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Expert tips for car buying in lockdown, as new car sales continue to climb

Expert tips for car buying in lockdown, as new car sales continue to climb

New vehicle sales figures saw considerable growth in August, despite Covid-19 related lockdowns restricting access to showrooms in many states and territories.

According to the latest data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), sales of new vehicles in Australia were up 33 per cent on the same month last year.

A total of 81,199 new vehicles were sold during the month, with Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory all recording growth greater than 30 per cent year on year. Meanwhile, Victorian sales rebounded, resulting in an increase of over 150 per cent, while the ACT and NSW recorded declines.

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said that uncertainty around lockdowns meant car buyers and manufacturers were having to remain agile in the ways they liaise.

“With access to showrooms limited, vehicle makers are working to engage customers in their homes and other places of isolation,” Mr Weber said.

So, for those who won’t be able to visit a car yard anytime soon, what’s the secret to safely buying a new vehicle remotely?

“Don’t wait,” said Zaheer Jappie, founder and CEO of car loan provider CarClarity.

“The biggest challenge facing the local motor vehicle financing market is the lack of new stock coming in at the moment.

“The global semiconductor shortage will continue to cripple vehicle production in the second half of the year and into 2022.

“This means there is an increased demand for cars, so you need to get ahead of the queue to ensure you get your dream vehicle.”

Mr Jappie’s top tip for ensuring a safe purchase when you’re restricted from seeing the car in person is to ask for evidence that it’s in stock and ready to go.

“If someone says they have a car, ask for photos. Dealers will suck you in stating they have a vehicle in stock, and when you hand over your money, the car is actually three months away,” he said.

When it comes time to look for finance, Mr Jappie recommends always starting with the figures.

“Start by figuring out your budget, what the vehicle is intended for, what your capacity is for repayments, and how you are going to finance your vehicle with an achievable term for repayments,” he said.

“By taking your time and learning about all your options, you can make a better-informed decision.”

If you’re in the market for a new set of wheels and you’re keen to get the ball rolling, RateCity’s car loan comparison tools can help you in your search for the right finance option.

Our car loan comparison tables allow you to filter down your results to find what works best for your needs.

To help get you started with your research, RateCity has put together some of the top-rated car loans for September 2021, based on our leaderboard rankings.

(Rankings are correct at the time of publishing. Please note lenders may trade places on the list as interest rates and fees change and RateCity’s tracker reflects these movements.)

Top-rated new car loans

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Top-rated used car loans

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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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