Car Buying Advice for Mums in the Post-Pandemic World
If you’ve been in the market for a new car, you’ve done either one of two things – balked at the outrageous prices on offer or recoiled at the horrendous wait times of almost up to twelve months to get behind the wheel. Yes – a year to get your new car after you’ve paid for it!
Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do about the prices of cars. There’s a global chip shortage and a supply crunch that’s doubled up to create a massive upswell in prices.
If you’re hoping to haggle with a dealer on price, you won’t get as far as you used to.
Dealers are always trying to up their commission by pressuring you to take on extras such as undercoating, interior upgrades, infotainment centres, and other tidbits that are only of value to the dealer – not you! Remember that cars are made out of stainless steel – they don’t need rustproofing!
Buying second hand is an option but prices have crept up in that market too. If you’re lucky, you could nab a great almost-new-car if you hunt online hard enough. But be warned – the second-hand market is full of sharks, and you could be scammed.
Bill Tsouvalas, Managing Director of Savvy says that everyone needs to do their homework and get abreast of the latest scams. If you’re unsure, you can check on the latest scams (they come up with new ones every other week!) on ScamWatch.
“Whenever you look for a used car from a private seller, you need to check if the car isn’t a write-off or stolen using the Personal Property Security Register. If you have to push for the VIN or logbook, walk away. You need to get an independent inspection, do a test drive, kick the tyres – everything you can to protect yourself. Because if you buy a lemon, you’re on your own.
Whether you are buying new, used, or certified used, the one way you can beat the price rise – to a fashion – is to get a better deal on car loan finance.
“If you can perform a comparison of available car loans, you’re already ahead of the game,” Tsouvalas says. “These are unprecedented times of lowest of low interest rates. It’s a buyer’s market for car loans but a seller’s market for cars. Approach a dealer, get some quotes, and see if you can save on the back end instead of up-front.”
If you can also get pre-approved – that is, apply for the loan before looking – you can have a leg up on negotiation.
“Approaching dealers at the end of the month or end of financial years with a loan pre-approval is like approaching a dog with a steak. They’re instantly keen to make a sale because you’re a hot prospect. They also need to make their quota. To do that, they must come in under what amount you’re pre-approved for. Otherwise, you walk away. Remember that you have the leverage!”
Remember to consult a financial professional before committing to any type of loan product.
Written in partnership with Savvy