Five fantastic deals on nearly-new cars
Save bundles of cash buying lightly used, late-letter cars - some showing tiny mileagesBuying a new car is wonderful: all factory-fresh and just as you wanted it. But if scoring a real bargain is what fires you most, writes Ray Castle of motors.co.uk, snapping up a nearly-new motor will heighten the buzz.
Put simply, these are cars less than a year old, which have covered only a low number of miles: from a few dozen up to 10,000. They’ll have started life with a car rental company, as a dealer’s sales demonstrator, or just registered by the manufacturer needing, for whatever reason, to put cars on the ground.
Barring the odd nick or scratch, they’ll be as new and the balance of the maker’s warranty will guard you against unexpected bills for two years, minimum. But the real treat comes with the price because you’ll save thousands off the list price and even, if you pick wisely, up to a third.
Here are five of the best deals around that you can buy now:
Ford Fiesta 1.4 TDCi Titanium five-door
List price new: £16,213
2009, 59-reg, 1203 miles: £11,699
This high-spec Fiesta includes air conditioning, alloy wheels and a peppy 68bhp diesel engine that has low emissions of 110g/km (qualifying for £35 yearly road tax) and it’s capable of up to 67.2mpg across a mixed diet of trips. It’s a great car to drive, so good that it’ll have you wondering whether you’d ever want to own anything bigger or more costly. Ford raised its new-car prices four times during 2009, making this as-new car a steal at this figure. With savings such as this widely available, it’ll make you think twice about signing for a new one.
Fiat Panda 1.2 Dynamic
List price new: £9000
2008, 58-reg, 15 miles: £7000
A new version of the Panda is due this year but as tiny but highly useful cars go, the current one remains hard to beat. Five doors, four seats and a fair-sized boot make it handier than a handy thing, while with this 1.2 engine, road tax is low and you’ll manage up to 56mpg overall. It’s easy to drive, made more so by the ‘city’ button which increases the steering assistance to make for finger-light reverse parking. It’s decently equipped, too: air conditioning, remote locking and electric windows come as standard, although it lags behind more modern designs in its safety provision and only two front-mounted airbags come as standard. This car is just over a year old but is effectively as new – so the £2000 saving makes it a tempting proposition.
Jaguar X-type saloon 2.2 D Sovereign auto
List price new: £28,898
2009, 09-reg, 4025 miles: £20,000
Jaguar won’t be making X-types for much longer, although they’ll still be offered new for some while. This top-spec car has leather seats with piped leather trim, wood inlay and chrome lavished across the cabin, climate controlled air conditioning and a top-flight stereo. And the saving here is remarkable. In return for taking a car wearing last year’s registration you save a full third on its list price, while at 4025 miles, its engine’ll be barely run in. The X-type dates from the period when Ford owned Jaguar and, under the skin, it’s not that different from a Ford Mondeo. That’s no bad thing, though, because the Mondeo is fine to drive and this quality transfers to the X-type. If you like your car to look old-school but want it also to be a handy size for town driving, this Jaguar will prove one of the most satisfying you could own.
MGTF LE 500
List price new: £16,055
2008, 58-reg, 1000 miles: £12,995
This is the Rover-era MG two-seater reborn. This soft-top, the first model sold in the UK by MG’s new Chinese owners, offers the TF as of old, cheered up with bright orange paint, leather seats and mean-looking black alloys. It has Rover’s 133bhp 1.8 K-series engine, though, which makes it more open-topped ambler than fire-cracker. One improvement is that new model has had its suspension reworked to give a more absorbent ride. Offered in a limited run of 500 cars, this one is seeking an enthusiast owner. There are a fair few for sale and, at this price, buying nearly new looks strong value.
Seat Exeo 2.0 TDi SE saloon
List price new: £20,775
2009, 09-reg 5000 miles: £15,995
Car fans will quickly clock that the Exeo is a previous-shape Audi A4, given a new nose and a badge-swap. Launched last year, it is one of Seat’s best cars and even if you pay list price, it’s a bargain for what you get. The Exeo drives with all the punch and refinement that you’d expect from the executive-class car it is and, with this diesel engine, is also smooth, low on CO2 emissions and careful with fuel. Buying nearly-new here puts you into a car a class bigger and posher than you’d reach for if spending £16k on a new car.
List prices throughout are for standard specification, including optional metallic paint.
Buying nearly new offers much. But we’d do you wrong if we signed off without sounding a couple of cautionary notes. First, remember that you’ll be listed on its registration documents as the second owner. If you plan to sell it soon, this could hit the price that it fetches. On the other hand, it you keep if for three years or more, it won’t make a jot of difference.
Finally, if you’re unlucky enough to have your new car stolen or damaged beyond economic repair during the first year that you own it, most insurance policies guarantee you another new car. But if you’re its second owner they’ll offer only its market value – which will be thousands of pounds lower.
To view and buy cars like these – and thousands of other new, nearly-new and used cars, go to motors.co.uk