Diesel sales continue to climb

06 December 2005

  • Diesel sales up, overall sales down
  • Euro IV tax incentive closes January 1
  • December could be ideal time to bag a bargain

Non Car Fuel Station

Company car buyers are snapping up diesel cars in greater numbers than ever before ahead of a tax incentive window closing next month.

Currently, company cars powered by Euro IV-compliant diesel engines are entitled to a 3% tax waiver, but that incentive ceases on January 1.

According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), last month 66,867 cars – 42% of all sales – were diesels, as buyers act before the end-of-the-year deadline.

The rush to buy diesel cars was not enough to prevent a dip in overall sales, however. New car registrations were down 7.9% in November, which translates to 5.8% drop year on year.

While falling sales causes glum faces on dealer forecourts and in manufacturers' boardrooms, for car buyers it could be a great opportunity to pick up a bargain in time for Christmas.

December is a quiet month because many buyers prefer to wait until the new 06 registrations in March, so dealers could be in a position to offer keen discounts over the coming weeks.

The What Car? Target Price for a BMW 320d Touring ES is now £23,547 – that's £181 less than a month ago and £1328 less than the list price, while the most you should pay for our favourite VW Golf, the 1.6 FSI (petrol) S 5d is £13,362 - around £100 less than last month.

However, make sure any December deal is really keen before you buy. Any car bought this month will be worth less than a car bought early in 2006 when the time comes to sell it on.

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