Ask the expert: ‘How much can I haggle off the price of a new car?’

Alex Robbins is contributing editor at Telegraph Cars where, as well as responding to readers’ queries, he also contributes reviews of new and used cars, together with articles on buying and selling. 

His knowledge of the used car market informs his many buying guides relating to the best buys in particular sectors, with an emphasis on value for money.  Every week he will answer your questions on buying and selling, as well as solving your car problems, whether consumer or mechanical.

Do you have a motoring dilemma you’d like our expert to solve?  For consumer and used car advice, or car faults, email CarsAdvice@telegraph.co.uk and include your subscriber number. This week’s question… 


Dear Alex,

We are looking to purchase a new car and will be cash buyers. What sort of discount off the list or forecourt price could or should we expect or insist on, or does this figure vary across dealers and makes?

– DC

Dear DC, 

In my experience, the best way to gauge how much you can chip off a new car is by using reverse-auction sites, such as Carwow, on which ­dealers effectively bid for your business by offering you their best deals. You can also visit broker sites, such as Drivethedeal, which do a similar thing in a different way, finding dealers willing to offer them deals on cars and passing those savings on to buyers.

You can then either buy through these sites and have the car delivered to you, or if you’d prefer to deal with a dealer, you can at least use the prices these sites offer as leverage.

Under normal circumstances, doing so can get you anywhere from £500 to £5,000 off a new car, although, as you suggest, this will vary from dealer to dealer and model to model, depending on supply and demand.

The trouble is, we aren’t under normal circumstances. New cars are still in extremely short supply and will be for a while yet, which means demand is high, so the chance of a good deal is slim.

Indeed, I’ve seen some dealers ­selling in-demand models for more than their list prices, if cars are in stock and ready for immediate delivery. It’s a situation that isn’t likely to abate any time soon, given that the semiconductor shortage that has driven this drought shows little sign of improving.

With that in mind, you might struggle to get anything more than a trifling sum off sought-after models. Even so, it’s worth checking those websites to see if they have any sort of deals before you go shopping, to ensure you won’t be paying over the odds.

Even if you can’t get that much cash off, don’t forget that the car itself isn’t the only thing you can haggle over. Suggest that they throw in a couple of added benefits, such as an extended warranty or service package – you might end up saving as much off your servicing and repair bills as you would have done off the initial price of the car.

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