Finance Forecast - March 2009

Finance Forecast

Traditionally, the first quarter of each year is a great time to buy a car in Australia. Buyers are spoilt for choice with end of year sales, model runout sales and the release of new and improved models. Add to this 2008's monumental credit crisis, the resulting reshuffle in the financier population and belt tightening by lenders and buyers alike, and current pricing is pretty much as good as it gets.

In our recent article The Right Time to Buy a Car we looked at the key factors that determine car pricing. Vehicle sales levels, interest rates and exchange rates all affect the total cost of a car purchase. New car sales have significantly slowed in the last few months and it's old news that interest rates have been cut dramatically at a federal level. It's the state of our currency that isn't so straightforward for car buyers.

If you're in the import business, you're probably already feeling the pain of our dollar's reduced value - not just against the US dollar, but against the Yen and other major currencies too. As a car buyer, this change in currency is about to hit the recommended retail price of your next vehicle. Several major manufacturers have already announced price rises in response to our weakened currency, and others are sure to follow.

In addition to checking out our how-to advice for buying a car in today's credit environment, take a look at where your preferred car is coming from and assess the exchange rate pressure. Now could be your best time to buy, especially if you're considering an imported vehicle.