Buying a new car for the first time


Established Member
My father has his heart set on a new Mini Cooper and has asked me to help him buy one. He basically wants to go to our local Ocean dealer and hand over 12k cash in return for a mini. He has never bought new, nether have I. I am wondering do these guys ever budge on price or throw in extras if we try to haggle hard? I would like to go in there armed with any advice you have.
Thanks allot.


Distinguished Member
As Chris has said,yes,and especially for cash...even with a premium item such as a Mini,if the dealer sees a sale walking out of the door,the prices either fall,or the extras begin to increase...just be prepared to walk if necessary,even if it's up the road to the next BMW/Mini dealer.


I used to work in car finance so here are a few tips, allthough it will be quite difficult to get a lot off a mini as sales are still strong and BMW are notoriously bad at giving people deals (they charge around £100 for mats on a new car!!)

Some dealers don't prefer cash, as they make quite a bit of commission on the finance package. If they offer you a discount if you take finance, then go for it as you can settle the finance within a couple of weeks with no interest penalty, as long as you can pay back the full amount - (read the small print on the forms for the exact time-scale - might have to pay an admin fee)

Also try to go end of the month - dealers have monthly sales targets to hit so if you get them during a poor month ( the best time is the months before new regs comes out), then they are more likely to offer you a deal.

If you can find a pre-reg'd car then you can save quite a bit - new car at second hand prices. Basically the log book shows you as the second owner as the 1st will be the seller, as they have already registered themselves as the 1st owner. There is usually low mileage, and the car has been used as either a showroom car, or the dealer has registered it to manipulate sales figures but it has not been driven.

Shop around, you'll be amazed at the difference's you can find between dealers, and you can get them to beat each others deals.

The sites below give a good guide on buying a new car

These sites offer an online discount for new cars - I haven't used them so can't recommend.

Mark Ward

Prominent Member
Another tip is to have a few alternative make & models listed as alternatives to drop into the conversation. Whether you'd really consider them is irrelevant, the dealer has to know that their model is not the only car your considerng. Also, make it very clear you will be buying a car immediately, your decision is which car not whether to buy.


Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
another good way to get some money knocked off would be to haggle out a deal based upon a finance package, they may drop further than if you offer cash. Agree the lower price and sign the finance papers, wait a couple of days then take the cooliong off notice and say you changed your mind about the finance and want to pay cash...the dealer has already agreed the price so can't argue and you drive away in a cheaper Mini! Be prepared for the dealer to be really, really ****** off though as they will have been relying on the commission from the finance to make the profit and now they will be making a loss on the car...hehehe


Prominent Member
andych732 said:
If they offer you a discount if you take finance, then go for it as you can settle the finance within a couple of weeks with no interest penalty, as long as you can pay back the full amount - (read the small print on the forms for the exact time-scale - might have to pay an admin fee)

Good point about the admin fees.
A friend recently went to buy a new Renault Megane, the deal was quite straightforward, no part-exchange, 20% deposit, balance over 36 months @ 5.7% APR.
The car was already discounted from list in the showroom, free mats, free mud flaps and a full tank of petrol were negotiated.
All went well until the car saleslady handed us over to a quite arrogant finance manager, firstly he went into a really hard sell for payment protection insurance, he wasn't for giving in. I had been keeping quiet but pointed out that the deal wasn't as attractive if the insurance must be included, maybe we should cancel the deal. We stood up to leave the showroom, the saleslady was just outside the door, we told her we wouldn't be buying the car as we didn't want to pay for expensive payment protection insurance.
A brief exchange between saleslady and finance manager and we sat back down to complete the deal.
We were then informed there was a £99 Acceptance Fee, £89 Credit Facility Fee and £10 Option To Purchase Fee. We stated no way we were paying these, and were told it was because it was a low APR deal, to which we pointed out we could borrow at 6.6%APR from Tesco. The deal was off again.

In the end she bought the car with a Nationwide building society loan, and haggled a further £250 off the price.

We shouldn't pay these admin fees at all - same with mortgages.
Absolute scam ! :devil:


Prominent Member
I can thoroughly recommend using Drive The Deal ( I bought my Celica through them after a few weeks of haggling with various dealers, and the price they offered was a good £200-300 cheaper than the best I had managed to get a dealer to offer me using every trick I knew of - I ended up with about 2 grand off list on a 20 grand car. Basically, DTD get you the car with a fleet discount, and you get a brand-new car from a UK main dealer with no worries about warranty etc. I'd certainly use them again - the only problem is that you can't do a trade-in, so have to sell your current car privately.

ObDisclaimer - no connection whatsoever with the company, other than as a very satisfied customer.


Prominent Member
and don't forget if you are doing the deal that day at the showroom (cos its all you have time go in the morning...) have a look at all of the stock of model xyz and don't forget to mention its a shame they don't have one in a colour you like. When buying a car its always the 'wrong' colour - unless factory order of course....


Established Member
Thank for the innovative replies, have checked both drive the deal and broadspeed, they are both roughly £300 cheaper than list price so it looks like this will be the maximum ammount of discount i'll be trying to get at the showroom, Even that small ammount sounds like its going to be a bit tough though. Thanks for the replies, we are going Wednesday morning i'll let you know how we get on.
Thanks Carpeteyes and Dad. :thumbsup:


Prominent Member
Mini have a price premium attached (bog fat BMW surprise there !) but kudos factor starting to fall a bit I think..

best deals for cars I have ever seen/heard of came by buying in Christmas week (week before Xmas) as no one buys cars then. Don't know if that would work with the Mini..
good luck and have fun. while the ink is still in the slaesmans pen you are in control.


Established Member
Thanks for all the help, had a great time test driving and ordering a mini cooper with dad. Had real trouble getting the saleslady to budge at all on the price. Did'nt try finance but did try everything else mentioned including walking in with bundles of print outs. we even ended up walking out without purchace, but rang up later to order. They ended up giving us 5 years free service which made dad happy and he is going to put me on his insurance witch made me happy :clap: Thanks again. :) :) :)

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