MINI finance options
From the Cooper S to the Countryman: learn how you can finance a new MINI in July 2022
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Owned by BMW, MINI has been an iconic motor vehicle brand for decades. Earlier generations of the MINI between 1959 and 2000 cemented its place in the motoring world, while the release of the New MINI in 2001 has seen the popular car retain much of its iconic shape and design while incorporating innovative new features.
Prices start from $28,000 for the hatch and rise to $41,300 for the Countryman. If you are looking to finance a new MINI, read on.
Popular models of MINI available in Australia
The line-up of second-generation MINI vehicles available in Australia includes the MINI Cooper Countryman, MINI Cooper Cabrio, MINI Cooper S and the iconic MINI Cooper.
Compare car loans suitable for purchasing a MINI
How to apply for finance to buy a MINI
While there are some similarities between different loan types, the specific process of applying for vehicle finance and the documents you need to provide will depend on the lender and whether you are applying as an individual or a business.
The minimum requirements to be eligible for vehicle finance include the following:
- Older than 18 years
- Australian citizen or permanent resident
- Earning a steady income
If purchasing a vehicle as an individual, you will most likely be asked to provide at least the following documents:
- Ongoing expenses and credit card limits
- Details of the vehicle you intend to purchase, including its total cost
- Details of other assets and liabilities
- Proof of ID
- Proof of income and employment
How much does it cost to buy and run a MINI?
Initial purchase cost
According to Redbook, the cost to purchase new 2018 MINI models in Australia is as follows:
- 2018 MINI Clubman from $36,900
- 2018 MINI Convertible from $39,600
- 2018 MINI Countryman from $41,300
- 2018 MINI Hatch from $28,000
According to information provided by the Australian government's Green Vehicle Guide, the MINI Cooper D is the most fuel-efficient MINI vehicle available in Australia, with a minimum urban fuel consumption of 5.1 litres per 100 kilometres. The MINI One ranks next, with a minimum urban fuel consumption of 6 L/100km, followed by the MINI Cooper and the MINI John Cooper Works, both at 7.1 L/100km, the MINI Cooper S at 8 L/100km and the MINI Clubman at 8.9 L/100km.
The ATO defines a fuel-efficient car as one with a fuel consumption of 7 L/100km or less, so the MINI Cooper D and MINI One fall into the category while the other models available in Australia fall just outside the definition of a fuel-efficient car.
Other costs to consider
- Servicing and repairs. While ongoing servicing comes at a cost, it can keep your car in good running order and prevent a big repair job in the future.
- Dealer delivery. Dealer delivery is a cost incurred relating to the purchase of new cars and includes all expenses associated with delivering the car to you from the manufacturer. The amount you pay for dealer delivery can vary significantly and can be negotiated directly with the dealer.
- New car extras. Choosing optional extras like automatic transmission, metallic paint and leather seats can see the once-reasonable advertised sticker price of a car balloon out significantly. Make sure you factor in the costs of any desired new car extras when comparing car prices.
- Insurance. Several types of insurance are available to protect your car. Compulsory third party (CTP) insurance is legally required in Australia, while other types of motor vehicle insurance can cover the costs of repair or replacement should your car be damaged or stolen.
- Stamp duty. Stamp duty is a form of government taxation that must be considered when calculating the total cost of a car. Based on a variety of factors including the purchase price, stamp duty varies between Australian jurisdictions. Use this calculator to estimate the amount of motor vehicle stamp duty you may need to pay when purchasing a new or used vehicle.
- Finance costs. See the next section for a closer look at the costs associated with different MINI finance options that could be available to you.
What types of MINI finance options are available?
The next step after choosing the best MINI for you is to weigh up your options and decide which type of MINI finance would best suit your circumstances.
Consider which of these MINI finance options could be the right choice for you:
It can be tempting to use a credit card to purchase a vehicle, particularly if you're interested in amassing credit card reward points. However, keep in mind that credit cards tend to have very high interest rates compared to other MINI finance options, which could drastically increase the total cost of the car. Before using your credit card, work out how long you will take to pay off the credit card debt and how much interest you'll accrue in the meantime, then compare the total amount paid with the total amount you may pay with other forms of lending. If you're thinking of taking out a new credit card to purchase the car, take the opportunity to compare credit cards to find the best deal for you.
Commercial hire purchase
Popular with self-employed people and small business owners, a commercial hire purchase allows for the car to be paid off in regular instalments over a set term, with the car purchased outright after all repayments have been made. A balloon payment typically falls due at the end of the term.
Secured car loan
As a form of secured lending, a secured car loan poses less risk to the lender and can attract interest rate discounts and other more favourable loan terms. Keep in mind that, should you default on the loan, the lender can repossess your car.
Unsecured car loan
An unsecured car loan tends to come with greater flexibility but can attract higher interest rates and fees because it presents a greater risk to the lender.
