2018 - best time to buy a car

Why right now is the best time to buy a new car in 2018

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In the position to buy a new car? Make your purchase before the end of August and you could find your favourite models discounted by up to 20% thanks to tougher emissions regulations that last year’s models will fail to meet.

The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test (WLTP) is set to shake up the car market thanks to the implementation of new emissions standards. That means dealers have a lot of older models on their hands that they need to shift fast, making now the ideal time to get your hands on your next car for a bargain price.

After a string of emissions scandals that have hit the industry hard, the new WLTP regulations are designed to make figures for emissions and fuel economy more accurate.

Closing the loopholes

In a move designed to win back consumer confidence, the new tests aim to close the loopholes that allowed some manufacturers to falsify environmental information and cheat the emissions test.

So stringent are the new tests that manufacturers such as Volkswagen, BMW and Audi have had to remove some models from sale entirely. It’s a nightmare for manufacturers but a dream scenario for bargain hunting British car buyers.

September cut-off

The new regulations come into force on 1 September, leaving dealers scrabbling to sell in-stock cars that can be sold as ex-demo or pre-registered. While these models don’t meet the new emissions standards, they are still legal to drive.

There are also deals to be had as new registration plates come into play next month. In fact, August registration figures are expected to be through the roof thanks to tactical registrations to beat the September WLTP deadline.

World leading regulations

Despite the name, the WLTP regulations are unlikely to be adopted by the USA and Brazil, although China is adopting the elements surrounding diesel testing. But the closing of the gap between declared figures and real world performance will once again see Europe reclaim the crown for the most stringent emissions testing in the world.

The industry will be hoping that the adoption of WLTP becomes truly worldwide. After all, it was the previous divergence of standards between the old NEDC regulations and the rest of the world that tempted Volkswagen engineers to cheat in the first place, resulting in the diesel emissions scandal that shook the industry in 2017.

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