Many dealers remain open to selling vehicles through virtual showrooms and contactless sales, so could now be the time to shop for a new car?
It used to be the case you would physically inspect a car, take it for a test drive, and then negotiate a price in-person. However, now that coronavirus has caused a near-total shutdown of movement in Australia, many dealerships have moved online to sell cars.
Contact almost any dealer these days, and you’ll find they offer some sort of virtual showroom experience, video demonstrations and an online negotiation process.
According to Car Advice, virtual inspection app CitNOW has signed up 300 dealerships and service centres to its service Australia-wide. The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) also reports that dealers are operating ‘business as usual’ for sales support and maintenance.
As for purchasing a car online, Toyota and Subaru have offered online portals for some models since 2012.
Recently, Volkswagen Australia has developed an online ordering system, where customers can choose their car and leave a customary $500 deposit - the dealer then contacts the buyer within 48 hours to complete the deal.
Tesla has also been at the forefront of online purchasing since they arrived in Australia, with few dealerships across the country, and all sales must be conducted online.
More broadly, online shoppers can also receive quotes, understand financing and car loans, and also negotiate all from the comfort of their lounge chair.
Auto Expert’s John Cadogan said it’s reasonable to negotiate up to 15% off the asking price for a new car, but car buyers need to do their research.
“You’ve got to know what the fair value of that car is, and say ‘Here’s what I’m prepared to pay you for it',” he said.
FCAI has reported 25 continuous months of car sales declines, with car sales plummeting 48.5% in April 2020, compared to April 2019.
Sales are also expected to dive further as the effects of coronavirus are realised, meaning it could be an ideal time to negotiate a deal on a new car.
Securing a competitive car loan online
For many online lenders it’s also business as usual, including loans.com.au, which has been at the forefront of online lending for nearly a decade. Recently, we’ve reduced the rate for our Green Car Loan by 22 basis points, down to an advertised rate of 3.97% per annum (4.51% p.a. comparison rate*).
Our Green Car Loan attracts a 70 basis point discount on our regular fixed new car loan. The interest rate for a fixed new car loan is 4.67% p.a. (5.22% p.a. comparison rate*).
Comparison rates are based on a $30,000 loan on a five year term. Many fuel-efficient vehicles are covered under the Green Car Loan, including some Volkswagen Golf models, the Mazda 2, and many others.
loans.com.au also offers pre-approval for car financing, meaning you can get secured for a loan and then shop online for a new car with your budget in mind.
*View product information and terms and conditions here: https://www.loans.com.au/car-loans/buying-personal-car/green-cars