RAC Cars News


December, Prime Time For Car Shopping

By raccars Published

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You may struggle to fit car shopping around putting up the Christmas tree, baking mince pies and wrapping presents in December, but apparently, it could be well worth your while to make some time. Auto industry analysts at CAP Automotive claim that buying in December can save a significant amount of money.

Traditionally, December is a quiet month for the car market as people are otherwise occupied. The result is a boom in sales in January, but this rollercoaster effect can benefit car buyers prepared to put in some time now. In fact, CAP Automotive suggests car buyers can potentially save £500 by shopping this month instead of next.

Having analysed the prices of cars over different months of the year, CAP found that figures can vary by as much as hundreds of pounds, depending on the date on the calendar. With the average Briton said to spend £487 over the Christmas period, CAP research identified two popular models which are so much cheaper in December than January, that buying one now could cover the entire cost of Christmas.

The Toyota RAV4 and Mini Cooper, both in diesel format and from 2012, could both be found for £500 less this month than next. £250 could be saved on an Audi TT Roadster, Toyota Prius or a VW Fox in the same way. Buying a used car for teenagers learning to drive may turn out to be a good value Christmas present after all!

Specifically, a 2012 Mini Cooper 1.6 was found for sale in December for £18,350, The same car cost £18,850 the following month. A 2012 Toyota RAV4 Diesel that cost £18,650 in December went up to £19,150 in January. A 2011 Toyota Prius 1.8 was on sale for £12,300 in December but for £12,550 in January.

Similar effects are seen by buying a four wheel drive car during the summer, when demand is traditionally low for that kind of car, or a convertible over winter. Going against any prevailing trend tends to result in financial savings.

It's not only used car buyers who can benefit from the Christmas slowdown, as dealerships can often be tempted to offer big discounts at this time of year, to boost low sales figures and to make way for the arrival of newer models on the forecourt next month. On average, new car sales are about a third lower than usual in December, so go prepared to haggle and you could be well rewarded.

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