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Make sure it adds up

  • Don't miss out on the best deal...
  • ...or pay more than you should
  • Our guide to beating the salesman
Words ByWhat Car? Staff

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You know the brochure price, but you shouldnt pay it. Discounts are available on most cars, with the exception of new or ultra-desirable models, such as the Audi A1 or Fiat 500.

The easiest way to find out the minimum you can expect off the price is to flick to the Buyers Guide at the back of this mag. There youll find the What Car? Target Price for every car on sale in the UK. Our researchers shop anonymously at dealers each month to achieve the discounts quoted, so its accurate.

You should also visit a few car broker websites, such as drivethedeal.com and
carfile.net, where youll probably unearth an even lower price. Print off the cheapest. Even if youre uncomfortable with the idea of buying through a broker, itll give you ammunition when youre negotiating with the dealer.

If youre trading in your old car, youll need to know how much its worth so that the salesman doesnt hoodwink you into accepting less. Visit whatcar.com/valuations or pick up a copy of the What Car? Used Car Price Guide from a newsagent.

Unless youve got ready cash, youll also need to arrange finance. The salesman will happily handle that for you: dealers make a big profit from selling finance. The chances are that it wont be at the best rate, though, so first check the manufacturers website to see if there are any special finance promotions. If not, get some quotes from high-street loan companies.
Finally, read up on payment protection insurance (PPI) and guaranteed asset protection (GAP) insurance at whatcar.com/car-advice.

If youre interested in either, visit a comparison website such as Moneysupermarket.com and get some quotes. Theyll be handy later.