Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - | Sup­plied by True Price

HERE are the five most im­por­tant things you need to know when shop­ping for wheels over the fes­tive sea­son:

1. Buy on auc­tion now. Ac­cord­ing to Dar­ryl Ja­cob­son, the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of True Price, auc­tion houses close mid-De­cem­ber.

“Deal­ers at­tend ve­hi­cle auc­tions to source stock. How­ever, these auc­tions are not closed to the pub­lic. Mem­bers of the pub­lic are wel­come to bid against the deal­ers, thereby sav­ing the dealer mar­gin. But if you want to do this and grab a great deal, don’t de­lay,” he says.

2. Avoid shop­ping for “stu­dent” or en­try-level cars. If you’re look­ing to buy an in­ex­pen­sive (less than R150 000) car, don’t shop now.

“This is prob­a­bly the worst time of the year to be shop­ping for one of these cars. The mar­ket is flooded with buy­ers – es­pe­cially par­ents buy­ing a car for their chil­dren who are about to en­ter univer­sity. Thanks to this de­mand, you will pay top dol­lar,” Ja­cob­son says.

Jan­uary is a bet­ter time to buy one of these cars, says Jo­han Olivier, the head of mar­ket­ing and sales at Auc­tion Fi­nance (True Price’s fi­nanc­ing arm). “We at­tend all the ve­hi­cle auc­tions, and Jan­uary is tra­di­tion­ally the qui­etest month. Sellers will be hun­gry to make a sale, mean­ing you will get a bet­ter deal,” he says.

3. Go for an ex­pen­sive car.

De­cem­ber is the best time to buy a more ex­pen­sive car.

“The deal­ers will be look­ing to liq­ui­date their stock be­fore year-end. The last thing they want is a high-end car sit­ting on their show­room floor,” says Ja­cob­son.

In Novem­ber, the new car mar­ket in South Africa reg­is­tered a de­cline of 1 764 cars (or 5.4 per­cent) ver­sus the 32 818 new cars sold in Novem­ber last year.

“The deal­ers will be look­ing to bounce back in De­cem­ber. There are typ­i­cally lots of spe­cials on high-end new cars at this time of the year and, given a Novem­ber mar­ket that was off the boil, this will be even more so the case this year. This means that used car deal­ers have to of­fer re­ally great deals – other­wise they will lose out to their new car col­leagues.”

4. Buy a “fixer-up­per”. De­cem­ber is a great time to buy a “fixer-up­per”. “This is be­cause all the pan­el­beat­ers close. Ac­cord­ingly, deal­ers will not buy these ve­hi­cles, and if they have one in stock they will be keen to dis­pose of it. They can­not fix it up to sell it, and they don’t want a ve­hi­cle like this on their books,” says Ja­cob­son.

5. Shop on De­cem­ber 29. Want that once-in-a-life­time deal? Satur­day, De­cem­ber 29, is the best day to shop. “This is the last trad­ing day for most deal­ers, be­cause they will close on Sun­day the 30th and Mon­day the 31st. They will be ex­cep­tion­ally keen to liq­ui­date their stock be­fore year-end … so you’re likely to bag a bar­gain,” Ja­cob­son says.


DE­CEM­BER is the best time to buy a more ex­pen­sive car, be­cause deal­ers want to liq­ui­date their stock be­fore the end of the year.

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