Looking for some new wheels?
Whether you’re looking for your first car or you need to upgrade to a larger model, buying a vehicle is a big financial decision.
But instead of falling in love with your dream car then stretching yourself to pay for it, think about what you can afford comfortably. Do some research on the type of car you're looking for so you have an idea of price and what represents value for money. And don't forget to factor in the extra costs of owning a car, like registration, insurance and fuel.
* The graphical representation of loan calculations is not precise and is representational only.
The calculations provided are estimates only and based upon the information entered into the calculator by the user. The calculations do not include upfront or continuing credit fees and charges. The resulting calculations do not constitute a loan application or variation to an existing CUA facility, loan offer or loan approval.
Things to consider when you buy a new car
Timing is everything
Choosing the right time to buy your car is important, particularly if you’re buying from a dealer. Dealers may be more willing to offer discounts at the end of financial year, the end/start of the calendar year and even the end of each month.
Before you go shopping, think about how you’ll pay for the car. Do you have savings you can put towards the car? If you need finance, will it work out cheaper in the long run to get a bank loan rather than dealer finance? Research your options and compare costs before committing.
Insurance is just one of the extra costs to factor in when you buy a car, and the type of car you choose will have a big impact on your premium. To help you save in the long run, think about cars with a good safety rating as they are generally cheaper to insure.
If you’re buying a new car, there are normally lots of optional extras to consider. Adding these will usually bump up the cost of your car, so think carefully about the features you need and stick to the ones that will actually be useful.
Buying a car that’ll use less fuel could help you save a considerable amount of money in the long run. Smaller, lighter cars are typically more fuel efficient but this may also vary depending on the car brand or model.
Research, research, research
Before you head out car shopping, research your options. Look online for car models that might fit your needs and work out what they typically cost. Talking to friends and family about their experience with different brands or models can also be helpful.
New vehicles Show content
- New car warranty
- Modern features and customisations available
- May include roadside assistance
- More expensive
- Value depreciates faster
- May be tied to specific mechanics to maintain warranty (which can be expensive)
Used vehicles Show content
- Get more for your money
- Value won’t decrease as rapidly
- Huge range to choose from
- May attract a higher interest rate if you borrow to pay for it
- Unsure of previous owners
- May have problems you aren’t aware of
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What are 'on-road' costs? Show content
If you’ve purchased your car at a dealership, you’re required to pay ‘on road’ costs before you drive away. These can include registration, insurance and stamp duty.
How does colour affect value? Show content
You need to find a car you’ll love to drive, but keep in mind you may one day want to sell it. White, silver and red cars tend to maintain their value because the colours appeal to a broader audience and they don’t date like other shades can.
What about dealer finance? Show content
If you need extra money to fund your car, the decision to borrow should be well researched and considered. Some car dealerships offer finance that sounds too good to be true, and it probably is. Look out for balloon payments at the end, monthly fees and penalties for paying it off early.
What's a comparison rate? Show content
Comparison rates can be a handy tool to help you identify the true cost of a loan because they include the interest rate of a loan plus all the fees and charges relating to that loan, like establishment and monthly fees. These are combined into a single percentage figure based on a defined loan term and loan amount – helping you to compare loans (‘apples to apples’).