Buy a big car on a small budget

Just a few years ago, big cars seemed to dominate our roads. Today, sales of big cars have lost some of their steam.

Buy a big car on a small budget

Just a few years ago, big cars seemed to dominate our roads. Today, sales of big cars have lost some of their steam.

New SUV sales fell by 12 percent in June compared to last year and new passenger car sales dropped by 10 percent in the same period, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics trended data. As the market’s popularity declines, the big bargains are hot.

But before you hit the car yard with cash – or car loan papers – in hand, consider these buying tips to ensure you get the best deal on a big car:

Do your research

If you know your prices before you walk onto a car yard, you’ll immediately have the upper hand. Most manufacturers now list base model prices on their websites, otherwise car sales sites will provide a rough price guide. The same is true when it comes to shopping for car loans – know the market standard interest rates and conditions and you’ll be in a better position to get a good deal.

You’re asking for it

It’s the norm when buying a car, yet for many Australian consumers ‘haggling’ is still considered a dirty word. But in a tough economy there has never been a better time to name your price on your dream car – or any consumable good, for that matter.

Poker face

Even if you’ve fallen for a certain make or model, try to keep your emotions in check. Because if you give it all away upfront, there’s no more bargaining and you’ll pay top dollar.

Choose your timely wisely

If you’re fine buying demonstrator or end-of-line models ask for a discount for taking them off the seller’s hands. Buying at the end of the year during ‘run-out’ sales will almost always guarantee a better price too, so long as you don’t mind buying a car that’s effectively one year old.

Walk away

Don’t budge from your budget – you’ll likely end up spending more than you intended. If the seller isn’t prepared to negotiate in your ball park, then go elsewhere. If you leave your contact details, you’ll almost certainly get a follow-up phone call at which point your negotiating power will escalate.

Security pays

If you plan to finance your new car then you’ll almost always be offered a better interest rate when you have an asset to use as collateral for the loan, such as the car itself. This is known as a secured car loan, meaning if you default on repayments the lender may repossess.


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Michelle Hutchison

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