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Buy a used car in Jan: Pay for Xmas?

2014-12-09 08:14

SAVE ON CAR-BUYING: Purchasing a car during December rather than January, could save you enough money to cover the cost of Christmas celebrations. Image: CAP Automotive

LONDON, England - December is usually a quiet time for used car sales followed by an explosion of interest in January. This seasonal roller-coaster for demand affects used car prices, which savvy car buyers can use to their advantage.

Buying a used car in December rather than waiting until January could save enough money to cover the cost of Christmas, according to car price analysis by the UK’s leading independent experts on car and motoring costs, CAP Automotive.


CAP crunched the numbers on how used car prices change at the turn of the year to see whether buying in December rather than waiting until January could result in savings.

According to the British Money Advisory Service 2013 Christmas Survey, UK adults spend an average the equivalent of R8779 each celebrating Christmas.  CAP looked at historic used car price changes over the festive period, to find makes and models that were valued at R9000 less in December 2013 than in January 2014.

The results showed that acting before Christmas can actually save car buyers enough to make Christmas free.


CAP’s retail and consumer specialist, Philip Nothard, explained: “For many of us the idea of spending more money in December might be particularly unappealing,  but the CAP figures show that it can offer some genuine savings in the long term if it's a car you're after.

"The influence of what we call ‘seasonality’ may already be familiar to the more savvy of consumers.  Some take advantage of it by purchasing their four-wheel-drive in the height of summer and sell it again when others are contemplating how they’ll get through another snow-bound winter.  Another trick is buying a good old ‘rag-top’ when it’s cold and wet, rather than when demand shoots up with the approach of spring.

“The trick is to go against the trend and buy when other people aren’t looking for the same thing – and that means December can be a brilliant time to change your car. Our figures show that the potential savings for motorists who bought last December instead of waiting until January were significant.

CAP used car research: December/January price difference

Nothard said: “These savings may not seem gigantic in comparison to the overall cost of the car, but the clever car buyer knows that a few hundred pounds are not to be scoffed at.

“To illustrate that, CAP’s experts calculated some light-hearted ways that consumers could splash out on Christmas with the R9000 savings they found. Whether you want to wrap your house in 500 metres of fairy lights, deck the halls with more than 2000 baubles, or run away from it all on a Christmas Caribbean cruise, buying a used car at the right time can cover the cost.

“So, instead of waiting until the New Year and feeling the pinch of a pricier car purchase, potential car buyers could do well to act fast and look forward to a Christmas that combines the satisfaction of a new car with the knowledge they’ve made a smart saving.

“Do your research first. Would-be car-buyers can always find out for themselves what the latest car values are by using CAP’s free online valuation tools at cap.co.uk.”

Read more on:    england  |  used cars  |  auto industry  |  christmas

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