Australians are spoiled for choice when it comes to buying cars, with the highest number of car brands available for sale of any country. We’re also buying more cars than ever with a record 1.1 million vehicles sold in 2015. With so many makes and models to choose from, how do you decide what to buy and how to get the best deal? We’ve outlined our top 5 tips for getting the best outcome next time you purchase a new car.

  1. Choose the right vehicle – The first step in buying a new car is deciding what type of car you need. A two door sports car isn’t practical if you have children. While SUVs are the most popular type of car, they may not be worth the expense if you only need a car to drive to the shops on the weekend. Things you should consider include on-going costs such as insurance and repairs, fuel consumption and emissions, as well as potential resale value.
  2. Use a car broker – Once you have narrowed your options down to 3 or 4 models, enlist the services of a car broker to source the best deal for you. There’s no cost to you involved and a broker can negotiate the best deal on your behalf, often at the same rate as fleet managers, potentially saving you thousands of dollars. Plus, you save on the time and effort involved in going to dozens of different dealers to find the best price.
  3. Finalise finance – Securing your finance in advance means you know exactly how much you can spend and it may give you additional negotiating power. Don’t fall for dealer finance; even a 0% finance deal may not be the best option. Use a finance broker to compare rates and lenders to find the best deal.
  4. Check the fine print – Make sure you check the terms of your contract carefully and ensure there aren’t any items left blank on any forms. Paying for extras through the car dealership is usually not a good idea; often you can get these cheaper elsewhere and some, like additional rust-proofing, you don’t need at all. Also make sure the vehicle’s year and month of manufacture are as stated on the paperwork. Be aware of the difference between the compliance date and build date. The compliance plate only shows the date a vehicle was approved for sale in Australia while the actual build date may have been the previous year. This can have an impact on resale value, as this will be based on the build year.
  5. Insurance – Make sure you have insurance in place before you drive your new car away. It’s important to shop around and get the right insurance for your needs. You might pay less for your policy but more for excess. Some insurance also offers extras such as roadside assistance, extended warranty and loan protection but these aren’t always necessary so make sure you only pay for what you need.

Buying a new car can be an exciting but stressful experience. By following our tips, you can ensure you are getting the best deal possible with the least amount of hassle.