Why pay more than you need to for a new car?
There are a number of benefits to buying a brand new car, but the price tag is not generally one of them. If you're looking for a new car but your budget is $20,000 or less, the options are somewhat limited. However, there is still a range of vehicles available at this pricepoint, and we've put together a comparison to help with your decision-making.
This guide takes you through the options you have for a budget of $20,000 or less, and offers advice on which features to look for, as well as a few ways to save some dollars on your purchase.
Which are the best new cars under $20,000?
|Hyundai||i30||From $19,990||Read Review|
|Mazda||Mazda2||From $14,990||Read Review|
|Suzuki||Swift||From $15,990||Read Review|
|Volkswagen||Polo||From $17,990||Read Review|
What features should I look for in a new car under $20,000?
When you're buying a car on a budget it's important to know which features you want from the outset. Here are some items to look out for when you head to the dealership:
- A 5-star ANCAP rating. Make sure the vehicle you're purchasing is rated highly by Australia's vehicle safety rating agency, ANCAP. Find out more about these ratings here.
- Parking sensors or a reverse camera. Many new vehicles now come standard with either or both of these very convenient items, which assist you with reverse parking. Make sure you try them out during your test drive.
- Bluetooth. Check the car is compatible for linking with your model of phone. For example, some vehicles are only set up for iPhones to fully use the system.
- Blind-spot warning. This handy safety feature alerts you to vehicles that are in your blind spot.
- Navigation system. Another great feature to have in your car. Make sure you ask how often the system is updated and which map system it runs through.
How can I save at a dealership?
If you've got your eye on a vehicle that's a little over your budget and are looking to shave off a few dollars, here are a few tips:
- Stick to the rule of three. Visit at least three dealerships before making your purchase. That way, you'll be able to play the dealerships' offers against each other and have leverage when negotiating.
- Get the timing right. There are a few schools of thought here. One is that you should visit at the end of the month when dealerships are trying to hit their sales targets. Another is that you should visit on a Monday or Tuesday when dealerships are less busy and there's more time to negotiate. One well-known time to snap up a bargain is the at end of financial year sales, as dealerships offer specials in order to hit their EOFY goals. A final idea around timing is to wait until a dealership is having a model runout, when the current model of a vehicle is about to be replaced by an updated version. Dealerships try to clear out the older design to make way for the new build and may be more willing to strike a bargain.
- Avoid unnecessary add-ons. A report from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) found that many insurance plans sold by car dealers weren't valuable to consumers, so be careful what you sign up for. Types of insurance to question if they are offered include tyre insurance, loan protection insurance and even add-ons such as rust-proofing.