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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

Honda Civic 1.0 VTEC Turbo SE

Price: £14,965   Saving: £4660

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We're seeing some good savings on pre-reg Honda models, especially the HR-V and the Civic. This SE model gets the excellent 1.0 VTEC engine, what we regard as the best three-cylinder petrol around. It's a 2018 car (on a 68-plate) and more than £4500 off makes this a very good deal.

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Buyacar 1.0 126PS VTEC £14,965 £19,625 £4660 3

 

 

Audi A3 30 TFSI Sport

Price: £19,600   Saving £5715

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It may not be the newest of hatchbacks around but the A3 is still one of the best on the market. This 30 TFSI has a 1.0-litre petrol engine with 116PS and comes with the Tech Pack, a £1395 extra, that includes the Audi Virtual Cockpit plus MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch. 

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1.0 petrol 116PS manual £19,600 £25,315 £5715 10

 

 

 

Suzuki Baleno 1.2 Dualjet SZ3

Price: £8837    Saving: £3147

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While it's not as popular as the smaller Swift, we're seeing lots of Baleno models for less money on pre-reg deals. This may be an entry-level SZ3 model with steel wheels but it does at least come with air conditioning, DAB and curtain airbags. 

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Stoneacre Hull 1.2 petrol manual £8837 £11,984 £3147 10

 

 

Citroen C4 Cactus 1.2 Puretech Feel

Price: £13,495   Saving: £5570

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While it may not stand out as it did when first launched - Citroen also got rid of the side bumps we quite liked - the C4 Cactus is still a good family car that's very affordable. This Feel model has a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus Citroen's effective Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension.

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Perrys Huddersfield 1.2-litre turbo petrol 6-speed manual £13,495  £19,065 £5570 1

 

 

 

SEAT Mii 1.0 60 Design

Price: £7495  Saving: £4405

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As city cars go, we don't think there's any as good to drive as the Mii, Citigo and Up trio. There's no shortage of pre-reg deals around for all of them, but this SEAT Mii caught our eye at less than £7500. It's a Design model which gets 15-inch alloys, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus air con.

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Stoneacre Chesterfield 1.0-litre petrol manual £7495  £11,900 £4405 10

 

 

 

Toyota C-HR 1.2 T Design

Price: £21,495   Saving: £3465

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While it's not the hybrid version, we actual prefer the 1.2-litre petrol with its slick manual transmission and perky, if not blistering performance. The Design version is well equipped with a touchscreen system, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control and heated front seats.

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Motorline Toyota Canterbury 1.2 T petrol manual £21,495 £24,960 £3465 10

 

 

 

Mercedes-Benz E 200 SE Premium Estate

Price: £32,745   Saving: £9775

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This smart-looking E-Class Estate is a demonstrator model, so expect the mileage to rise, but you're still getting a hefty saving on what is a 19-plate car. Being an SE Premium model it has keyless go, the Burmester surround sound system, wireless phone charger and a panoramic electric glass sunroof.

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Listers Hull 2.0 petrol 184PS nine-speed automatic £32,745 £42,520 £9775 14

 

 

 

Kia Stonic 1.6 CRDi First Edition

Price: £16,490   Saving: £4230

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You can't get the Stonic First Edition as a new car any longer, but there are still a few available on pre-reg. This is an 18-plate (first registered in June) so a little older than we'd usually recommend, but given this is a Kia, you're still getting plenty of the seven-year warranty. It also comes with pretty much everything you want.

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Vantage Kia Bradford 1.6 diesel six-speed manual £16,490 £20,720 £4230 12

 

 

 

Nissan Micra 0.9 IG-T Acenta

Price: £11,650   Saving: £5710

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While the Micra may not be up to the standards of the latest Fiesta or Polo, it still has a lot going for it, especially with more than £5500 off the list price. This Acenta model comes with the Exterior Pack Plus - an £800 option that adds black alloy wheels and black body trim.

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Nissan Ancaster Croydon 0.9 petrol 90PS 5-speed manual £11,650 £17,360 £5710 10

 

 

 

Peugeot 3008 1.5 BlueHDi GT Line Premium

Price: £26,998 Saving: £5797

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Pre-registered Peugeot 3008 models are few and far between, but there are still some good deals out there. Like this high spec GT Line Premium model which has close to £6000 off the list price. The car is based up in Clydebank, Scotland but Arnold Clark will deliver to either Milton Keynes, Gatwick or Southampton for a fee.

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Arnold Clark Clydebank 1.5-litre diesel six-speed manual £26,998 £32,795 £5797 10

 

 

 

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. In most cases, the cars will have delivery mileage only and never been off the forecourt. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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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Best available rate 9.20%

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Total cost of credit £1,430.17

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Representative example

Borrowing £7,500 over 4 years with a representative APR of 25.4%, an annual interest rate of 25.4% (Fixed) and a deposit of £0.00, the amount payable would be £239.77 per month, with a total cost of credit of £4,008.96 and a total amount payable of £11,508.96.

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