New Car Prices – Be Sure To Read The Fine Print

Last updated 12th December 2018 – #4 in New Car Buying Tips

new car prices

When you’re scoping new car prices it’s easy to get pulled in by pictures and unusually low numbers but before you tell yourself you’ve found the deal of the century, be sure to read the fine print.

As the old saying goes – if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

The things to double check are:

Is The Car Automatic or Manual?

This can, of course, affect the price greatly.

Is the Car Pictured/Advertised/Listed Brand New?

There’s a bit to consider here…

Consider The Compliance Plate Date

If a car has a compliance plate that dates back longer than a few months it’s possible that by now a new model or an upgrade of the current model is around the corner. This may not be the case, but it’s possible – and this may be why the car is being advertised a lower price.

Consider The Build Plate Date

The build plate of a car typically reflects a month approximately 90 days prior to the compliance date. For example, if a car’s compliance date is Feb/2018, it’s quite possible in this instance that the car’s build plate date (that is when the car was completely assembled/built) will reflect the year before – say Dec/2017.

A build plate date that reflects a year prior to the one we’re currently in will often account for why a car is being listed or advertised for a much lower price that you’re used to seeing.

Is The Car Registered as a Demonstrator Model?

new car demonstrator

Demonstrator models have been either used by dealership staff and/or for customer test drives. Demonstrator vehicles can have anywhere from 40 (4-zero) kilometres on them to 5, 6 and 8000 kilometres.

Sidenote: If you request the help of Any New Car to negotiate the best price on your chosen new car you will only be given a quote on a brand new car. That is, either from freshest new car dealer stock, new cars scheduled to be built or cars currently in transit to dealers. Not demonstrator models and not ‘old stock’.

Is the Car an Unregistered Demonstrator Model?

In other words, is this a car that has been used for test drives using the dealer’s trade plate? These vehicles although unregistered can sometimes accumulate quite a few kilometres in test drives.

These cars may be old or brand new stock and can sometimes be the reason they are being advertised for a lower price. It may also be a combination of the before-mentioned reasons.

Are There Conditions, Restrictions or Limitations Perhaps Involving Finance?

Sometimes new cars are advertised with prices that are conditional on other things such as taking the company that is advertising’s finance or another combination package of some description.

Is The Price Limited To Vehicles Plated The Previous Year?

As explained above, vehicles plated the previous year are often advertised for less.

Is The Price Limited To a Particular Stock Number?

In other words, is one or all of the points mentioned above a factor? Also, note that if you are looking at a listing or advertisement for a car that is restricted to a particular stock number or stock numbers it means that you may also be limited on colour choice and other factory options.

Does The Price Include All On Road Costs?

If the price seems particularly low it could be a combination of any or all of the above-mentioned factors rolled into the fact that on-road costs haven’t been included either. This can make a car look very cheap.

View our full guide to new car on road costs…

Advertising new cars excluding on-road costs has become less common as the ‘drive away’ slogan has become more and more popular but the list price listings are still prevalent on many websites purely because there can be so many variables in arriving at a drive away price.

Variables such as registration type (business, private, pensioner and so on) can make significant differences to the driveaway price of a new car and the margins for negotiation vary greatly on each new car too. This is why it’s often better to have experience on your side.


If you’re set on the new car model you intend buying and you’d like to get the best price, click the link below:

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