A few factors have combined to make it a buyer’s market, most notably, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Government regulations to help limit the spread have kept most of us inside for the past couple of months. In that time, online shopping for groceries, food and clothes has soared, but customers have stayed away in droves from car showrooms, even though most dealerships remained open throughout.
That resulted in a 48.5 per cent decline in new-vehicle sales in April compared with the same month in 2019 – the biggest monthly drop since sales figures were first recorded in 1991. May sales figures were little better, showing a 35.3 per cent drop on last May’s sales.
New car sales in Australia had already been falling before the COVID crisis, with May marking the 26th consecutive monthly decline. The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries blames falls on “environmental, economic and political factors, along with tight credit lending restrictions”.
At the same time, some manufacturers had an oversupply of vehicles on the ground in Australia before the pandemic struck, which has also caused issues for dealers.
The good news is dealers are open for business and have put in several measures to ensure the safety of customers and employees. (Plus: How car manufacturers are helping the fight against COVID-19.)
Many brands have introduced contactless servicing – some will even pick up and drop off your car for you.
New-car sales in Australia had already been falling before the COVID crisis, with May marking the 26th consecutive monthly decline.
Some manufacturers have ramped up their online presence to minimise time spent in the showroom. Audi, for instance, has launched an online buying tool for its entire model range, while Subaru has online buying for its range and contactless new-vehicle delivery.
All of this shows that dealers are keen for business and, depending on what you’re looking for, you could save yourself thousands right now. In fact, it should be a good time to buy for a few months yet, especially with the usual flurry of discounting around end-of-financial-year sales.
You’d be hard pressed to find a manufacturer that doesn’t have special offers or discounts at the moment – and that includes some of the premium brands.
Remember to drive a bargain. Sales staff are keen to move stock and will be willing to negotiate. Ask if they can throw in some extras for no additional cost, such as floor mats, an extended warranty, or an upgraded audio system. It never hurts to ask.
It’s also an excellent time to buy used cars, with many dealers offering special deals to win your business.
Here are some of the best deals on new cars currently in market. Happy shopping.