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Best Pre-Reg and Nearly New Car Deals

Want to save money? Pre-reg and nearly-new cars could be the answer. Here are the best deals we've found online

What is a pre-reg car?

A pre-registered car is one that has been registered by a dealer with the DVLA so it has been assigned a registration number. This is different to buying a brand new car where it’s only registered when you buy it.

There are various reasons why a dealer might do this, but the most common is to boost their sales figures at the end of a month or quarter to meet their target set by the manufacturer, which earns the dealer a bonus.

There is no age limit on what can be described as a pre-reg car, but almost all will be less than six months old and have less than 200 miles on the odometer. Some dealers will also describe a pre-reg car as an ‘ex-demo’ or ‘delivery miles only’. If it has a V5C logbook, it’s been registered and cannot be advertised or described as new.

1. Skoda Fabia 1.0 MPI Colour Edition

Price: £11,749   Saving: £4626

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The Fabia is one of our favourite hatchbacks around and while it may not drive as well as a Fiesta, it's nonetheless a high quality and very comfortable small car. We also find plenty of savings such as more than £4500 off this smart Colour Edition model which comes with black 16-inch alloys, a balck roof and cruise control. 

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Listers Skoda Coventry 1.0 petrol 75PS 5-speed manual £11,749 £16,375 £4626 10

 

 

 

2. SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI 115 DSG FR

Price: £15,250   Saving £4350

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This good looking FR version of the latest SEAT Ibiza comes with the more powerful 115PS version of the excellent 1.0 TSI engine and a seven-speed DSG. Being an FR it comes well equipped too with an 8.0-inch touchscreen navigation system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, air conditioning and 17-inch alloys.

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Hendy SEAT Brighton

1.0 petrol 115PS seven-speed automatic £15,250 £19,600 £4350 100

 

 

 

3. Citroen C1 1.0 VTi Feel 5dr

Price: £7989    Saving: £5046

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If you're after a pre-reg car on a budget, the C1 sticks out as a good deal. It's well built and easy to drive, making it a great town runabout or first car. For less than £8000 there are several around including this 19-plate model with a good saving on the list price.

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Howards Weston-Super-Mare
1.0 petrol 72PS five-speed manual £7989 £13,035 £5046 50

 

 

 

4. Mazda CX-3 1.8d Sport Nav

Price: £17,000   Saving: £6965

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In our opinion, the CX-3 is one of the finest handling crossovers on the market and while this is on a 68-plate (a bit older than we'd like) it was actually registered in February 2019 so has plenty of its warranty left. And with close to £6500 off the asking price we'd be happy sacrifice not having a 19-plate.

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Perrys Huddersfield 1.8-litre diesel 115PS 6-speed manual £17,000  £23,965 £6965 8

 

 

 

5. Fiat 500 1.2 Lounge 

Price: £9498  Saving: £4747

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There is no shortage of Fiat 500 models available as pre-reg so finding one in the colour you want and without having to travel too far is unlikely to be a problem. This Lounge model is finished in Smooth Mint paintwork - a £350 option. With £4750 off the asking price this is a good saving on an the always popular little Fiat.

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Arnold Clark Ashton 1.2 petrol 69PS five-speed manual £9498  £14,245 £4747 10

 

 

 

6. Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost 125 ST-Line 

Price: £17,750  Saving: £4395

Ford Focus

The new Ford Focus is one of the best family hatchbacks on the market, and it's at its most impressive with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine combined with ST-Line trim. While there are some good deals to be had on lesser models, we'd be tempted by this example in its Desert Island Blue paint (a £700 option). 

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Hendy Crawley 1.0 petrol 125PS six-speed manual £17,750 £22,145 £4395 68

 

 

 

7. Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2.0i R-Sport

Price: £28,444   Saving: £16,601

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If you're after a comfortable and classy estate, the XF Sportbrake is an ideal choice. It has a huge boot, excellent seats and the this 2.0-litre petrol model is smooth and quiet. True, the infotainment system could be better but more than £16k off the list price makes this a very attractive big estate.

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Farnell Jaguar Leeds 2.0 petrol 250PS eight-speed automatic £28,444 £45,045 £16,601 6

 

 

 

8. Hyundai Kona 1.0 T-GDi Premium

Price: £16,480   Saving: £3990

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As a value-focused crossover, the Hyundai Kona gets lots of things right, with its low running costs and comprehensive warranty being its two standout selling features. This Phantom Black model has close to £4000 off the list price.

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Ryders of Warrington 1.0 petrol 120PS six-speed manual £16,480 £20,470 £3990 10

 

 

 

9. Vauxhall Astra 1.0 T SRi Nav

Price: £13,380   Saving: £9085

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There's a refreshed Astra on thw way, so we're seeing plenty of pre-facelift models coming down in price. This 1.0-litre SRi Nav model has a list price of more than £22k and comes well equipped with 17-inch alloys, sports seats, Bluetooth, plus of course navigation. There's a hefty saving off that list price making this a good deal on a 19-plate car.

