts for UK buyers are becoming more and more common. Typically these services will tailor the extent of service you require - from giving you a list of foreign names to actually handling all the paperwork & delivery of the car. Try the following sites that offer discounted cars:
Shop around to see where you can get the lowest agency fees although they do tend to be fairly static.
More Tips, Tricks, Strategies, Contacts & Websites - We'll now look at other ways that you can try and hunt down some auto bargains. Lets start off with car supermarkets - these are absolutely huge dealerships, generally located at motorway junctions outside major cities. These supermarkets have huge amounts of stock and operate on wafer thin margins which means you can save a significant amount by shopping about a little. A list of good car supermarkets is given below:
Car supermarkets sell both pre-registered and ex fleet cars so the chances of hunting down a bargain are fairly good, particularly for more mainstream brands such as Ford and Vauxhall. Remember in the car industry a lot of premium goes toward the badge that a car has - so if you're not too fussed about the make you can save thousands of pounds simply by taking advantage of this. The other thing about car supermarkets is that unlike dealerships there is very little pressure or badgering from salespeople.
Niche Operators - The second hand car market has plenty of niche operators - smaller lots who specialise in selling very cheap cars for example. If you have a good knowledge on cars you can probably pick up a bargain by going to various niche operators.
Buying Online - Purchasing online is becoming increasingly popular although some would argue that buying an auto online is only for the very brave-hearted. Along with online options we have already talked about (such as Jamjar, Virgin etc) there are other online sources to buy from including http://www.autobytel.com/ and http://www.autotrader.co.uk/ .
The car market is certainly more open and competitive now than it has ever been. As the internet and online options to buy continues to grow so will your chances to purchase your dream car for less. As always, being prepared and doing research will go a long way toward getting the car you want at a much lower price.
Find hundreds of dirt cheap car wholesalers & government auctions at
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