Author Topic: Is a new car reasonable in Australia?  (Read 4727 times)

deborah

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Is a new car reasonable in Australia?
« on: April 27, 2014, 06:33:13 PM »
I have had my current car for 15 years, but it has started to be unreliable. It is a 1999 Mazda 121, and I love it.

I have been looking for a similar car, and it seems that new might be better in the Australian market, as this sort of car doesn't appear to depreciate as much as it might elsewhere. I have been looking at new prices and used prices on the internet.

I need something that I can drive regularly 7.5 hours to my parent's place, so I need cruise control and it would be nice if it made less noise (the Mazda 121 is known for making more noise than other cars).

One thing I really like about my car is that it takes enormous loads - I once fitted 2 whole bales of wool in the back. The person who came to collect the wool from me had an enormous 2 cabin 4WD, which just fitted the bales!

Last year I went to Cameron's Corner (my car was half the size of any other car there) and other places, and found that because the front and back seats can lie back individually, I could sleep in the car very comfortably, even though it is a small car. I would like something that takes LPG, as premium is not available in some places I visit.

I hope this is the last car I buy.

AdrianM

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Re: Is a new car reasonable in Australia?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2014, 07:32:34 PM »
Go for near new, say three year old ish and you will still get a good car but without the new car price tag.

Trick here is to find a distressed seller as they will be willing to take a bath on the car to get rid of it.

The bargains are out there they can just take a while to find.
In the mean time get use to looking at a lot of crap.

So don't rush, pay cash and drive a hard bargain.
In the end you will find the car you want at the price you want.

Mark31

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Re: Is a new car reasonable in Australia?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2014, 11:01:28 PM »
I get the impression you need to spend more in Australia to get a decent second hand car than in the US, but it still doesnít make financial sense to buy new.

I would aim for a five year old car, with about 100,000 km on the clock, but thatís because I know absolutely nothing about cars and loathe car shopping Ė Iím willing to pay more for better reliability and a greater time between car purchases.

Get a good brand. Youíll get better value for money spending $15k on a second hand Toyota than the same amount on a new Proton. (Iím not suggesting you spend $15,000, itís just an example)

Buying a common brand also makes it a lot easier to get parts if you have a breakdown in the back of beyond.

stripey

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Re: Is a new car reasonable in Australia?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2014, 02:52:12 AM »
Agree with everything here. Search for second hand cars 3-5 years old, <120000kms (aim for less if it's spent most of it's life near the sea due to the salt), decent (reliable!) brand, and phrases like 'urgent sale' 'moving' 'must sell'. See how you go.

However, I found my last car (after mine was written off) by posting my Facebook status as 'Anybody want to sell me their car?' and within a weekend I was the proud owner of a car. The seller was moving back overseas within the fortnight.

marty998

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Re: Is a new car reasonable in Australia?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2014, 05:19:06 AM »
Yes, agree with the 3 year, <100,000kms cars. Ex government fleet cars that have been driven old-lady like  around Canberra are probably the best of the lot.

deborah

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Re: Is a new car reasonable in Australia?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2014, 06:02:00 AM »
Thanks for the answers.

Get a good brand. Youíll get better value for money spending $15k on a second hand Toyota than the same amount on a new Proton. (Iím not suggesting you spend $15,000, itís just an example)
I had never heard of a Proton - Latte Gold!! But, no, I am with you.

The reason I was asking is that (for instance) a brand new Mazda 2 (similar to my old car) is about $15k at the moment (they are actually about $3.5k off because of model run out), while second hand Mazda 2's are not a lot cheaper - and many are more expensive. I have seen the same in other cars I have looked at. And, at least, with a new car, it wouldn't have to be grey (why is every car grey these days - you can barely tell them from the bitumen, and to my mind that makes them less safe because no-one can see them).

I am becoming very nervous about my car. I went on the trip to outback NSW, and the sump cap of the gearbox came off on the road between White Cliffs and Wannarring (a very low traffic road). After 5 hours the local farmer rescued me, found a sump cap on his property, filled the gear box with engine oil (no gear box oil), and I drove 70 km to Wannarring in 2nd gear (nothing higher was working). The next morning someone filled it with gearbox oil, and I drove 180km to Bourke at 65km/hr in 4th (this stopped the gear box from crunching too much). The car was then towed to Dubbo, and the gearbox was replaced. Everyone invlved was just wonderful.

Since I have been back, I have found that as well as not tightening my gearbox plugs (they were specifically told I was going on this trip, and to double check everything), my previous mechanic used the wrong tyres, and didn't fix the back or the front suspension. So all those have been found and rectified one by one. Each thing has individually cost just about what the car was worth. If I had known everything that was wrong, I may have left the car at Bourke.

Then, before I posted this, the battery was flat. So I guess, I just felt like I wanted out of the whole situation, and getting a new car may be worth it overall. The battery has now been replaced, and they tested it, and the electrics seem OK.

agent_clone

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Re: Is a new car reasonable in Australia?
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2014, 06:52:52 AM »
My thoughts on this is that it depends on what class of car size your going for.  For example the cars that are around 15-20k new, its worth it to get it new.  For the cars that are 30k+, I would buy one that is a couple of years old.

