Festive Toyota PriusCar price experts CAP have revealed new analysis that shows buying a used car before Christmas rather than after could save enough cash to cover the cost of Christmas. 

The Money Advisory Service 2013 revealed the average cost of Christmas is £487 per adult in the UK – and CAP research has shown that, last Christmas, many used cars were valued £500 less in December 2013 than in January 2014.

An options-packed 2012 MINI Cooper, for example, was valued £18,350 in December 2013, which rose by £500 to £18,850 in January 2014. A Toyota RAV4 D-4D also rose by £500 the month after Christmas.

A 2011 Toyota Prius was worth £250 more the month after Christmas 2013, and even a budget 2011 Volkswagen Fox was priced £175 higher in January 2014 than in December 2013.

It’s all because of seasonality, said CAP – December is always quiet, and is followed by “an explosion of interest” in January.

“The trick is to go against the trend and buy when other people aren’t looking for the same thing,” said CAP retail and consumer specialist Philip Nothard.

“That means December can be a brilliant time to change your car.”

CAP has also produced an infographic detailing what people could buy with their £500 December used car savings. 1.2km of tinsel or half a kilometre of fairy lights, anyone?

CAP Christmas Cars and Facts 2014