Normally, at this time of the year, car dealerships are bursting to the seams with new car buyers wanting to nab the latest registration plate. But with this year’s ‘13’ plate representing bad luck for some people, there are a good number of reasons for and against buyers taking the plunge.
Follow our invaluable guide, and we’ll steer you through the difference between superstition and total twaddle, and give you buying advice that will stay with you for ever more.
USE IT AGAINST THE SALESMAN
Even if you aren’t worried about owning a ‘13’ plate car, it’s imperative that you make out to the salesman that you are. He will have to work harder to get your business and may shave off extra pounds in the process. Haggle hard and chip off as much as you can get, and keep reminding him of the bad luck that is associated with a ‘13’ plate car. If he’s got down to as low as he can go, don’t forget to ask him to throw in some extras, like mats or a full tank of fuel.
CHOOSE A CAR THAT HOLDS ITS VALUE
If you’re jittery about buying a ‘13’ plate car, you can bet your bottom dollar that when you come to sell it on in a year or so, the buyer will be too. So make sure that you choose a car that holds its value well like a Volkswagen Golf or Audi A1 to maximise the amount you’ll get back in the future. Choose a colour that will appeal to a wide range of buyers and select optional extras that will make the car more attractive to sell in the future.
For some, the 13 plate gives them an opportunity to buy a plate that spells out their name. If you’re called Albert (AL13 ERT) or Robert (RO13 ERT), you’re in luck and if you drive a Subaru (SU13 ARU) you’ll be happy too. But don’t forget it is an offence to alter the appearance of the letters or deviate from the spacing dictated in law, because doing so could result in a fine, and ultimately confiscation of the right to use the plate.
While here in the UK, Triskaidekaphobics may be staying away from the 13 plate because of the bad luck associated with it, over in Italy, it’s quite the reverse, where the number 13 is actually considered to be very lucky. So if you fancy buying yourself a nice little Italian number, like an Alfa Romeo, Fiat or even a Ferrari or Maserati, making a bee-line to the nearest dealer and choosing a 13 plate could be just the thing to bring you a touch of good luck.
With the economy still on the edge of recession, there’s never been a cheaper time to borrow money. Manufacturers offer attractive rates to bring punters in, and don’t rule out extending your mortgage if the sums add up. Just make sure you borrow the money over a sensible period of time so that you’re not paying for that new car for ever more. And don’t forget that dealers get paid bonuses for every finance case they sell, so make sure you slice a little more off the price or get a freebie in return.
In days gone by, there would be fields of cars waiting to be sold, but nowadays dealers are more likely to register them to themselves and then sell them on to punters at a considerable discount as dealer demonstrators, pre-registration bargains or management cars. If you aren’t particularly choosy about the colour or specification, you could save yourself thousands by choosing one of these cut-price cars, or indeed spend the saving on upgrading to a better model.
IGNORE THE DOOM MONGERERS
How many times do we hear that the world has been predicted to end and nothing happens. Well the same could be true of your new car too, and no-one will worry that it is wearing a ‘13’ plate. So go ahead and buy, research the product, haggle hard and bag yourself the biggest discount you can. Don’t forget to ask for freebies if the price can’t go any lower. More hints and tips can be found in the September 2012 issue of Diesel Car.
SAVE YOUR MONEY
For the really superstitious amongst us, it really isn’t worth the risk buying a ‘13’ plate car. Instead, keep your money in the bank, carry on saving, and you could afford an even better car when the ‘63’ plate cars arrive in September. Instead of struggling to buy the basic model, you could afford to upgrade to a car with a few extra toys, and buy wisely and it’ll definitely be worth more when you come to sell it next time around.
If you really can’t bear the thought of driving an unlucky ‘13’ plate car, but still fancy a change, why not buy yourself a private plate to go with it. You’ll still have your new motor, and it’ll hold the same value as if it is wearing the latest plate, but you’ll not have the worry of displaying the unluckiest number plate ever. You’ll also benefit from the fact that no matter how old your car is, no-one will ever know, because the private plate will rather handily hide it.
SAVE BIG ON A ‘62’ PLATE CAR
New car registrations take an almighty nose dive the month before the registrations, as most buyers will wait for the new plate. The dealer will still have targets to meet, so take the opportunity to negotiate a killer discount on a ‘62’ plate car. You’ll avoid the stigma of driving a car wearing ‘13’, it will be worth a similar amount and you’ll have the knowledge that you saved yourself a shed load of cash. You could spend the saving on a holiday, or add a few extra goodies from the optional extras list.