Car buying goes from strength to strength

Car buying goes from strength to strength

The Australian motor industry is faring pretty well at the moment, as consumers up and down the country look to upgrade their vehicles.

Data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) shows new car sales are on the rise - and vehicles are becoming more affordable than ever.

How many people are buying new cars?

In October alone, FCAI figures revealed Australians bought 91,236 new passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles. On this basis, the group predicts more than 1.1 million sales will be completed over the course of 2014, making it the third consecutive year in which the trend has been registered.

There's also been an increase in government purchases, which rose 2.2 per cent in October compared to the same month of 2013.

What types of car are most popular?

If you've recently bought an SUV then you're not alone, as the FCAI reveals this to be the most popular type of car. Sales in October were 9.7 per cent higher than the previous year, while between January and October they were up 5.3 per cent from 12 months earlier.

Some car makes have also proved more popular than others, with the Toyota Corolla named October's best seller with a total of 3,819 sold.

This was followed by the Toyota Hilux in second place and the Mazda3 in third position, while the Hyundai i30 and Ford Ranger made up the rest of the top five.

"Small passenger cars hold the largest market share for both October and year to date sales. They accounted for 22.6 per cent of sales last month and 22.7 per cent of sales between January and October 2014," revealed FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber.

No matter what type of car you choose, it's essential to make sure you have comprehensive motor insurance in place. There's just no telling what you might encounter out on the road, so knowing you're protected can offer real peace of mind.

Where are new car sales strongest?

Consumers in some parts of the country appear to be more inclined to buy a new car than others, with New South Wales leading the charge last month. Sales were up 4.6 per cent over the course of October and 1.7 per cent higher during the year-to-date.

Every other state and territory registered a decline in car sales, which was most pronounced in Tasmania where purchases were down 14.3 per cent.

Why are new cars so popular?

The FCAI believes new cars are becoming more affordable across the country, which might explain why people are so keen to upgrade their existing vehicles.

Comparing prices against those in other right-hand drive markets, the group revealed that drivers in Australia are getting some of the best deals around. For example, a Mercedes-Benz A180 sells for $35,600 in Australia, but buying the same car in the UK would set you back around $42,400.

Meanwhile, a Holden Captiva LT selling for $36,490 in Australia costs more than $50,000 on the UK market.
Mr Weber said if you're going to think about buying a new car sometime in the near future, make sure it's well-equipped to cope with Australian conditions.

"This includes having the appropriate engine and transmission cooling systems to cope with Australia's hot climate, towing requirements and fuel quality. It also includes having specifically calibrated convenience items such as satnav, air conditioning and infotainment systems," he added.

Manufacturers are always striving to improve safety and environmental credentials, which will also bring benefits to you if you're in the market for a brand new vehicle.

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