The Murray Valley Standard

5 Tips for getting the best deal on a new car in 2022

Getting pre-approval on a car loan before visiting car dealerships means you have more leverage to negotiate a good deal on a new car. Photo: Shutterstock.

Story in partnership with Savvy

Buying a new car, right now in 2022, is a very different experience to car shopping in previous years. Shoppers have less leverage to negotiate a good deal due to supply chain issues and high demand, where cars are basically selling themselves. But there are still things shoppers can do to pay less for a new car.

Get pre-approved for finance

Getting pre-approval for a car loan has many benefits. You can lock in the best interest rate, after doing a thorough comparison, saving you money over the life of the loan. The peace of mind that comes with knowing you achieve the best interest rate is priceless.

It also places a ceiling on the amount you can spend on a car, meaning you are less likely to make rash decisions when you get to the dealership. Car salespeople are experts at sweet talking, and with the inflated car prices, people are likely getting caught out paying more than they can afford.

Shoppers should also avoid dealer finance, as the rates on offer are rarely the best ones available to you.

Pre-approval gives you leverage to negotiate a better deal. Getting pre-approved for finance shows car dealers that you are serious about buying, and the prospect of a quick process is very attractive to them.

To get the deal done quickly, car salespeople will often give pre-approved shoppers their best deal upfront, which means more transparency for you and less haggling.

If you've had trouble getting pre-approval before, due to a bad credit rating, consider bad credit car loans.

Downgrade expectations

If you've had your heart set on a particular colour or optional extra, it might be a good time to reassess your need for this. Passing up on a good car deal because it doesn't tick all of your boxes might mean you end up paying more later.

Go through your checklist of things you want in your ideal car, and try to cull the unnecessary items. It could save you hundreds, if not thousands if you consider buying a car in a less popular shade. But it will still get you where you have to go.

You might have had your sights set on the top of the range model, but downgrading your expectations to a base model or mid model, will mean you still get the car you love, just without the added luxuries and inflated price tag.

Consider buying interstate

Some states typically have a lower price point on particular cars, compared to other states.

According to PriceMyCar.com, New South Wales was the cheapest place to buy a new car in 2019, closely followed by Victoria.

It's worth shopping around and keeping your location parameters set to include neighbouring states if you're searching online.

If you do come across your choice of car at a lower price in a different state, it's as simple as getting a quote to have the car shipped to you, and doing the maths to figure out if that total is cheaper than buying a car locally.

Do your due diligence by checking the responsibilities you adopt when buying a car interstate, such as changing your registration over. These vary state to state.

Be in the know

Be in the know, about the state of the vehicle and the on-road and maintenance costs.

Consumers often make the mistake of thinking that vehicle costs extend only to the purchasing price. But then they get into financial trouble when they realise many on-road costs exist. Factor in car registration, stamp duty and any existing repairs that need to be made, especially when purchasing a used car.

Get a qualified mechanic to do a pre-purchase check, to ensure everything is in fine working order. Also check the service history log book, as this can impact any existing warranty on the car.

Research the car you are considering, thoroughly, and then when a good deal pops up you will have the confidence to pounce. Knowing the going price on each specific badge and year of your preferred car model will work in your favour. You'll be less likely to overpay if you're well-informed.

Shop around

Visit multiple different dealerships, speak to different salespeople and ask all of the questions that come to mind about the cars you're considering.

When you have firsthand knowledge of the different models, years and badges that you are interested in, you have more leverage to negotiate.

Some car dealerships neglect to price models appropriately, according to where they stand in badge hierarchy. Shopping around, and taking note of different price points means you're better equipped to recognise a good deal and less vulnerable to being swindled, especially in the current car market.

Story in partnership with Savvy