New car sales and the PCP finance deals that support them get all the attention, but smart folk buy nearly new, where cars still smell and feel like new but cost much less.

With showrooms now open again, we’ve found five great nearly new car deals, starting with this BMW 3 Series: a 69-reg saloon with 8000 miles and the Plus pack (heated front seats with upgraded upholstery).

It cost £34,260 new, but you could easily have negotiated £2500 off that figure, taking it down to £31,760 – or almost exactly £10,000 more than our one-year-old example.

Savings like this are why buyers can’t afford to ignore nearly new cars. Not only do they save a fortune on the list price, but also the monthly PCP payments for them are lower.

It’s not as if our example is being advertised by an independent dealer, either. Instead, it’s an approved-used BMW with all the bells and whistles that the marque’s scheme offers.

Admittedly, SE trim has since been replaced by enhanced SE Pro, which offers only an automatic gearbox. However, this just pushes the new price to £37,865 before any discounts, making our one-year-old SE manual look more tempting still.

In any case, SE trim gets you lots of great features as standard, including V-spoke alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights, sat-nav and parking sensors front and rear. So just £21,750 for Autocar’s five-star executive class leader.

There’s much talk of diesel cars falling out of favour, but while this is definitely true of new ones, used examples still appeal to cost-conscious high-mileage drivers, thanks to their superior economy.

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Renault Kadjar 1.3 TCe GT Line £16,499: This version of the Kadjar would cost you around £23,000 new, but why pay that when you can have a 70-reg car with 1400 miles for £6500 less? Probably for the new car smell, a 12- month-longer warranty and zero-rate finance. But us? We’d take the saving.



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