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Buy the right car at the right price

  • All the star cars coming in 2011-12
  • Coupes to sports cars
  • 2011-12 launch calendar, too
Words ByWhat Car? Staff

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It's tempting to go straight down to the dealer and hand over a deposit if youve spotted a car you like. Do that and youll almost certainly get to the front of any waiting list, but youll also lose that money if you change your mind.

Generally speaking, unless its a limited edition or performance car thats likely to sell out, youre better off waiting for a car to be available for testing before you commit to buy. That way, you can read the What Car? review and make your own assessment of the car before buying.

1) Keep a close eye on whatcar.com for up-to-date launch information
Although all car companies have product plans stretching years ahead, theres often something that knocks the best-laid plans slightly awry, sometimes by weeks, sometimes by months.

2) Use the Target Price for discount clues
When a new car is launched, dealers generally have limited supply and an initial rush of demand, so they are in a much stronger position to hold out for the full price.

How long that situation lasts depends on demand for the car its frequently as little as three months, but on some models it can last years. Keep an eye on our Target Price discounts to get the best indication of which prices are moving.

3) Theres no substitute for doing your homework
If you want to get the best price on your car. Yes, discounts are hard to come by on new models, but try mentioning a soon-to-arrive rival made by a competitor manufacturer and see if the salesman will start to budge.

4) Consider finance options it might be more affordable than you think
With interest rates at an all-time low there are some good deals to be had. Check high-street banks and online at Whatcarcompare.com. Alternatively, your dealer may be able to offer a good rate.

5) Cant quite afford the car of your dreams?
Before you give up, make sure youve considered every type of finance option available. Hire purchase (where you pay a deposit and monthly payments) or PCP (where you defer a portion of the loan until the end of the term) may suit you better.

6) Old can be gold, too
Many of the new cars listed here are replacements for existing models. If you cant afford the all-new car, why not consider taking advantage of the huge discounts that are available on run-out older models? In many cases the car is still more than adequate, and its maker will want to shift old stock quickly.