New car discounts as high as 20% on some models ahead of September plate change

This is the latest report in a series of weekly updates for industry colleagues from Rachael Prasher, managing director of What Car? and Haymarket Automotive.

Last week, we highlighted how What Car?’s New Car Buying service was seeing record numbers of buyers contacting dealers in the run up to the September plate change – predicting a busy period ahead for the industry.

This week, we’ve analysed our Target Price mystery shopper data to understand how new car discounts are shaping up ahead of September. Despite the microchip shortage impacting lead times and pent-up demand building in the market, our research found the average new car discount stood at 6.4% or £2694*. Though this is down from 7.2% in the beginning of the year, new car discounts have far from disappeared from the market.

Some manufacturers are even offering significant savings on new models. In percentage terms, Volkswagen is offering the largest individual saving on the popular Passat, with a cash reduction of 20.0% over the list price. Renault was found to offer the second highest discount, on the all-electric Zoe 100kW Iconic, with a significant 17.9% cash saving.

Diesel cars can be had with the highest average cash savings, with diesel models offered on average with a 7.2% discount, followed by petrol models with a 6.6% average discount. Fully electric vehicles are on average discounted by 3.1%, though plug-in hybrids have a higher 6.3% average discount.

Across all brands, Seat was found to offer the highest average cash discounts across its model range, with a 12.1% saving on new models, followed by Suzuki (12.0%) and Renault (11.4%). Premium brands, including BMW and Volvo were also among the top 10 manufacturers offering the highest discounts, with BMW offering 8.0% average cash discounts on new vehicles and Volvo discounting its new models by 7.0%.

The research shows that the pent-up demand and microchip shortage currently influencing the market has not had as large an impact on new car discounts as some would have suggested. The market has responded to the events by lowering offers but hasn’t gone as far as removing them – as discounts and offers are an integral part of the car buying journey.

Top 12 Target Price cash savings


Make


Model


Trim                                 

 

OTR                    

            

% Cash Saving

 

TP Cash Saving

Volkswagen

Passat

1.5 TSI SE Nav 4dr

£28,205

20.0%

£5,638

Renault

Zoe

100kW Iconic R135

50kWh Rapid Charge 5dr Auto

£33,095

17.9%

£5,912

Nissan

Micra

1.0 IG-T 92 Acenta 5dr

£16,310

17.4%

£2,805

Citroen

C1

1.0 VTi 72 Shine 5dr

£13,435

16.4%

£2,181

BMW

5 Series

530d MHT xDrive

M Sport 4dr Auto

£54,265

15.5%

£8,385

Suzuki

Sx4 S-Cross Hatchback

1.4 Boosterjet

48V Hybrid SZ4 5dr

£21,249

15.2%

£3,206

Seat

Tarraco

1.5 TSI EVO SE 5dr

£30,080

14.3%

£4,297

Renault

Kadjar

1.3 TCE GT Line 5dr

£28,200

13.6%

£3,819

Citroen

C3 Aircross

1.2 PureTech 110 Shine Plus 5dr

£21,500

12.5%

£2,661

Renault

Captur

1.0 TCE 90 Iconic 5dr

£20,800

10.9%

£2,237

Seat

Leon

1.5 TSI EVO FR 5dr

£24,515

10.0%

£2,418

Nissan

Juke

1.0 DiG-T 114 Acenta 5dr

£20,440

8.5%

£1,709

* Correct at the time of writing