The ultimate guide to buying a car in the 2019 EOFY sales

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Before you drive away into the sunset, make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck.

Buying a car at the 2019 End of Financial Year sales is a great idea as there's a lot of savings to be had - and we've got the figures to prove it! 2019 has been a particularly slow year for car dealers, which means that they want to clear as much stock as they car before June 30.

This means that they're willing to part with cars for a lot less, which means it's easy for you to bargain and save.

Here are our top 5 tips to get the most out of the EOFY sales, which could save you tons of time and thousands of dollars.

1. Go for a 2018 model to save some serious cash.

You can save a lot by opting for a "plate runout deal". These are deals on last year's models that have been sitting around the dealership for a while. Because they're slightly older, dealers usually want to get rid of these cars first.

For example, we found that you could save a huge $7,200 if you buy a 2018 Holden Colorado Ute over the 2019 model, even though the cars are exactly the same! So if you don't mind having a slightly older car, this might be the way to go. Remember that cars depreciate the second they leave the lot anyway!

2. Know a good deal when you see one - and when to walk away.

Parking lot Some quick high-school maths can help you save, particularly if you're getting a loan to pay for your car. While it can be tempting to go with the "low-interest financing" the dealer offers you, make sure you read the fine print. Dealer-arranged financing, like 1% finance offers, often include a "balloon payment" at the end of the agreement, which means you'll have to pay up to half the car's value - up to thousands of dollars - in one go at the end.

Let's say you wanted to get a car loan on that same 2018 plate Holden Colorado. You want to borrow $41,990 to buy the car with a 4-year loan. If you compare car loans on Finder, there's a difference of $72 per month between the highest and lowest repayments. Over 4 years, you'd save almost $3,500 if you went for the lowest. Not bad for a few minutes' work!

3. Understand what you really need.

In the example mentioned above, purchasing a 2018 plate Holden Colorado represented a saving of $7,200. So what is the difference between the 2019 and 2018 plate models?

We've put together a table to show you some of the key differences, which for many of the cars on offer are merely cosmetic. A few manufacturers, like Mitsubishi, have facelifted the 2019 models, giving them additional equipment and slightly revised capabilities, but are they worth coughing up thousands of extra dollars? See for yourself below.

Vehicle2018 Model2019 ModelOur verdict
Mitsubishi triton
Mitsubishi Triton GLX 4WD double cab pickup
$32,990$36,990It's nice to have extra safety equipment, larger brakes, the off-road tweaks and an additional gear on the 2019 automatic, but are they worth $4,000?
Peugeot 208 Active
Peugeot 208 Active
$21,990 $25,580A new model is expected in Australia next year, so prices have been dropped by $3,590 on 2018 208s.
Peugeot 308 Allure diesel
Peugeot 308 Allure diesel
$32.500 $35,990Buying a 2018 model can deliver $3,490 in savings!
Holden colorado
Holden Colorado LS 4x4 Crew cab automatic pickup
$39,990$47,190*The 2018 plate is identical to the 2019 model, but is $7,200 cheaper! You also get three years free schedule servicing and a five year unlimited KM warranty.
Ford Ranger XLT 4x4 Double cab pick-up
Ford Ranger XLT 4x4 Double cab pick-up
$49,990$51.990#This is a very popular selling ute model, and you can save $2,000 on the driveaway EOFY price of a 2019 plate just by purchasing last year's XLT Ranger. However, the 2019 model has additional safety assists which might warrant the extra costs.

*Manufacturers recommended list price
#Also on a limited time EOFY deal

4. Don't just think about what you'll pay right now.

New car with ribbon

Remember that what you pay for the car isn't the only cost you'll need to think about. When you factor in the cost of insurance and servicing, you could easily bite off more than you can chew.

We analysed the cost of car insurance from 10 brands in 6 states for a 30-year-old male driving a Toyota Corolla, and found that the difference in the cost could be hundreds of dollars a year.

In Victoria, one policy was $1,504.80 per year, versus the cheapest comparable option, which was $815.34 a year. That's a difference of $689.46! Even on a bad day, that's a return ticket to Bali - which would you rather spend your money on?

5. Do your research

Don't be swayed by sweet-talking dealers. Come into the dealership knowing what car you want, what model, and what you'll use to pay for it. Crunching the numbers ahead of time is worth it so you can save your hard-earned money. If you're pre-approved for a loan, you can skip the sales pitch and get straight to hammering out a deal. Remember, with a downturn in new car sales, the bargaining power is in your favour.

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