Personally I bought a new Auto Honda Jazz 1.5L at the start of last year.  I looked at what a 10 year old car was worth, what a 2 year old car was worth, and bought new based on the assumption that essentially it was losing about 2k p.a. in all instances, so I might as well buy new and have to buy less often.

For larger/more expensive cars the depretiation is more significant within the first two years.  So in that case it makes it worth while to get something at least 2 years old.

Engine wise you could also think about diesel - some diesel cars can apparently get about 900km from a tank, otherwise if going petrol make sure that the car can take E10 unleaded.

A suggested method for looking at cars is creating a spreadsheet that contains wants and desires for your new car.  Think about the sort of car you want (i.e. Sub-Compact, Compact, Small, Medium, Large, etc, etc) and then look at the cars in that class and put them on your spreadsheet ticking the boxes for those that have what you want, and values for things that you want to compare.  For example you want to see if it checks off the cruise control, and you may want to put in the boot capacity dimensions (seats up and down).  In my case I was looking at cruise control, fuel efficiency and price, then I picked the one that I liked driving the most.

If buying new and you can hold off until June/July there may also be sales/better bargains on around then for the end of financial year (although the mazda 2 sounds like a bargain, when I was looking the mazda 3 had more inclusions for a marginally higher price tag than the top level mazda 2).

Also my view on getting new cars, is that you keep it until it costs you more to maintain than it's worth (usually around the time that you have those 2.5-3k repairs).

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Is a new car reasonable in Australia?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2014, 07:18:53 AM »
If the used market is truly as described, a new car could be justified. Here in the States, even small cars generally still take a decent hit in first couple years.

At the same time, considering everything you've just replaced on your car, what else can go wrong? ;) That's where I'm at with my two cars. They are old piles of junk, but I know the condition precisely.

For peace of mind, what about a roadside assistance membership? Not sure about Australia, but here we have some very reasonable rates.

agent_clone

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Re: Is a new car reasonable in Australia?
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2014, 07:59:25 AM »
Thegoblinchief with the locations she's talking about I don't think roadside assistance would help too much.  Google maps is telling me that to drive from White Cliffs to Wanaaring it is 8 1/2 hours, then Wanaaring to Bourke 4 3/4 hours, I haven't driven in these areas so I don't know.  She may have been just within mobile phone range (although may or may not have been so depending on reception).

If this helps with an indication for you this is the advice for breakdowns in the Outback (essentially try to attract the notice of planes):
http://www.mynrma.com.au/motoring/road-safety/outback-breakdown.htm

And heres the mobile (cell) phone coverage for the carrier with the largest network in Australia:
http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/coverage-networks/our-coverage/

deborah

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Re: Is a new car reasonable in Australia?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2014, 09:35:16 PM »
Thegoblinchief with the locations she's talking about I don't think roadside assistance would help too much.  Google maps is telling me that to drive from White Cliffs to Wanaaring it is 8 1/2 hours, then Wanaaring to Bourke 4 3/4 hours, I haven't driven in these areas so I don't know.  She may have been just within mobile phone range (although may or may not have been so depending on reception).

If this helps with an indication for you this is the advice for breakdowns in the Outback (essentially try to attract the notice of planes):
http://www.mynrma.com.au/motoring/road-safety/outback-breakdown.htm

And heres the mobile (cell) phone coverage for the carrier with the largest network in Australia:
http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/coverage-networks/our-coverage/
Looking at the mobile map, I was completely out of mobile reception from well before the time I stopped until just before I hit Bourke. The road I was on is shown on this map and goes straight from White Cliffs to Wannarring. I do have roadside assistance - and it paid for the 4 hour tow from Bourke to Dubbo (again, worth more than my car) - but I had to get to Bourke first. I had 2 weeks of food and water, so I was OK, even though there were no other cars on the road. I was told that locals have been stuck for 2 days on that road, and the flying doctor would have seen me when he went over in 2 days (for people outside Aus, the flying doctor visits remote communities in a plane - once a week in Wannarring - so they can access medical treatment), so the longest I would have been stuck was 2 days. I had been contacting my partner whenever I was in mobile range, but he was out of range that day, so again, while I was at the side of this very deserted road, I calculated he would have raised the alarm in within 2 days.

It was just a minor hiccup in a fantastic trip, and I plan on going to the area again - with a satellite phone, and a better mechanic servicing the car. And I reckon my entire lifetime's roadside assistance payments have been recouped!

Sydneystache

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Re: Is a new car reasonable in Australia?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2014, 09:50:04 PM »
Sorry to hear your car probs. i think it is a hint to get a new one. My mechanic started making grumpy noises for 2 years before I got my new-used car last year. Bought a Camry Hybrid under 30,000kms for around $22K from pickles.com.au it was an ex-ATO car.

Took it for a drive during the Easter holidays. Not to the back of Bourke but down to near Echuca over the South Oz border. Drove the last 750kms back to Sydney without worrying about re-fuelling. Pretty chuffed about that. My other companions were driving a relatively new SUV diesel and had to refill between country towns. My fuel bill was around $120 after 1700kms.

Good luck with your car-buying decision. I am waiting for the next gen of hybrid cars. I'm not an SUV person but that new Mitsubishi plug-in petrol/electric would be my type of car 200,000kms down the track. The Holden/Chevy Volt too but want my boot space.