If you have a redraw facility or offset account on your mortgage, you can potentially withdraw some of the excess in your mortgage to purchase a vehicle. Keep in mind that this means you would essentially be borrowing the money for the car on your mortgage's remaining loan term, which could potentially have up to 25 years left to run. The longer you take to pay off the loan, the more it ultimately ends up costing. However, mortgage interest rates can be considerably lower than car loan interest rates, making a mortgage redraw a viable option in certain circumstances.
If you have plenty of equity in your mortgage, or if your credit score has improved since you took out your mortgage or your property has increased in value, it can be worth considering refinancing your home loan. Not only will refinancing allow you to free up some of the equity in your home to purchase the vehicle, but you will also end up with a better interest rate and more favourable loan terms for the remainder of your mortgage. Be aware of early exit fees, property revaluation fees and other fees you may incur when refinancing.
Pre-approved car loan
While some lenders will offer a pre-approved car loan and others won't, knowing in advance how much finance you can access can put you in a better position when negotiating the price of your new car as well as any extra features. You can also use your loan pre-approval to negotiate a better finance offer from the dealership's finance department.
A novated lease is a form of salary sacrificing for employees in which lease repayments are taken out of your pre-tax salary. This has the effect of reducing your taxable income while financing a car at the same time. At the end of the lease agreement, you have the option to return the car with no further amounts payable, enter into a new novated lease agreement for a newer model, or refinance or purchase the existing car outright. A common pitfall with novated leases is that you will still be subject to fringe benefits tax, the amount of which will depend on how many kilometres you drive. It is important to ensure that any income tax savings aren’t outweighed by fringe benefits tax. As a general guide, the benefits of a novated lease arrangement may be non-existent if you earn less than $100,000 per year and drive fewer than 15,000 kilometres.
MINI dealer finance
MINI offers a variety of dealer finance solutions to suit both private and business buyers. Private buyers can choose between a consumer loan or MINI Flex finance, while business buyers can choose between MINI Flex finance, prestige lease or chattel mortgage. Find out more about how dealer finance compares with other types of motor vehicle finance.
- Consumer loan. Loan terms can be negotiated between two and five years, with fixed repayments made throughout. You can choose to add a balloon payment at the end of the loan term, or simply own the MINI outright by making higher ongoing repayments.
- MINI Flex. A type of guaranteed future value program, MINI Flex is available for private and business buyers. Loan terms range between 2 and 5 years, with annual kilometre allowances of either 15,000, 20,000 or 25,000. At the end of the contract, you can choose to return the MINI, pay it out at the agreed price, refinance or trade in your MINI for a newer model.
- Prestige lease. Lease terms range between two and five years, with the residual value of the car dependent upon the initial term of the contract and the repayment amounts.
- Chattel mortgage. For business buyers, MINI offers a chattel mortgage which is a type of secured car loan. Loan terms range between two and five years, with a negotiable deposit amount and an optional loan payment at the end of the loan term.
Factors to consider when comparing MINI finance options
Take the following into account when comparing MINI finance options:
- Interest rate. A competitive interest rate is an important consideration and will affect the total cost of the loan and your ongoing repayments. When you compare car loans consider the interest rates on offer, along with other factors.
- Repayment frequency. Ensure that your loan repayment schedule suits your circumstances and coincides with your pay period or your business's cash flow.
- Balloon payment. If a balloon payment is payable at the end of your loan term, ensure that the amount will be affordable and reasonable and won't outweigh the car's value at that time.
- Loan flexibility. If you may want to pay out your loan early or trade in your car for a newer model, consider how flexible the loan will be or whether penalties will apply.
- Loan term. Loan terms for standard car finance tend to range between one and seven years, while other forms of finance like a mortgage redraw or credit card could have a different loan term.
- Loan amount. Ensure that the amount of the loan will be sufficient to cover all costs associated with purchasing, customising and delivering your new car.
- Fees and charges. Make sure you understand all fees that may be charged during the loan term, from initial fees to ongoing fees and other penalties that may apply.
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Frequently asked questions
Where are MINIs manufactured?
MINI's Countryman, Convertible and Hatch models are assembled in the Netherlands, while the Roadster, Coupe and New MINI Hatch are manufactured at the Plant Oxford facility in England.
Are all MINI vehicles front-wheel drive?
Carrying on from the tradition of the original MINI from 1959, all MINI vehicles sold in Australia are front-wheel drive. Indeed, there are no rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive MINI models available to the public, with the notable exception being an all-wheel drive MINI model that was raced in the World Rally Championship.
How long does the finance approval process take?
Despite finance approval requiring several steps, the process is usually relatively quick. In some instances, conditional approval can be provided almost instantaneously or within a few hours, with most vehicle finance approvals being finalised within a few business days.
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