Bar­gains are out there if you have cash

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

AS­IN­GLE sen­tence could have made me rich if I had a sin­gle dol­lar for ev­ery time I’ve heard it in the past six months. The words come from al­most every­one, from the heads of car com­pa­nies to the lo­cal pump jockey.

And they are . . . ‘‘There has never been a bet­ter time to buy a car.’’

We’ve had all sorts of proof since the end of last year, as new car com­pa­nies have slashed prices and boosted value, used car dealers have bat­tled to clear stock and auc­tion houses have slammed the gavel on some in­cred­i­ble bar­gains.

I have proof again this week on two fronts — the $26,990 start­ing price of the up­dated Skoda Oc­tavia range and the auc­tion re­sults for a range of lux­ury and per­for­mance cars. Turn the pages to­day and you will see what I mean.

Even so, Roy Mor­gan Re­search says the num­ber of Aus­tralians plan­ning to buy a new car in the next year is well be­low the num­ber at the same time a year ago.

The ex­act fig­ures, says Roy Mor­gan in­dus­try com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor Nor­man Mor­ris, is a 14 per cent drop from the same pe­riod last year.

‘‘This de­cline is con­sis­tent with the drop in Roy Mor­gan Con­sumer Con­fi­dence rat­ing, which has spent the first two months of 2009 well be­low the cor­re­spond­ing monthly fig­ures recorded in 2008, sug­gest­ing no short-term sign of a re­cov­ery in new car sales vol­ume,’’ he says.

If the show­room re­sults con­tinue to re­flect this drop, the num­ber of new cars reg­is­tered this year will fall from just on a mil­lion to around 870,000.

That’s the bad news. But, pro­vided you have some ex­tra cash from the cut in mort­gage rates and have no real fear about your job, there are some in­cred­i­ble bar­gains.

To say it one more time, there has never been a bet­ter time. . .

Lap of lux­ury: top-end per­for­mance cars have been fetch­ing good prices at auc­tion.

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