New car buyers taking out Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) finance deals get better discounts than those buying with cash, according to a new study.

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Research by consumer motoring magazine WhatCar? found that customers paying cash could usually wangle an eight-percent discount, which equates to an average of £2,545, but those using PCP deals could save a further £1,478 in deposit contributions.

According to the magazine, which tracks “target prices” for new cars, deals are becoming especially common in the SUV sector - even for premium models. WhatCar? says the average discount offered to buyers of large SUVs has risen by 23 percent in the past 12 months, hitting an average of £3,087.

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That’s thanks in part to savings of up to 10 percent on models such as the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLS.

July’s largest savings, though, were to be found at the budget end of the market, with one version of the Fiat Tipo being offered with a 28.8 percent discount. The 1.4-litre Vauxhall Astra SE, meanwhile, came with potential for a 23.2 percent discount.

What Car? editor, Steve Huntingford, said: “The total amount of money that buyers could save if every single car was sold at target price is staggering and, tellingly, 37% of the total savings possible – or £10.5m – come from finance deposit contributions.

Renault showroom

“It’s significant that bigger discounts are also now becoming available in the SUV sector – the strength of the SUV market in recent years has meant that dealers have been able to protect their margins, and discounts on large SUVs are still the second lowest of all segments.

“But savvy shoppers can now get good deals on even high-end cars such as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Jaguar F-Pace.”

Overall, Citroen, Seat and Volkswagen are the manufacturers offering the top average cash discounts.

Top 10 manufacturer discounts in the last month


Discount (%)

Fiat Tipo 1.4 Easy


Vauxhall Astra 1.4i 16v SE


Seat Toledo 1.0 TSI110 SE


Mercedes-Benz SL 400 AMG Line 9G-Tronic


Vauxhall Mokka X 1.4T EcoTEC Active


Volkswagen Passat Estate 1.4 TSI 150 S


Citroen C4 Spacetourer models


Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium Navigation (prior model)


Volkswagen Golf SV models


Volkswagen Touran models