Early into the new year, especially February, can be a great time to negotiate a great price on a new car. This is the time when car dealerships typically run their ‘plate clearance sales’ – just before new stock arrives on the ships with the current year models. Plate clearance sales enable them to move as much previous-year’s stock as possible to make way for the new stock with all-new or updated versions of new models.
Plate clearance sales all relate to a car’s build plate and the date stamped on it. The build plate is either found under the bonnet or just inside the door openings, which has information stamped into it such as the build or body number, paint code and the build date.
The build date is different to the registration date and compliance date, which is when the car was certified for sale in Australia. The date the car came off the production line is what is on the build plate.
Whilst the compliance date determines the model year of a car (when new), it’s the build date that a car will always be valued by.
If it’s not as critical to you that the new car you buy is made in the same year as you purchase it, you can negotiate a great price as they become more desperate to move this ‘older’ stock. Typically, around 4% off the going price is a fair and reasonable outcome. And although the build plate date can have an impact on resale value down the track and depreciation over the time you have the car, the money you save by buying at a plate clearance sale could balance it out, particularly if you look after your car well.
Financing your new car.
Pretty much all car dealerships and sales yards offer finance options from interest free loans, secured car loans, to leasing finance. Just be careful you’re aware of any hidden costs and catches which may sting you upfront or down the track ie hidden discharge fees or ridiculously high interest rates at the end of fixed or free interest periods. It’s worth having a chat to your Mortgage Broker before you go signing any finance contract to ensure the loan is right for you and your personal situation and you’re not going to get stung.
Talk to your Mortgage Broker today about new or used car finance options and even consider a pre-approval on a car loan at a great car loan rate so you’re ready to drive away!