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Car buyers ‘may be too late’ to beat VAT rise

Experts say there is a shortage of new cars

Car buyers may be too late to beat the VAT rise

Car buyers may be too late to beat VAT rise

New cars ordered today may not arrive in time to beat January’s VAT rise, industry experts have warned.

A shortage of new cars means that there is now an unusually long wait between ordering a car and it being delivered, pricing experts at CAP said on Monday.

In some cases, new cars ordered today won’t arrive until after VAT is increased to 20% on 4 January, said CAP. This would push the cost of an £18,000 vehicle up by £375.

Move now to beat VAT increase

‘Anyone with imminent plans to buy a new car needs to move now,’ said Mark Norman of CAP, ‘especially if they have a specific model in mind, because they may already find they cannot beat the VAT increase.

‘This is not confined to the more prestigious end of the market, but applies to many brands you would not normally associate with long lead times. The need to make enquiries early is particularly urgent if you want optional extras, because they will be subject to special factory build, with little or no chance of a suitable car already being in stock.’

CAP said last year’s recession and a weak euro had conspired to force car companies to slow down production and focus on supplying other countries.

Last week, official figures showed that new car sales in July fell for the first time in a year.

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