If you fancy a new car but aren’t too bothered about being the first name on the logbook, a pre-registered car could offer exceptional value for money. A dealer registers the car – usually to meet monthly sales targets – and then passes a hefty discount on to what is now the second owner.
The savings can be significant, with otherwise new cars available for the price of something used. We spent a few hours on Auto Trader to see what’s available right now.
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Suzuki Celerio SZ2: £5,989
Around a third of new cars sold in this country are pre-registered, so you’re never short of options. While you won’t be able to choose the colour, trim or add any factory-fitted options, you might drive away with a significant discount.
Right now, there are 246 pre-registered Suzuki models for sale on Auto Trader, and while an entry-level Celerio is hardly exciting, the £1,010 saving is hard to ignore. At £5,989 its cheaper than the Britain’s lowest price new car: the Dacia Sandero Access.
Fiat Panda Pop: £7,200
Another advantage of buying a pre-reg car is the immediate delivery, meaning you won’t have to wait weeks, possibly months for your new car to arrive. Check out this Fiat Panda Pop, which is available with a £2,000 discount.
The Pop specification is hardly generous – central locking, radio/CD player and power steering is as good as it gets – but it remains one of our favourite city cars.
Vauxhall Viva SE A/C: £7,290
A dealer will be keen to sell a pre-reg car simply to create space for new stock. This means you might be able to negotiate a further discount, or add some dealer-fit accessories to sweeten the deal. If you don’t ask…
While we appreciate you’re unlikely to dream about owning a Vauxhall Viva, the £2,380 saving on this SE A/C model is certainly eye-catching.
Toyota Aygo X: £6,695
Buying a pre-reg car means you’re taking ownership of what is essentially a used car – the dealer is the first name on the logbook. It’s worth keeping this in mind, as when it comes to selling the car, you’ll have to list it as ‘two owners’ and not one. This will have an impact on the valuation.
It’s swings and roundabouts, mind, as you’ll have saved a significant sum on the original price. The Toyota Aygo X is a basic city car, but it does offer LED daytime running lights and remote central locking. This 66-plate car has just five miles on the clock and is available with a £1,800 saving.
Peugeot 108 3-door Active: £7,494
Another thing to bear in mind with a pre-reg is that a warranty and free breakdown cover will apply from the date of first registration, not the date when you collect the car. This could be a few days, but equally it could be a few weeks or months removed from the cover.
A small price to pay for a big discount? In the case of this Peugeot 108 Active, the saving is a chunky £2,811. Not bad for a car with just one mile on the clock.
Fiat Punto Pop: £7,800
Yes, Fiat still builds the Punto supermini. Perhaps unsurprisingly, securing a discount won’t be a massive test of your negotiating skills, as demonstrated by this 66-plate with a single mile on the clock.
The list price is £11,635, but this dealer in the north east is offering the car for just £7,800. That’s a pre-reg discount of £3,835.
Vauxhall Astra GTC: £11,500
This is a curious one. The seventh generation Vauxhall Astra was launched at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, but it’s still possible to buy the GTC sports coupe version of the Mk6 model.
In fairness, the GTC still looks good today, but it comes as no surprise to discover it being offered with a massive £10,000 discount.
Fiat 500 Pop: £9,000
For most Fiat 500 owners, part of the joy of ownership will come from spending time with the configurator and creating something special using the countless colour, wheel and trim options. So you might think a pre-reg 500 would be a hard sell.
This 66-plate example looks pretty basic, but it does come with a £2,000 discount and you won’t have to wait for it to be built and delivered.
Suzuki Ignis SZ-T: £9,999
The Suzuki Ignis is one of the newest cars on the block, but that doesn’t mean that pre-reg bargains are hard to find. Indeed, there are 20 examples for sale with fewer than 100 miles on the clock.
This one caught our eye and not just because of the Flame Orange paintwork. The SZ-T is a feature-packed trim level that will normally set you back at least £11,499. Stonecare is offering the 66-plate car with a £1,500 discount.
Ford Fiesta ST3: £15,995
Ford unveiled a new Fiesta ST at the Geneva Motor Show, but you won’t be able to buy one until 2018. This gives you plenty of time to revel in what remains the best-value hot hatch on the market.
You could spend £20,145 on the flagship ST3. Alternatively, you could save £4,150 and buy this 66-plate pre-reg. Wow.