The Playbook For The Modern Man

Australians Can Save Big On Second Hand Cars Right Now, According To Auto Experts

Buying a second-hand car can, for some guys at least, be a long and confusing process. Just ask recent first-time car buyer and DMARGE senior writer James Booth.

But for those more well versed in the art of negotiation, who know their horsepower from their torque and ABS from their RWD, buying and owning a second-hand vehicle can actually be exciting and something to look forward to.

And right now there has never been a better time to buy approved used.

Don’t believe us? We hit up Luke Lalor, Managing Director of MOTORbiz in Melbourne, and one that predominantly deals with prestige cars in the AU$30-70k price bracket, who told us the pandemic has brought a positive change to the car industry and one you should be taking advantage of.

Luke starts by telling us that despite whatever preconceptions you may have right now, with regards to people not wanting to head outside or spend any money due to job uncertainty, “people are out looking”.

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“Even if it just means they’re wasting time, getting out of the house and away from the wife, people are heading to second-hand dealerships to kick some tyres.”

Indeed, Savings.com.au reports new car sales in Australia in March took a sharp tumble, down 17.9% from the same month in 2019. So are people out looking for used vehicles instead, to avoid the public space offered by large dealerships? Or are they keeping their wallets firmly shut until the pandemic subsides?

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We questioned Luke to ask if now is a good time to buy. He replied with a resounding “Yes. It’s a great time to buy a car.”

His reasoning? “People don’t want to be taking public transport right now and they’ve got even less chance of hopping on a plane to fly away somewhere exotic for a holiday.”

“Instead, they’re looking, or if not, they should be looking for a new (used) car to upgrade to or invest in that can take them on road trips around Australia.”

So, you’ve decided today is car-buying day, should you be doing anything differently were you not in the midst of a pandemic? We’ve all been there – ok, maybe James hasn’t – you turn up to a dealership with a price you want to pay in mind and you’re not going to take no for an answer from the salesman. You should forget this tactic right away, according to Luke.

“There are good buyers around. People shouldn’t be trying to haggle the price just because of COVID. Dealers are already aware of the current climate and will no doubt have already made price changes to reflect it.”

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“They still need to make a living at the end of the day and keep the business afloat, we’re all in a similar situation. So they’re unlikely to want to negotiate as much.”

We pressed Luke for some top tips when out on the forecourt, his answer was rather simple “If the car looks good, has full service history and no body panel damage etc. Buy it. Don’t be cheeky.”

To echo Luke’s words, if you were under the assumption that the pandemic is in fact the worst time to decide to buy a car for yourself or the family, you’d be wrong. Decide on a budget, search for some cars you’d like to add to your collection, whether it be a mid-life roadster or a large people mover, get out to a dealership and snap up a bargain.

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  • holly dedic

    I’m not keeping my wallet shut. I was getting ready to buy a car the month before Covid shut everything down. I was even in contact with credit providers. .

    Guess what, now I’m jobless, so a car is going to be a $100 a week running expense. It usually much higher but petrol is low and I can’t go anywhere . Let’s not forget the $500 a month loan expense.

    Pretty sure that $900 a month expense would eat pretty damn heavily into my $2000 a month roughly jobless because of Covid allowance. Guess what my bank thinks so too, so much so they won’t even loan me $3k for a credit card let alone $20k for a decent car.

    It’s not like I have a job I need to get to either. There’s maybe maximum 3 days in a month I need to travel substantially for a medical appointment or a purchase of a necessity.

    However if I where still currently in the market for transport I would wait another few months for when the dealers get REALLY desperate because the number of people in my position has tripled.

  • ice tee

    I was ready to buy about 5 months ago just before this pandemic but fortunately for me I had some issues I needed to address and whilst taking care of this issue the prices just kept dropping. A car I originally was looking at was around $48000-50000 but now this exact same car went down as far as 43 then it suddenly started going up again so I thought I’d better buy it before it goes up even more and I ended up getting a different model but same car for around $8k less but got more for trade in as well plus few extras so I’m happy!

  • Vinay T

    Which model did you buy if you don’t mind?

  • ice tee

    2020 Honda CRV VTI-S AWD. Brand new. They included Tailored premium carpets, rain visors on all windows and rear window shades. But I got a call from the seperate guys selling Paint protection for outside and some fancy German indoor protection and windows tinting , all from factory Honda. I thought they were going to give it to me for free but how wrong was I? All this came down to over $2400. Just as I was shocked I flat out told her I couldn’t afford them then she tried convincing me how important they were especially being brand new car. She said I should get the window tinting and paint protection at least as she thought they were crucial and I still didn’t agree with the price. But in the end after having a good chat with her regarding the reasons as to why I was changing my car in first place she got so emotional and I ended up getting everything for $1200. I thought you beauty! I checked out how much for all those options and just for factory windows tinting would’ve cost me close to $1000 but I got everything for 1200 very happy. My car just needs to change the Halogen headlights to LED and that will be all. Its going to look ok I think, white pearl with all black trims outside.

  • PizzaHutPete

    “Dealers are already aware of the current climate and will no doubt have already made price changes to reflect it.”

    Absolute rubbish. Dealers are aware that haggling is part of the process. So by all means, find the car you want, make an offer that’s not insulting but is certainly a good way under the asking price, give your phone number, then walk away if they refuse to play the haggling game that they encourage.

    Remember, there a many more cars for sale than there are buyers at the moment.

  • PizzaHutPete

    Paint protector. lol. So what sort of protection did you actually pay for?

  • http://www.dmarge.com Luc Wiesman

    Keep that positivity up, Pete.

  • PizzaHutPete

    Anyone who pays a dealer for this sort of stuff has no clue. Suddenly the all important pain protection and a few other bits and bobs has a 50% discount applied. lol

  • Vinay T

    Congrats on your new car πŸ™‚

    BTW. Did you consider Rav 4 before deciding on CRV? Many say that is also a good car.

  • ice tee

    To tell you the truth I didn’t. Maybe I should have coz I agree with you, the new RAV4 are meant to be just as good and even better in some aspects. Too late now…! That’s the story of my life what can I say…
    Although with that in mind I also heard CRV is an excellent car and I always liked Honda for some reason. Always preferred Honda over Yamaha when It came to engines. The only thing I hope it doesn’t happen and it’s only for USA is the new CRV facelift that’s supposed to be coming mid this year. I just hope it’s only USA. Otherwise that’ll suck..!

  • ice tee

    Of course Yamaha and RAV4 are totally different. I was just referring to motorcycle motors.

  • ice tee

    Of course Mr pizzahutman knows everything. Tell me do you work for pizzahut? Didn’t they or agent they going broke? Maybe you should give them some education on how to buy n sell..

  • PizzaHutPete

    Any chance of responding in English next time?

  • Vinay T

    CRV is a good car no doubts. Its just that the Rav4 hybrid offers better efficiency and a couple of better features thats all. But I heard the wait time is almost 6 months. lol.

    Enjoy your CRV πŸ™‚

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