New-reg cars

Save thousands on 68-plate models with the best deals on new-reg cars and all the information on the new number plate

BuyaCar team
Sep 7, 2018

The new 68-reg number plate has arrived, and is already appearing on the roads, attached to every new car registered since September 1.

It's one of the most popular times of the year to buy a new car, so retailers cut prices to tempt customers into their vehicles.

Some models are available with savings of 20 per cent or more, and there are plenty of 0% APR finance offers too. There are plenty of cars available in stock with the new number plate for quick delivery. Alternatively, you can configure a new car built to your specification and benefit from the September savings - but you may need to wait several weeks for delivery.

But if having the new number plate isn't essential, then you can make even greater savings with a pre-registered car. These are as good as new, but have already been registered to a dealership - which counts as the first owner.

The biggest discounts are avaiable on cars with the older 18-plate, which was issued between March and August this year. Supplies of these cars have been boosted by a change to emissions testing rules, which have very little impact on consumers, but have forced manufacturers to register cars before this month. Some are being offered with savings of 30 per cent or more on the list price.

The two registration plate digits, which indicate the rough age of a car, are changed every six months. Between March and September, every new car was allocated a registration plate containing the number 18. From September 1, this became 68, and it will change again to 19 in March next year.

Buying a new-reg car

Despite the demand for cars with the new number plate, 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 September 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 68-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.


68-reg car deals

New car sales are down overall this year, so the motor industry is banking on a successful September, which is why there are big discounts on brand new cars that are built to your specification. 

You can configure your ideal car to see how much you could save by clicking below.


0% finance 68-reg car deals

At least 18 manufacturers are offering 0% APR finance on brand new cars at the moment, making monthly instalments more affordable, as there's no interest to pay.

You may be able to combine a 0% finance deal with other savings, but you'll often find that the biggest discounts are reserved for buyers who take out finance which charges interest.

Every finance quote should include the total amount that's payable, so you can easily compare which offer is best for you, whether you're seeking to pay the least in the long run, or aiming for the lowest monthly instalments.

BMW, Ford, Jaguar, Nissan and Volkswagen are among the manufacturers currently running 0% APR finance promotions. Click below for the full list.


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.

There are very few pre-registered 68-plate cars, which will only appear in greater numbers later this year. But if you're willing to forego the latest plate, you can search for all pre-registered 18-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 18-plate cars, there is also still a wide selection of pre-registered 67-plate cars, which may be reduced - with extra savings - as sellers make way for newer stock.


New cars for 68-reg

The new Ford Focus (above) has gone on sale in time for delivery with the new 68-plate, and it's a big improvement on the previous model - big being the word because there's more space in the back seats and the boot. This brings the Focus in line with rivals, as do the technology improvements, which a dashboard touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for all but entry-level cars.

Other new arrivals include the new Mercedes A-Class, Volkswagen Touareg and Dacia Duster, as well as the Volvo V60.

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 an 18-plate within a few days.

Fairly new cars such as the Volkswagen T-Roc, BMW X2 and Volvo XC40 have been on sale for a few months, so there are already 18-plate cars available, and there may also be some unregistered cars in stock, which can be delivered for the beginning of September, fitted with a 68-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 68. From March 1 next year, the digits will become 19.     

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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