The most heavily discounted cars before the March plate change – with more than £12,000 slashed off popular models

CAR dealers are offering discounts as large as £12,000 on some of the UK's most popular motors before the March plate change.

Models from Citroen, Seat and Volkswagen have had their prices slashed in a bid to move stock before the release of new registrations on March 1.

A recent study by What Car? has revealed drivers can save 9 per cent on average when buying a car before the new '20' plates are released.

But in some cases, several models are being offered with discounts as high as 20 per cent.

The BMW 4 Series Convertible offers the largest overall cash saving, with some dealerships cutting £11,974 of its £54,120 price tag.

Drivers in the market for a more affordable vehicle can drive away with a Fiat Tipo for just over £10,000, with £4350 discounted.

Even the Nissan Qashqai, which is one of the UK's best sellers, is being offered with a saving of £5,563.

Other models with huge discounts include the Citroen C4 Cactus (£6472 cash saving), Volkswagen Passat (£5669), Seat Leon (£4089), Vauxhall Grandland (£5521) and Nissan X-Trail (£5875).

French automaker Citroen is offering up the biggest savings across its fleet, discounting new models by £4,430 on average.

Meanwhile, budget car brand Dacia is offering just £117 of its vehicles.

Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: "The months leading up to March often see buyers doing their homework before signing on the dotted line.

"Our latest Target Price research shows new car buyers can save on average 8.99% when they buy through What Car? New Car Buying.

"What’s encouraging is that some of the most popular models on the road are being offered with very high discounts, exceeding 20% in some cases.

"Our research also suggests manufacturers are responding to the general dip in sales, with discounts this year nearly 22 per cent higher than last year. That makes it a great time to shop for a new car."

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