buying a pre-registered car

is buying a pre-registered car a better alternative to buying new?

The benefits of buying a pre-registered car rather than a brand new vehicle may not be immediately obvious. With the huge volatility in the retail car market, many dealerships are buying in new cars from the manufacturers and pre-registering the vehicles. This may be due to the fact that many dealerships have contracts with their manufacturers to take a fixed number of cars per month and when sales fall they are liable to break their contract. Consequently, when this happens, often the dealerships will buy the unsold cars themselves and pre-register them rather than break their contract. Occasionally, a dealership may be left with a new car when a contract hire deal falls through. Again the dealership may take delivery of the vehicle, pre-register it and look to sell at the earliest opportunity.

As a retail customer, it is possible to find some really good deals on these pre-registered models as the dealerships tend to be very keen to off load them to improve their cash flow. There are of course some drawbacks with any good deal and with pre-registered vehicles there are a few.

Restricted choice is one problem of course. You'll be buying a car that someone else has specified in terms of colour and trim and you may not be able to find the engine option you really want. Finance too could be another problem as you may not have as many options to pay for the vehicle going the pre-registered route.

You do, however, get a brand new car, but you'll be listed as the 2nd owner on the V5 document, for example. Some times, due to contracts between the manufacturer and the dealership, the dealership has to hold on to the V5 document for six months, which many car buyers are not too pleased about, for obvious reasons.

The savings quoted by the dealership on a pre-registered car will always be against the recommended retail price (RRP) of the equivalent new model. Many dealerships discount new cars these days and few are really sold at their RRP figure. So, before you take the plunge on a pre-registered car, check what the equivalent new model is really going for and make sure that you are still happy with the saving you are offered.

These are all key factors to take into account when considering the buying of a pre-registered car. If the saving really does override all other considerations, then you can save a lot of money on what is a brand new car. But if not, then a better bargain may well be a fully-fledged used car - or a fantastic deal on a new one.