New-reg cars

Save thousands on 18-plate models with the best deals on new-reg cars and all the information on the new number plate

BuyaCar team
Mar 2, 2018

The new 18-reg number plate has arrived, and is already appearing on the roads, attached to every new car registered since March 1.

The launch of the new plate marks the start of the busiest month in the new car calendar: more than one in five car sales are made in March, which means that dealers cut prices in a battle to tempt customers into their vehicles.

It makes March one of the best times of year to buy a new car, with some discounts of 20% or more and a wide range of finance incentives. It's not too late to get an 18-reg car this month, as there are plenty of cars available in stock with the new number plate. Alternatively, you can order a new car built to your specification and benefit from the March savings - but you may need to wait several weeks for delivery.

The two registration plate digits, which indicate the rough age of a car, are changed every six months. Between September last year and the end of February, every new car was allocated a registration plate containing the number 67. From March 1, this became to 18, and it will change again to 68 in September.

This month is expected to be the last chance to combine generous discounts with one of several scrappage schemes, which close at the end of March. These offer generous incentives to trade in an older car for a new one.


Buying a new-reg car

March is the most popular time of the year to take delivery of a new car because the number plate change is the first to indicate that the car was first registered this year (the last digit of 18 indicates that it's a 2018 car - vehicles registered in January and February still displayed 67).

Despite the demand, you shouldn't be overcharged like parents booking a summer break during the school holidays. There’s such a sales frenzy that manufacturers and dealers fight to undercut each other and there are some fantastic bargains to be had.

Discounts, free equipment, deposit contributions and low-rate finance are all common incentives for March car buyers, and these apply across the market, whether you're interested in a supermini or a seven-seat SUV. You can also choose between getting a car straight away or ordering one to your personal specification:

  • In-stock new reg deals The best way of getting an 18-plate quickly is to buy a car that has already been built and in stock at a dealership, but which has not yet been sold. Most manufacturers have plenty of these in-stock vehicles, which are ready for delivery - often at a bargain price, and in a range of specifications. You can send a request with details of the car that you're looking for, to check availability
  • New reg lease deals It may also be possible to get a new car quickly by leasing one - but ensure that you check how long the vehicle will take to be delivered before placing your order. You'll have low monthly payments, particularly if you take out one of the best car lease deals.
  • Build a new reg car to order This month's incentives are available for new car factory orders, where you can select the exact specification you're looking for. You'll normally need to wait several weeks for the vehicle to arrive.


18-reg car deals

New car sales have fallen in the past year, so the motor industry is banking on an upturn in March, which is why there are big discounts on brand new cars that are built to your specification. See how much you can save on your ideal car by using our new car configurator.


0% finance 18-reg car deals

Some of the best deals on brand new 18-plate cars are highlighted below, but there are too many offers to list on a single page.

Popular 0% finance deals are available from a large number of manufacturers, which often comes on top of other discounts. Manufacturers offering 0% finance include:

  • Citroen
  • Honda
  • Hyundai
  • Mazda
  • Nissan
  • Renault
  • Vauxhall

Click below to find the best discounts on the your ideal car.

Configure a new car


18-reg Audi deals

Audi's Q3 is due to be replaced later this year, so discounts on the current version are getting bigger. You can save 15% off a Q3 2.0 TDI Sport, if you buy on finance, a reduction of more than £4,000 on the brochure price.

There's also a saving of up to 19% on Audi's family estate, the A4 Avant, which starts at £23,585 with low-rate finance from 3.2%.


18-reg Ford deals

You can save more than £4,000 with some new Ford deals, and there are large savings to be made on most of the range, along with 0% finance on some cars.

If you've got a car that's more than seven years old, then you'll probably be able to take advantage of Ford's scrappage scheme and trade it in for a discount of at least £2,000 on a new car, which rises to almost £5,000 for a Ford Focus (above)


18-reg Mercedes deals

You can save more than a quarter off the price of a brand new Mercedes C-Class if you take out finance, thanks to an enormous discount of more than £9,000 in some cases.

A 25% saving brings the cost of an automatic Mercedes C220d SE down to less than £25,000 with low-rate finance, which compares to the brochure price of £33,125.


