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New car discounts bigger on diesels than petrols… but only just, What Car? Target Price research reveals

What Car? Target Price

• Despite a drop in sales, diesel discounts only marginally larger than for petrol models, suggesting industry remains confident diesel has a future
• Analysis of UK new car buying market by What Car? found average discount on a new diesels of 7.82% off list price, while petrol stood at 7.11%
• New diesel registrations down 14.3% in February, with the fuel accounting for 29.6% of the UK new car market
• Citroen offers highest discounts across all makes and fuel types
• Average discounts across all brands of 6.95% in March
• To find the best new car deals, visit:

New car buyers can get the biggest savings off list prices on diesel cars according to the latest research by Britain’s leading consumer champion and new car buying platform, What Car?

Analysis of the UK car market by What Car?’s Target Price mystery shoppers found the average discount on a new diesel car at the beginning of March was 7.82% off the list price, or £2731. Discounts on diesel were only marginally higher than for petrol models, which stood at 7.11% or £2101.

The smallest discount was available on fully electric cars, which were discounted on average by 2.96% and £746, reflecting their desirability, smaller profit margins and – in some cases – a shortage of supply.

Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: “Although the slump in diesel sales has hit hard in the past 18 months, the latest figures suggest that manufacturers have now got a handle on supply and matched it to consumer demand, meaning they don’t have to discount as aggressively in order to sell stock.

“However, our mystery shoppers have discovered that there are still great savings to be made. And with the latest diesels having to hit tougher-than-ever environmental standards, they can still be a great choice for car buyers. Diesels still achieve 20% better fuel economy than their petrol counterparts*, making them ideal for long distance drivers, or those who use their vehicle for towing heavy loads.”

All new cars are available to buy with at least the Target Price discount saving through What Car?’s website,

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), March saw a 21.4% drop in new diesel registrations, while petrol was up by 5.1%. Diesel’s overall market stood at 27.4%.

Across all makes, models and fuel types from January to March, Citroen offered the biggest percentage discounts – with buyers saving on average 11.41% off the list price. Volkswagen vehicles came with the second largest percentage discounts, while Vauxhall and Seat offered the third and fourth largest savings to new car buyers.

Average discounts across all brands dropped from 7.14% in January to 6.95% in March, with new car buyers receiving on average £2652 off the list price at the beginning of March.

Huntingford added: “As well as researching the savings available on new cars, we can link buyers to new car dealers willing to sell the cars at those prices via As our latest Target Price report shows, the average discount across all makes and models stood at £2652 – meaning there are big savings to be made.”

To find the best new car deals, visit:

About What Car?
What Car?, the UK’s leading and most trusted car buying brand, has the magazine, a market-leading website and several established brand extensions. It has helped Britain’s car buyers to make purchasing decisions for more than 40 years and its tests are widely regarded as the most trusted source of new car advice. is the UK’s leading car buying website, offering trusted reviews and data on every new car. A winner of numerous awards and accolades, is recognised as one of the UK’s leading consumer websites and attracts 1.7m unique users every month and over 13m monthly page impressions. The brand has seen major investment in its digital infrastructure as it develops a new ecommerce platform, allowing users to act on the trusted advice What Car? Offers.

With a print circulation of 55,459, combined with its mobile and social reach, What Car? has more than 5.5 million monthly points of contact with its audience on the move, at work, at home and at the crucial point of sale. It is the top performing monthly on the UK newsstand in the motoring category.

About Target Price
Target Price is unique to What Car?. Every day a team of mystery shoppers goes out and haggles to find the best deals available across the UK. These are printed alongside What Car? reviews as well as on the What Car? New Car Buying platform to help drivers find the best deals.

The deals are based on a cash deal and do not include elements like finance incentives or trade in considerations. The deals change on a weekly basis.
For further media information please contact Performance Communications:
Natasha Perry or Sam Wilkinson at Performance Communications on 0208 541 3434.