JANUARY’S sales figures for new cars showed we are on track for another record year — if the figures are to be believed.
Sales were up 2.7 per cent compared with the same month last year, which turned out to be a record.
But just how accurate are the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries figures?
Contrary to widespread belief, new-car sales are not calculated according to vehicle registration data supplied by government authorities.
Instead, the figures are collated by the FCAI via the manufacturers using an “honesty system”.
However, a special Carsguide investigation this week found widespread variation in the way car companies report their figures.
In some cases it can leave buyers with less warranty on their new car than they were expecting.
It works like this: dealers are offered incentives at the end of the month to hit sales targets. They are told to declare a car as sold or risk missing a bonus.
Some cars are sold straight away while others sit in storage unregistered until the dealer can find a real buyer.
In most cases such cars come with a big discount. In other instances, however, the warranty starts the moment the car is declared as sold, not when the customer takes delivery. So be sure to check before you sign on the dotted line.
NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury says: “People buying vehicles would rightly expect the warranty starts the day they take their new car home . We would encourage consumers to check with the dealer before they sign a contract and before they take delivery as to when the warranty will start.”