18-reg Seat deals

The Spanish car manufacturer Seat has been on a roll, producing a string of class-leading models, and the latest is the Seat Ibiza, which offers space, comfort and fuel economy - plus responsive steering that makes it fun to drive. It's the best supermini that you can buy, especially with savings of 17% on a nippy 115 horsepower Ibiza FR model costing £13,847. Further down the range, prices start at little over £10,000 for a Seat Ibiza 1.0 S.


18-reg Volkswagen deals

There are big discounts on almost any Volkswagen that you car to mention, including a Golf for under £15,000 - saving more than £3,000. There's a 20% saving on a mid-range VW Passat, reducing its price by almost £5,000, and new-reg savings cut the starting price of the Tiguan crossover to just over £20,000, and the cost of a mid-range diesel Tiguan to just under £24,000 with finance.



Pre-registered car deals

Dealerships often pre-register cars to help them hit sales targets. They buy the cars and register them in their own name, which counts as a sale.

The cars are sold on as nearly new or pre-registered cars, which can also be described as 'new-in stock'. They are usually offered with generous discounts and are ready for delivery straight away.

The first pre-registered 18-plate cars won't appear until later this month, but if you're willing to forego the latest plate, you can search for all pre-registered 67-plate deals available now, or see the best deals on pre-registered cars

In many cases, dealerships must keep pre-registered cars for 90 days before they go on sale, so new stock is appearing continually.

As well as 67-plate cars, there is also still a wide selection of pre-registered 17-plate cars, which may be reduced - with extra savings - as sellers make way for newer stock.



New cars for 18-reg

There's no shortage of choice if you're after a new family car, thanks to a raft of new models that offer space, comfort and a great price. Crossovers, which combine the low cost and stability of a traditional hatchback, with a higher driving position are top of the list for many, and there are plenty of new options.

As well as the new Volvo XC40, pictured above, there's the Volkswagen T-Roc (shown at the top of the page) and Vauxhall's Grandland X.

Slightly smaller - but still comfortable for a young family - are the Hyundai Kona, Seat Arona and Kia Stonic.

Small and shorter are the new Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta superminis while, at the other end of the range is the huge and smooth Audi A8

It may take a few weeks (or months in some cases) to order a new car that's built to your specification but you may be able to get your hands on a nearly-new car with a 67-plate within a few days.

Fairly new cars such as the Citroen C3 Aircross, Vauxhall Crossland X and Renault Koleos have been on sale for a few months, so there are already 17-plate cars available, and there may also be some unregistered cars in stock, which can be delivered for the beginning of March, fitted with an 18-plate. You can request details of in-stock cars for more information. 

You can see a more comprehensive list of new cars in our best new cars of 2018 guide.


New-reg dates

The new registration plates appear on March 1 and September 1 each year. The middle two numbers in the sequence change each time. Since September 1, the numbers have been 67. From March 1, the digits became 18.


How many new-reg cars are on the road?

It doesn't take long for a new number plate to lose its exclusivity. Last year, there were 469,696 new cars registered in September, and the figure this year could once more be close to half a million


Is it cheaper to buy a new-reg car?

It’s often cheaper to buy a brand new car in March or September because there are so many deals available.

“September and March are very good times to go out and buy a new car because dealers are focused on having a good month for sales,” says Philip Nothard, retail and consumer specialist at cap hpi, which analyses the car market.

Despite the deals on brand new cars, it’s usually cheaper to buy a nearly new car with an older number plate, even though they don’t always qualify for the same finance incentives, says Nothard. “Nearly new cars have to be reduced in price to sit below attractive brand new car finance offers,” he said.

The savings you make on a nearly new car won’t be cancelled out by a lower second-hand value (which makes PCP finance payments more expensive) either. Cap hpi says that a car registered in August with the current number plate is likely to be worth only 2-3% less after three years of ownership than a car registered in September on a new number plate.


Ending finance early to get a new-reg car

If you currently have a personal contract purchase (PCP) agreement and your car is worth more than the amount that you owe, then it’s likely that you’ll be able to switch to a new model without any penalty. You should speak to your lender to discuss your options.

If you owe more than the car is worth, or you have a hire purchase (HP) or personal lease (PCH), then you are likely to face penalties for cancelling the contract or paying it off early.



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