Exchange and Mart new and used car buying guide

Welcome to the inside-track, our regularly updated Market Guide designed to help new and used car buyers who want to buy better.

What to buy, what to pay, what’s going up and what’s going down – it’s all here. Packed with facts, expert insight, and new and used car know-how, it’s your quick route to a better deal.

Used car buyers have cause to celebrate this year as rising new car sales, great new car deals and increasing stocks of two-to four-year-old part-exchanges promise to drive down used car prices.

Derren Martin, senior editor of Cap Black Book, a used car valuation guide, says late-plate cars are particularly vulnerable.

We are predicting there will be more pressure on used car prices during 2016 than there has been over the past 12 months. Late-plate cars are likely to be an issue. Many manufacturers continue to register tactically and rental registrations increased in 2015. These cars enter the used market and compete with new car offers. Derren Martin

Rupert Pontin, head of valuations at Glass’s Guide, says that the rising popularity of PCP deals is taking used car buyers out of the market.

New car deals have been so good, it has impacted on the late-plate, low mileage market by pulling buyers of up to three-year-old cars to a new model because of such appealing monthly rates.Rupert Pontin

He says - last year’s increase in pre-registering (when dealers register unsold cars to boost their sales figures and earn bonuses from the car makers) could inflate the supply of nearly new cars, depressing their prices further.

We need to understand the impact of pre-registering and the effect it may have on used car values during 2016.Rupert Pontin

We say - An oversupply of used cars this year will be a double edged sword: on the one hand it will help drive down the prices of used cars that are for sale; on the other, it will mean the used car you plan to sell or part-exchange could be worth less. Still, all being equal, the most important figure, the cost to change (the difference between what your new car costs and what you get for your old one) should remain the same.

Our advice - Take nothing for granted – know the market, know your prices and haggle hard.

Car buying advice