Car Choice: In today's climate, shopping around will pay you dividends

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Paul Backhouse is 47 and looking to buy something quite soon for cash with no trade-in. Paul will probably have up to £7,000 to spend and is interested in manufacturer deals on small hatchbacks like the Citroën C1 Vibe. However, Paul will also buy a bigger car if the price is right, so he really is after the best bargains.

A car for the head

There are plenty of options for Paul, whether he wants to buy direct from a dealer or use a broker. Indeed, a good broker is a smart first move as they can set a benchmark. Then if you buy through a broker you will end up dealing with a dealer anyway as that is where the car is sourced from, without you risking any money up front. Leading the discount trend for several years now, Citroë*have recently revamped their offers and will give you what they describe as a "dealer contribution" of £1,300, taking the on- the-road price of a C1 down to £6,086. However, a broker can get you a 1.0 Vibe for £5,995 and on a small car that's a big saving. Then there is Ford's latest Fiesta, which one would think is too new to be discounted. Well, a 1.25 Zetec which would normally cost £10,765 in the showroom can be sourced through that same showroom by a broker for just £9,900.

A car for the heart

Assuming that Chevrolet still exists by the time you read this, the company is certainly making an effort to shift its cars. The company has introduced a new small car called the Aveo and has tried to cultivate a more quality and upmarket image. There are soft-touch plastics, and classy dashboard as well as an mpg figure of just over 50. There is a large saving available on the three-door Aveo 1.2 S, with £1,340 off the usual price of £7,535. The older Matiz 1.0 SE can also be bought with money off. This popular five-door city car is available for £5,995 – a saving of £913. The model can also potentially make the magic 50mpg figure overall. Meanwhile, Kia's smallest car, the Picanto, can also be bought for £5,995, although their zero-rate finance offers have been dropped. The best advice to Paul would be to keep his eye on adverts in The Independent for the latest promotions.

Looking to buy?

Please write to Car Choice, Features, Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, or email James Ruppert at, giving your age, address and phone number, details of the type of vehicle in which you are interested and your budget.

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