How you could save thousands on a new car this Easter

VW Golf

If you are looking for a new car, this Easter weekend could be the perfect time to buy one.

Online car buying site, carwow, are expecting sales of £5.5m this Bank Holiday weekend via their site alone and wth a car the second most expensive purchase most people ever make, it’s important to make sure you get the best possible deal.

Consider a pre-reg

On the 1st April the Government introduced the biggest shake up to road tax – or Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) – in 16 years, consequently increasing the ‘on the road’ price of a brand new car by up to £500. You can bypass this cost and still purchase a car that has never been owned or driven by a member of the public, by opting for a pre-registered car.

carwow’s data has revealed there is a limited stock of just 11,000 cars remaining among their extensive dealer network across the UK, that were registered before the April cut off. But if you get your hands on one quick, here’s a snapshot of the savings you could make.

Alex Rose, Head of Trading at carwow, said: Few buyers will be aware that dealers have pre-registered stock on their forecourts that are exempt from the increase in road tax. With over 11,000 of these vehicles across the UK, that means there is still an opportunity to buy a car that’s essentially new, without incurring the increased tax costs.”

How Much Could You Save?*

VW Golf

Volkswagen Golf – 2.0-litre diesel, 148hp, 109g/km CO2

Pre- 1st April, the 2.0 TDI Golf Match cost nothing for the first year, then £20 per year to tax.

Bought brand new and registered post 1st April it costs £140 per year to tax every single year.


Audi A6 Allround

Audi A6 Allroad – 3.0-litre diesel, 269hp, 149g/km CO2

The A6 Allroad is a relatively frugal – but large-engined – diesel estate car that costs more than £40,000. As a vehicle pre-registered before 1st April it will cost you £145 per year to tax – or £435 over three years.

Brand new however it will cost £200 to tax for the first year, and £450 for each year thereafter – a total of £1,100. That’s £665 more over three years.


*Savings calculated over three years


Road tax is required for every car sold in the UK.

When buying a new car, your first year of road tax is included in your final ‘on the road’ price. Which means if road tax has increased for your model, so will the overall price of your car.

The government revised its rates on 1st April 2017. Previously cars that were smaller and more efficient were exempt from paying as a reward for producing low CO2 emissions. However, with manufacturers increasing efficiency across the board, more and more cars were falling into the tax-free bracket.

To increase cashflow, the government has introduced a road tax system to push more conventional cars back into taxation, reserving tax-free status for a handful of zero-emission cars.

For a list of cars affected by the new rates and to understand the new system visit carwow.


Cars traditionally get pre-registered by dealers or brokers twice a year, in March and September when the new licence plates come in.

Car dealers are required to hit sales targets by the manufacturers who supply cars to them and every registration means a ‘sale’, even if it’s only been sold to the dealer themselves.

A pre-registered car cannot be called ‘new’ – therefore it’s immediately cheaper for you to buy.

If you’re buying using finance, remember the finance deal will reflect the fact the car is nearly new and not brand new.

When you come to sell the car, remember that its resale value will also be lower.