Buyers braced for 12-plate car deals

UK car dealerships will experience their busiest month in March because of the launch of the new ’12 plates’.

That is according to car data experts at the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Traditionally, car buyers have recovered from the Christmas period and flocked to showrooms to see the latest 12-plate deals on new cars.

The SMMT predicts 350,000 new cars will be bought during the month of March and, as we reported this week, this will mostly be down to some exciting new cars to buy with the 12-plates.

However, if you’re still undecided about what car is right for you with the new 12-plates, SMMT has helpfully outlined the expected most popular cars for the new 12-plates.

Some of the general industry trends are rearing their head again, most notably in terms of running costs. As diesel tops 150p per litre – a UK record – this week and, according to the European Commission, UK drivers are paying more fuel tax on diesel than any other European country, drivers are choosing new green cars over ‘gas-guzzlers’.

In fact, miles per gallon figures from new cars now top 50mpg in the UK on average and frugal cars such as Vauxhall’s Ecoflex range and Ford’s Econetic models are increasingly popular. You can see our guide to eco-signatures here.

According to the SMMT, this urge to lower driving costs has also seen a rise in new small car sales in the UK. Superminis – think Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa – take up more than a third of the new car market over the past 12 months.

However, the SMMT has also outlined some other aspects of the car buyer’s decision. Cars with digital radio are increasingly popular with UK buyers. The SMMT labels it a ‘must-have’ accessory and with analogue being fazed out, unless you’re willing to travel in silence that could be the case.

The importance of car colour is a regular topic on this blog and the SMMT says blue and silver will be the car colours of choice with the new 12-plates in March.

Car buyers are expected to spend £5bn for new 12-plate cars in March but these costs can always be kept down by taking a look at our ten best-value 12-plate car deals.