Drive away with a deal

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - CRUISE CONTROL | -

AS June ap­proaches, the big­gest month for new car sales, there are a cou­ple of things to look for if you’re in the mar­ket to buy to make sure you don’t end up pay­ing too much.

Most drive-away deals on man­u­fac­tur­ers’ web­sites un­der “spe­cial of­fers” are fairly sharp.

In the case of the Hyundai i30 at $19,990 drive-away with au­to­matic (about $7500 off the full rec­om­mended re­tail price) and the $22,990 drive-away Toy­ota Corolla As­cent Sport auto (about $4000 off), the dealer mar­gin is as lit­tle as or less than $400 be­cause the fac­tory funds the dis­count.

In those cases you won’t be get­ting pre­mium plates, free floor mats or tinted win­dows.

Other cur­rent drive-away deals, such as the top end Holden Colorado LTZ (pic­tured) at $49,233, have more wrig­gle room as they have been cheaper be­fore. The ex­act same ve­hi­cle was $42,990 drive­away in Fe­bru­ary, boosted by a mas­sive fac­tory bonus.

So not all deals are cre­ated equally and, it’s also worth not­ing, “free on-roads” does not al­ways mean “drive-away”.

For ex­am­ple, the Mazda3 has “free on-roads” but this does not mean it’s a drive-away price. Deal­ers are still charg­ing a “de­liv­ery fee” which varies from $1500 to $2500 de­pend­ing on which show­room you walk into. Best to wait un­til Mazda joins the rest of the mar­ket with a pub­lished drive-away price which is more trans­par­ent.

Mean­while Nis­san is of­fer­ing drive-away deals on some pas­sen­ger cars but only 1 per cent fi­nance on its more pop­u­lar SUVs.

Be sure to com­pare with out­side fi­nance deals and check the price of the car it­self, as many com­pa­nies ad­ver­tis­ing low in­ter­est rates off­set the cost by charg­ing full price for the car, dealer de­liv­ery and any­thing else they can add.

It may be bet­ter to get a sharp price and ar­range your own fi­nance. If you get dealer fi­nance, the dealer gets a size­able com­mis­sion from the fi­nance provider so they will re­coup some profit in the deal.

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