A pre-reg or pre-registered car is a vehicle that has been registered to a dealer or leasing company but has never been owned by an end-user. They’re not classed as new cars, because they will have been assigned a number plate and an owner. This applies even if the car hasn’t left the dealership.
When a dealer pre-registers a car, they are essentially buying it from the manufacturers themselves. This is because they get incentives from the manufacturer to meet sales targets – the car will count as “sold” if it becomes registered, even if it is still with the dealership. So by pre-registering cars, the dealer can make sure they meet the sales target set by the manufacturer.
When you buy a new car, you will be the first owner recorded on the vehicle logbook. With a pre-reg car, the dealer will be the first owner and you will be the second. This is essentially the only difference between a new car and a pre-reg car.
A pre-reg car will usually be around six months old and may only have a couple of hundred “delivery miles” on the clock, whereas a new car will be brand new when you purchase it.
A pre-reg car will usually not have been driven at all, except to get it to the dealership. A nearly new car may have been test-driven by potential customers at the dealership, or sometimes they may have also been used as courtesy cars. Either way, a nearly new will have only covered a few thousand miles. Both types of cars will only have the dealership as a previous owner on the logbook.
Because a pre-reg car is essentially the same as a new car, you can find a better deal on pre-reg cars and still get many of the benefits of a new car, like the warranty that comes with a new car. Plus, a pre-reg car will be more reliable than a used car that has had multiple owners.
Another advantage of buying a pre-reg car is that you’ll be able to own it immediately, rather than waiting for the car to be built like you would with a brand new car.
A disadvantage of buying a pre-reg car is that cars will usually be valued lower the more owners they have. So as you’ll technically be the second owner, it could be worth less than if you were the first owner. However, as pre-reg cars are becoming more commonplace, it might not have too much of an effect, as people will be aware that the dealer being the first owner doesn’t have the same implications as the vehicle having another first owner.
Another downside is that you’ll lose out on some of the manufacturer’s warranty. The warranty will begin as soon as the vehicle is registered, so if it comes with a three-year warranty and you buy it six months after it’s been registered, you’ll only have two and a half years left to use the warranty.
Another potential downside to buying a pre-reg car is that you won’t be able to customise it exactly as you want like you could with a new car. But this is only a problem if you were looking for an alternative option to buying new and had hoped for a specific spec for your vehicle.
Euphoria Finance is a car finance direct lender, offering the best car finance deals on new and used cars. We can even help if you’re buying a car with bad credit. Get a quick finance quote or speak to our team on 01282 509609 for more information.