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September the 1st marks the day when many car buyers will be beaming from ear to ear as they visit their car dealership to pick up their new "66" number plate car. New number plate year prefixes are issued by the DVLA every six months – the periods go from 1st March, to the end of August and from the 1st of September through to the end of February the following year.

If you're thinking about picking up a new "66" plate car, we take you through what you need to remember.

Why buy new?

For those that can afford it, there are few greater luxuries than being able to buy a new car.  For some it will be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.  Some choose to buy a new car because it gives them the chance to specify exactly the vehicle they want.  Personalisation can include anything from gadgets, engine size, seat fabric and safety features, through to alloy wheels, or even adding a portable coffee machine!

The other great benefit of buying new if you can afford to is the peace of mind that comes with a car that’s never been driven before. New cars come with manufacturer warranties lasting in many cases for three, five, or even seven years. With less chance of breaking down than an older car and the latest safety features, new ones can be a sound proposition.

Another great incentive for buying new is dealers offer a variety of finance deals including hire purchase, personal contract hire and personal contract purchase. In the run up to the release of new number plates, dealerships often have special offers to entice buyers. It’s a great time to barter and get extras added on to the vehicle for less and reduce the cost of your monthly payment plan. Always compare APR rates, as well as the repayment amount to be sure of the best deal, and calculate what you can afford.

Don’t forget insurance, road tax and breakdown cover

When you’re budgeting to see how much you can afford for your new car, don’t forget to factor in other extra costs such as road tax, breakdown cover and insurance. New vehicles with smaller engines may be exempt from road tax if their emissions are low, and the government incentivises us to drive greener cars.

Be sure to check the tax band and insurance category your vehicle falls in to. Larger cars, with more powerful engines, will cost you more to tax and insure, so do your homework beforehand to know what these are. You may not need breakdown cover if it’s included with the car, so be sure to cancel your old one if you had it.

Though your new car may be exempt from road tax and may come with free breakdown cover, be sure that your vehicle is insured. Some dealerships may insure you for several days or the first week, but either way you’ll need to put your own cover in place. 

Can't afford a new car? Here's what you need to know about buying a second-hand car.

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