Up to a fifth of new cars on the road in the UK are deemed to be pre registered cars. This is a legal practice but often termed the ‘secret of the car industry’, as a report conducted by Radio 4 has found. The SMMT (The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) state that the system allows car dealers to manage their stock effectively, but many dealers state that they often have no option to pre register new vehicles so that they can hit sales targets which are set by the manufacturer.
The vehicles are sold to the dealers from their suppliers for a knock down price which are then registered under the dealers name. This is turn makes the dealer the first legal owner of the car. The caveat is that they have to be kept of the road for 90 days before they can be sold to customers. The price is often then at 20% plus discount for the end customer. If the dealer smiss their quarterly sales targets this can mean that they miss out on bonuses, so they in effect have to continue this practice, especially during quieter times of the trading year.
44% of consumers polled by Autotrader and the BBC stated that they had no idea what a pre registered vehicle was and didn’t understand the term. The unfortuante fact is that it doesn’t look like this will be going away anytime soon, and for the customer who can save a few thousand pounds on a pre registered car – they wont be complaining either. Especially when they have other costs to consider with car ownserhip such as car insurance and road tax.