The 6th March is a big date in the calendar of car dealers across the country. But, as a prospective car buyer, you should be monitoring it too – even if you’re not interested in a brand-new number plate. Why is that?

About plate changes

Twice a year, the DVLA issue new number plates for newly registered cars.

On March 6th, the latest number plates will be released and applied to any new vehicle registered from this date, to 1st September.

This means you’ll soon begin to see a few shiny new cars with a ‘XX20 XXX’ number plate. You may even get a bit jealous of the smug owners driving around in their flashy new motor.

But the new number plate can actually be a big bonus for the clever car buyer, as you can end up with a fantastically cheap car deal. Here’s why.

Dealerships clearing stock

The main agent dealers (such as Vauxhall, Ford, BMW etc.) use the change of the number plate as a chance to promote their brand-new cars, just fresh off the production line.

But to clear up space for their new stock and to hit the sales targets for the previous number plate, there will be plenty of promotions and deals to entice buyers to purchase the departing plate number.

This can range from deposit matching schemes, where the dealer will match the amount you lay down at the start of the finance package, to being more generous with how much money they will give you for a part exchange.

Different dealers have different promotions, some they might not advertise so widely.

It might be worth taking a trip to the dealership and seeing what the salespeople use to try and clinch the deal.

Part exchange deals

The vast majority of new cars are bought with a part-exchange, where the buyer trades in their old car to go towards the cost of the price of the new one.

These part-exchange cars vary in age, quality and type, but there is one thing they all have in common – the main agents want to get rid of them!

So, if you’re after a car that’s a few years old, you can pick up a real bargain. And if the car was on a finance deal previously it’s likely to be in good condition, as the previous owner will have had to fulfil the lease requirements and return conditions set out by the lender.

Whatever happens, the need for the dealer to sell means you are in a strong negotiating position.

The bulk of the dealers money will come from the new number plate vehicles they sell, so they may be more open to haggling on your end.

And, as an added bonus, you don’t have to suffer the heavy hit from the Depreciation that comes when you buy a brand new vehicle.

In fact, you can benefit from the lower price as the value drops a few years after the car was first registered.

New or used?

If you are buying a new car, the best time to buy is the month before the plate changes.

As mentioned previously, this is when the dealer wants to clear their stock, so the new cars are at their best price.

If you are buying a used car, then buy it the same month as the new number plate comes out. Take advantage of the part-exchange deals and the increased number of good quality used cars on offer.

The best 19 plate cars

If you do want to take advantage of the new number plates by getting one of the new cars released under the 19 or 69 number plate, which are the best models to go for?

Here’s our rundown of the best cars released in 2019 that you should be aiming for.


Kia Picanto

Rated the best small city car by ‘What car?’ magazine, the Kia Picanto is perfect for urban living.

The Picanto is smartly designed and economical, it comes with a range of parking technologies that makes squeezing into tight spaces a doddle.


Volvo XC90

The best SUV released in 2019 was the Volvo XC90. Combining Volvo’s attention to detail with a vehicle that can tackle fjords and snow with ease, British roads are a lot easier for this car designed to navigate Scandinavian roads.


Tesla Model 3

By far and away the best electric cars on the market, the Tesla Model 3 is a lot more affordable than other models in the range.

While you still might be waiting a while to get one, the increased range and the growing network of charging points means you have no excuse not to go green!


Skoda Octavia

If you want a decent all-round family car, you want a Skoda. And the Skoda Octavia is the best of the bunch. It has plenty of interior space that, when combined with the smooth ride, makes it one of the most comfortable cars to drive.

Add to that the big boot space, and you have room in the seating areas and luggage space to fit a growing family.


BMW 3 Series

The best executive car on the market yet again, the BMW 3 Series keeps all the features that made the previous generation so popular and wraps it in a tweaked and refined new package that is a joy to drive.

A car that makes long commutes seem fun, rather than just bearable!

Get your best deal today

With a range of flexible finance options available, you can spread the cost of your next car over affordable monthly payments. To discuss your options with a car finance specialist, simply apply online and a member of the team will be in touch. 

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