Don't get burnt: Tips for buying a car this summer

Tue 13 Dec

Summer is one of the best times to buy a new car. You have extra time on your hands due to the holidays and manufacturers are rushing to clear their stock by giving you the best deals they can offer.

With deals and special offers coming from all directions, you might need a little help to navigate them.

Don't get burnt this summer

1. Do your research because knowledge buys you negotiating power

To get the best deal, be prepared to do a bit of research. Compare prices or deals, makes, models and options. The good news is you can do all your research without leaving the beach. carsales.com.au or redbook.com.au have some great online comparison tools to compare different makes and models, research new car prices and even find out what your trade-in is worth.

Where there's competition, there's bargaining power. But don't just stop at the car sale price, give them stiff competition for finance. Always get a second quote and consider independent lenders to ensure competitive pricing.

2. Consider all aspects of the deal

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you're getting what seems to be a great finance deal from the manufacturer, chances are there's a price to be paid elsewhere, literally.

The cost could be transferred to the car price, which means you can't negotiate much or have to pay the full price. Your trade-in could also be undervalued as a result.

Don't just look at the monthly repayment amount or how much you're getting for your trade-in. Look at the deal as a whole to ensure you're getting the best deal. Read more about 0% finance here.

3. Get pre-approved finance

Just as competition buys you bargaining power, so does pre-approved finance. Not only does it tell you how much you can afford, you can also lock in the rate you prefer and avoid getting last minute surprises. It'll allow you to shop like a cash buyer, as your focus is more on securing the right price for the car. 

4. Check your trade-in value

Trading in a car may not necessarily cover the cost of finance owed on it. The dealer could offer you a price below market value. Refer to RedBook for your car value.

Present service records and tidy up your car to get a good trade-in value. However, a good trade-in price may increase the price of your new car as the dealer would want to offset the profit lost on the high trade-in price.

You might be better off selling your existing car separately to purchasing the new one.

5. Be wary of compliance plates

The compliance plate may not be the same as the build plate. The compliance plate only shows the date the car was approved for sale in Australia but the future value of the car will be based on the build year rather than the date written on the compliance plate. So insist on viewing the build-date plate to ensure you're getting the right build year.

6. Buy an in stock car

Buy a car that's in stock. If it’s in stock, it might not be in high demand. Manufacturers are more motivated to move surplus stock, allowing more room for negotiation. Added bonus, you get to drive it home that day.

7. Check the fine print

Car ads are full of disclaimers. Make sure what you're offered doesn't obligate you to pay the full car price and that it includes the options you want. Check also that the dealer is quoting you an all-inclusive, drive-away price that includes dealer fees, stamp duty and registration.

8. Be cautious of add-ons (accessories + extra protection + extended warranties)

Although some extras must be factory fitted to be covered by the warranty, remember to get only what you need and shop around as it is often cheaper to buy extras from a third party.

Our #1 tip for buying a new car this summer is to do it all online. Your research headaches and worries can be alleviated by carconnect. carconnect is like online shopping for your car. They can source your new car at a great price by finding three of the best dealer quotes. On top of that, they'll also organise your trade-in and deliver the car to you with genuine mats and a full tank of petrol. So you won't need to face the hassle of haggling. But if you're not ready now, carconnect is like 'Plate Clearance' all year round, so you've got all the time in the world.

End of year is a great time to finance your new car. stratton is awake and running while most banks are not, so why not get an online quote in less than 60 seconds or call 1300 STRATTON (787 288) to get started.

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