6 January 2005

Tougher times for car dealers mean this will be good year for discount-hungry car buyers. Experts are already predicting that, with higher finance costs and the retail slump starting to bite, dealers will be keen to get more buyers through the door. That should mean extra consumer offers, including more-enticing deals and even inflated trade-in prices. The best time to buy is likely to be in the second half of the year, with the hottest deals available on executive saloons and big off-roaders. Other pressures on dealers that buyers can exploit in 2005 are the sheer number of extra niche models that are hitting the showrooms throughout the year. ‘We’re currently just selling a Golf hatch and MPV’ a VW salesman told Autocar. ‘This year we’ve also got to shift a saloon (right), cabrio, estate and the new Golf Plus. It’s going to get harder and we might have to give more money off.’ Used car buyers are also going to benefit, according to Autocar used car expert John Coates. ‘There are reports of second-hand models getting pricier, but don’t believe a word of it,’ he said. ‘We’re going to see some great deals, especially on big-engined prestige cars.’

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