There’s nothing quite like getting a new car. The smooth ride and handling, the peace of mind you feel knowing that it won’t break down, and of course, that new car smell. Unfortunately, there’s one aspect of new car ownership that is a little less appealing, and that’s the expense. Of course, it’s no secret that buying a new car can be a costly business. The price of the car, GST, insurance, registration, interest rates, and balloon payments all add up to put your dream car seemingly beyond your means, but here’s the thing. You really don’t have to empty your pension fund to get a new car on the road, and here’s how you can avoid doing just that.
Choose the right time to buy
Believe it or not, there is a right time to buy a car, and it’s usually at the end of the financial year. This is when dealers and manufacturers are eager to get as many of their current models on the road to bump up those yearly sales. It’s the traditional high-season for car sales, and while it seems odd to say so, high-season is a good time to find a bargain.
While you may not get a huge discount on the sales price of the car, you may find that dealers offer all kinds of added incentives to get their stock out the door. These could include extended warranties, free servicing, or perhaps even some free extras such as window tints or floor mats.
Pay attention to upcoming models
When a manufacturer announces a new model, this means one thing and one thing only for bargain hunters; cheaper cars. Yes, that’s right, before the new Commodore or Corolla hits the showrooms, dealers need to sell off the old models first.
Before you say anything, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with older models. They are still brand new cars that just lack a few of the upgraded bells and whistles of the new model. But in all honesty, if it’s cheaper, who cares?
Think about demo models
The demo model is a great way to not only get your hands on a cheaper car but to also upgrade to a higher spec model at a fraction of the cost. Think about it this way, when was the last time you went for a test drive in a standard car? Probably never, because all the demo models are usually fully loaded.
Call into your local dealer and ask when they next plan to sell off their demo models. You may have to wait a month or two, and you won’t get to choose a color or trim, but you will get a cheaper car with great specs.
Consider financing the car
Most people who have the money in their account would prefer to buy a car for cash, but this is about getting on the road for less so we're going to assume that you’d prefer a smaller initial outlay. Of course, financing a car can be more expensive than paying cash, but it might be as costly as you think.
Personal and car loan rates are quite competitive these days, and if you put down a decent-sized deposit, then you could find yourself with a very reasonable and affordable monthly payment. You can reduce this monthly payment even further should you decide to opt for a larger balloon payment at the end of your loan term.
Now balloon payments scare the hell out of some people, but the truth is that it allows you to keep cash in your account for the period of the loan in case of an emergency. Once the loan is done, pay off the residual value (a fancy term for balloon payment) and the car is yours. You can even trade the car in for a newer model using its value as your next deposit and start the ball rolling all over again.
Check out this article for an in-depth look at balloon payments that explains the benefits of this misunderstood aspect of financing.
As Australia's largest car finance broker, Stratton Finance know a thing or two about loans and finance. With over two decades of experience in the field they are one of the most trusted authorities in the industry.
Make your dealers compete
Some buyers feel like they shouldn’t let the dealer know that they are looking at other cars as if there’s an unwritten rule that you should only go to one dealer for each brand. Those people are wrong. Tell your dealer that you are shopping around, let them know that you’ve been to the other Toyota dealership across town, and you can even tell them how much you negotiated while there.
What this does is remind the dealer that you are in control of the situation and that you will make the final decision. Once they understand this, then they will break out all the stops to make sure that you drive a new car off their forecourt.
Ditch the unnecessary extras
Those alloy wheels might look great, but do you really need them for an extra $1000? The same goes for the metallic paint job or the rear spoiler. If you don’t think you need the extras, then get rid of them. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save by removing these add-ons.
So if you’re in the market for a new car but feel a little dismayed at the cost involved, try buying at the end of the financial year, looking for demo cars, or consider possible financing options. Getting on the road can seem like a costly experience, but with a little effort, you can make it work and get behind the wheel for less.