Why now is the best time in years to buy a car

Moving Well | Sue Hewitt | Posted on 09 December 2019

Drive yourself a bargain deal on a new car this festive season.

New car buyers can snag a bargain during the festive season as dealers struggle with poor sales for the 20th month in a row.

Buyers can save thousands of dollars off the ticket price or wrangle extras like longer warranties, free servicing and accessories, according to RACV’s senior motoring journalist Tim Nicholson.

“Some dealers have over-estimated the number of vehicles they were going to sell this year, and they’ve got to get that excess stock out the door,” Tim says. (More: Australia's Best Cars for 2019)

“Car dealers are going to be prepared to make a deal to get rid of all these unwanted vehicles that are clogging up their car yards.”

Person walking into a car sales shop

Here are a few manufacturer deals found online last week

Hyundai i30 Go auto hatchback from $22,990 driveaway (includes on-road costs).

  • Includes a seven-year warranty, up from five years.
  • The usual price is $22,290 plus $3500 in on-road costs so this deal saves about $2800.


Holden Commodore RS Liftback 2.0-litre petrol auto from $38,990 driveaway.

  • Seven years’ free scheduled servicing. 
  • The usual price is $37,290 before on-road costs of about $4100 for a total of $41,390 so this deal saves about $2400.


Honda HR-V 50 Years Edition auto from $28,990 driveaway

  • Seven-year warranty, up from five years.
  • This edition has $2700 worth of extra features including rear parking sensors, front fog lights and alloy wheels. The driveaway offer of $28,990 undercuts the recommended retail price of $29,990 plus on-road costs.


Nissan Pathfinder ST 3.5-litre 2WD auto from $43,990 driveaway

  • Seven-year warranty, up from five years. 
  • The usual price is $43,390 before on-road costs, which would add at least $4000. Saving of about $3400.


Mitsubishi Triton GLS Premium double-cab pick-up diesel auto from $48,990 driveaway

  • A seven-year warranty, up from five years, plus two years’ free servicing. 
  • The usual price is $52,490 before on-road costs of at least $4000. Saving of about $7500.


People looking to buy a new car
Man handing over keys to a new car

Tim says dealers are ready to bargain after the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ latest data showed new vehicle sales in Australia slumped 9.8 per cent in November, making it the 20th month in a row of sales declines. (See also: Victoria's cheapest suburbs for fuel)

He says end-of-year sales are traditionally good because dealers don’t want to keep last year’s plated cars in stock in the new year.

Tim’s top tips for bagging a bargain

  • Check discounts. Use the ‘offers’ tabs on manufacturer and car-yard websites.
  • Talk to dealers in person. Online discounts are conservative because sellers don’t want to seem desperate, so start a conversation in the showroom about better deals. 
  • Ask for the best price and more. If you can’t get a cash discount ask for extras like a longer warranty, free servicing or lower finance rates. 
  • Don’t be afraid to haggle. Sales staff expect it. 
  • Wrangle extras. Ask for extra safety features like front and/or rear parking sensors and lane-keeping aids or comfort features like a digital radio, leather seats, heated seats, automatic climate control, tinted glass or a sunroof. 
  • Make it fun. Be cheeky and suggest throwing in a snorkel or kayak for your getaway vehicle.