Should I go ahead with my car purchase now or wait to get a bigger discount?

A reader asks if he should ask for a discount on the car he's ordered to compensate for bigger discounts that might be available after the coronavirus pandemic...

BMW 1 Series long-term front tracking 2

I ordered a new BMW 118i M Sport on 2 March because the dealer didn’t have any in stock. The only extra on the car was metallic paint.

The car has been made and has arrived in the UK, but the dealer closed on 24 March, three days before I was due to collect it. All I have paid so far is half the cost of the service plan. 

I took out a four-year finance deal to buy the car, but this was so I could gain the BMW contribution of £1100. My intention was to pay for the car in cash one month after taking ownership, which is what the dealer advised me to do.

I still want the car and intend to pay for it in the way mentioned above, but I’m concerned that I will be paying way over the odds for it due to plummeting car sales after the Covid-19 crisis has subsided. 

Do you think I would have any leeway in requesting a further reduction on the car? 

Robert Gold

What Car? says...

There are a couple of things to take into consideration. If the car hasn't been registered, its value won't go down before the lockdown ends and you can take delivery of it. If it has been registered, you could tell the dealer you’re considering pulling out of the deal and see if they’re prepared to offer a discount if you decide to go ahead.

However, we've heard that there is likely to be a surge in demand for new cars post-lockdown, so discounts are expected to shrink then rather than increase. That means if you walk away from the car you've ordered, you could end up getting a smaller discount on another one and have to wait a long time for delivery, because car factories are currently closed and it will take time for production to be ramped up again. 

It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you had to order the car because there was a shortage and there wasn't one in stock, that particular model is likely to be in even shorter supply  later on because of factory closures. 

On the other hand, there are likely to be good deals on cars that dealers already have in stock once production starts again, so if you're prepared to take whatever is out there, you might get a good discount. We've heard that quite a lot of dealers are asking for £100 deposits to secure cars for delivery at a later date. 

And now that the Government has confirmed that car deliveries can go ahead, provided they are done using contactless delivery methods, you might be able to get a car fairly soon.

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