What Car Q&A January 2010 - What is the right price?

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But how much should I pay?
But how much should I pay?
Q) I've been thinking about buying a new car, but I'm confused by the different prices. What is the 'on-the-road' price, for example?

On whatcar.com you also list a 'Target Price', and on some car manufacturer websites I've seen 'total price' listed, too. Can you explain?

Alex Tanner


A The 'on-the-road' price is the price of the car, plus VAT and at least six months' road tax (vehicle excise duty). The price also includes a first registration fee of £55, the cost of delivering the car to the dealership, numberplates and enough fuel to drive your new car off the forecourt. Most manufacturers will also include a full year of road tax and a full tank of fuel.

The What Car? Target Price is the on-the-road price, minus the minimum discount you should be able to get by haggling with the salesman. This price is different for every new car, and can be found by clicking the 'car reviews' tab at the top of this page, and choosing a make, model and version.

Finally, the 'total price' you have seen listed on manufacturer websites refers to the price on the car before the various 'on-the-road' charges, but it does include VAT.

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