Getting a fair deal

* Prices are on the way up * Discounts are coming down * We can still save you a packet...

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What Car? Staff
26 Feb 2010 16:11 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

If you're in the market for a new car, you cant fail to be shocked by the stratospheric rise in car prices over the past year; it makes getting a discount all the more important. Thats why it pays to know if discounts have tracked the price rises, or whether theyre bigger or smaller than ever. The What Car? Target Price is your essential tool.

Every month we mystery shop hundreds of car dealers up and down the country to calculate our Target Prices. Weve been doing it since 2001, so we have plenty of information at our fingertips to know exactly how much of a saving you should expect.

Buy a new car now and, although prices have gone up, you can still save on average 1699 this month. Heres how we did it, and heres how you can do it, too.

Big savings are available on the majority of makes and models, and our monthly Target Price research shows you the absolute maximum you should consider paying - haggle hard and youll probably save more.

Once our team of mystery shoppers has done its haggling, our Target Price team check out the latest incentives from manufacturers. Figures are then printed in the buyers guide at the back of What Car? and listed online at whatcar.com.

Before we introduced Target Price, the car dealers held all the cards. Salesmen knew how much they could reduce the price of every car by and still make a tidy profit, whereas buyers were totally in the dark. Was a 1000 discount a good deal or not? There was no way to know.

Now a quick glance at the Target Price and youll know that 1000 off a Mini Cooper is a cracking deal. If youve knocked only 1000 off a Vauxhall Insignia, you need to try harder!

The most generous manufacturer is Renault its knocking an average of 2009 (13%) off its prices. The stingiest is Mini, with an average of 125 (1%).

Haggler's guide
Keep your cards close to your chest
Dont quote the Target Price straight away you could get an even better deal.
Be assertive
Dont be afraid to push for a bigger discount, but dont be rude, either.
Haggle for options
Dealers make a profit on options, so expect the same discount on extras.
Stick to your guns
If the salesman says no, walk away and ask him to call if he changes his mind.
Call our Target Price hotline
Cant find a dealer willing to sell the car for the Target Price? Call us on 0845 272 6000 and well show you one that is.