Getting Behind the Wheel of an Affordable Ride

Driving away with a steal always puts a smile on our dial – so how do you do it? If you’re looking to buy a cheap yet cheerful new car, what do you need to think about before opening your wallet or purse? We show you the top ways to achieve maximum value for money when buying your next budget automobile.

Price, availability, and your budget

The first thing you need to set is your budget. How much can you afford to spend in repayments, fuel, and insurance each month? Remember to factor in registration and servicing, too. Older cars may need more frequent maintenance to keep in good working order.

To determine whether the price of a car you’re interested in is reasonable, try to compare it to other cars of a comparable make, model, age, mileage on the odometer, and features. Although price is frequently negotiable, try to be realistic about how much you believe you can lower the price down to your level.

Look at popular cars

Some cars are popular for a reason – they may be fuel efficient; they might be spacious despite their size; and the top reason, they’re value for money. Some of the most popular cars are abundant and may command lower resale value than other cars. The most reliable and affordable used car in Australia is the Holden Commodore with some models priced at $8,000 (with 100k on the clock) at some dealerships (as of 2024.) The Mazda 3, Toyota Yaris, and Ford Fiesta are also some of the most affordable cars on the market.

Can you sell before you buy?

If you can sell your old car – even if it’s for junk – you can put that towards a deposit. That means you won’t have to borrow as much and reduces your interest and repayments. A real win-win situation! Even if you don’t have something to sell, you should save up some measure of deposit, so you have “skin in the game.”

Getting loan pre-approval

You should talk to an expert in car loans and get pre-approval for a car loan. In this case, you apply for a loan before you buy, and it gives you a month or two to look for a car. During that time, you are given an amount that you can borrow. This is the most money you can spend on a car. It helps you in two ways. One with dealers: if they don’t meet your price, you have to walk away. Two, it shows you are a serious buyer when you deal with private sellers and not just there to waste their time. Most of the time, they will be more willing to work out something with the price.

Time your purchase

Another tip: approach dealers at the end of the calendar or financial year and you could snap up HUGE savings compared to other times of the year. If you can’t wait that long, try shopping at the end of the month. They are looking to fulfil quotas and are more open to negotiating!