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Greenhous Shrewsbury 1.0 petrol 105PS 5-speed manual £13,380 £22,465 £9085 10

 

 

 

10. Audi Q2 30 TFSI Sport

Price: £18,800 Saving: £4885

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The Q2 fits the bill perfectly as a small but premium crossover and we're seeing more and more available on pre-reg deals. This 30 TFSI model has the 1.0-litre petrol engine and being a Sport comes pretty well equipped with 17-inch alloys, sports seats and built in navigation. There's a very healthy discount too with more than £4500 off the list price.

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Marshall Audi Bexley 1.0 petrol 116 six-speed manual £18,800 £23,685 £4885 10

 

 

 

Is a pre-reg car still a 'new' car?

No is the straight answer. Because it’s been registered by the dealer, so the clock has started to tick on the warranty and when its first MoT will be due. When you buy a pre-reg car, your name will go down as the second owner on the V5C logbook document, so any subsequent buyer will also know you were not the first registered keeper.

The biggest impact this has for you is when you come to sell as many buyers prefer a one-owner history on cars up to around four years old. However, you can offset this by paying less for a pre-reg car that’s identical in every other way to a brand new one.

Discounts on pre-reg cars range from 5 per cent to 30 per cent depending on the make, model and specification. You should also bear in mind that a dealer will be keen to sell a pre-reg car as it’s getting older by the day and - as a result - depreciating in value.

1When is the best time to buy a pre-reg?

When is the best time to buy a pre-reg?

The most likely times to find a dealer with a stock of pre-reg cars is March or September when the number plate changes. This is when dealers want to shift the greatest number of cars to earn their sales bonuses, so pre-registering cars is common to boost those figures. Visiting a dealer a few days after the start of these months can yield plenty of pre-reg cars going at keen prices.

Dealers also have monthly targets to achieve, so a visit at the beginning of any month may well find several pre-reg cars lingering that were registered to meet the previous month’s target.

Another happy hunting time for pre-reg bargains is when a particular model is about to be replaced by a new version. Dealers don’t want old generation versions hanging around and taking up space they need for the all-new car, so they’ll be keen to strike a deal on any pre-reg cars. If you’re happy with the outgoing model rather than the very latest model, it’s an opportunity to haggle a very good deal.

One other place to find pre-reg cars are some of the larger car supermarkets. If a dealer has ended up with a large number of pre-reg cars it needs to sell in a hurry, they sometimes pass them on to supermarkets to save themselves the hassle.

2Pre-reg or nearly new - what's the difference?

Pre-reg or nearly new - what's the difference?

The difference between a pre-reg car and a nearly new one is the latter includes cars described as ‘ex-demo’ models. This means that nearly new cars might well have been driven on the road and are likely to have higher mileages than any car described as pre-reg.

A car that has been pre-registered will only have the dealer down in the logbook as the first keeper. With a nearly new car, the first keeper could be a dealer, fleet manager or even the car’s manufacturer. Whichever it is, a car can only be sold as nearly new if it’s been bought and registered for the sole purpose of re-selling it. If it has been first registered by a private owner for their personal use, the car immediately becomes a used car in the eyes of the law.

3What about ex-demo cars?

What about ex-demo cars?

An ex-demo car will often be a very attractive option because they tend to be highly specified. Dealers do this because they want to show off as many possible options to new buyers in one vehicle. That can include upgraded trim, wheels, stereo and other extras like a sunroof or electric seat adjustment. They also tend to come with the most popular engine and transmission because dealers know most people will ask to drive that version.

When a dealer comes to sell an ex-demo car, they can describe it as pre-registered but it’s likely to be older and have a higher mileage than most pre-reg cars. This is because the dealer will have kept the car for test drives and it may be up to six months old. The upside to this is it should be sold at considerably less than a brand new model and ex-demos are generally kept in meticulously clean condition

4Do they come with a standard new car warranty?

Do they come with a standard new car warranty?

When a car is first registered, its warranty begins to count down to whatever the specified time limit is. If a pre-reg car has been sat around on a forecourt for several months, that means you only get the balance of what’s left rather than the full term that comes with a new car. It’s also worth remembering that some warranty and breakdown packages only apply to the first keeper, so check with the dealer that these benefits will be transferred to you.

5Finally...

And finally...

As you are not the first keeper of a pre-reg car, there are some things to bear in mind. Firstly, make sure the dealer selling the car is the registered owner and not a private individual as this would make it a used car and worth considerably less. Also, when you buy the car, make sure you have the Section 10 ‘New Keeper’s’ part of the logbook to prove your ownership until a full registration document is sent to you. The dealer must send the rest to the DVLA.

When insuring a pre-reg car, it should be as straightforward. However, as the car is not brand new in the eyes of an insurance company, they may not offer a ‘new for old’ replacement in the first 12 months of ownership in the event of the car being written-off. That could mean you being out of pocket and left looking for a used car instead of a new one.

Finally, some finance companies will not offer a loan for a pre-reg car as they only deal with brand new models. Others might not give their best deals as they reserve those for new car buyers and your name is not the first in the logbook.

 

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