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Buyer's Guide: Readers put their foot down
By Jack Biddle • 16/05/2015
A few recent stories published in Driven have certainly hit a chord with readers, in particular the price-parity story between Australia and New Zealand. Roger felt our article was somewhat misleading. He wanted to point out that in Australia, the new car buyer Recommended Retail Price (RRP) does not include sales tax, luxury tax (where applicable), GST and stamp duty, which can lift the drive-away price from between 20 and 40 per cent depending on the price bracket the vehicle is in. As a result, he felt Kiwi buyers should be more than satisfied with the New Zealand new vehicle price tags which are, he pointed out, generally the drive-away price (minor dealer charges/registration/fuel costs exempted). “Buying a new car in Australia is a real sticker shock exercise,” says Roger.
Yes Roger, you are one of several readers who have picked up on the “extras” that come on top of the Aussie RRP. I know of one example of a Kiwi now living in Australia taking delivery of his new vehicle with virtually an empty tank of gas. No way was the dealer about to fill the tank.
While the NZ buyer pays for their fuel in the on-road costs, it’s maybe a sign of the differences in the overall customer experience between the two countries.
David was another reader with a tale to tell about the price parity story but his own experience had quite a different outcome. About a year ago he did an Australia v NZ price comparison with a European SUV with a listed NZ$ RRP of around $90,000. After allowing for transtasman freight and marine insurance, it worked out NZ$14,000 cheaper to buy the identical vehicle in Australia.
He then passed on the details to his local dealer, which resulted in the NZ distributor for this particular brand matching the Australian price.
He did point out that these vehicles incur a luxury sales tax which can be avoided if the vehicle is not registered in Australia. He also highlighted the fact that from his experience the prices for the vehicle were not exactly the same in every Australian state.
My comment: Thanks David, I suspect that if you added the luxury car tax etc to the RRP the vehicle would have been a lot closer to Kiwi prices if purchased and registered in Australia. But good on you for asking the local dealer to talk to their head office about sharpening the pencil on price and getting the result you did.
■Next week we will tackle the question of why some brands have such a low market share in NZ and whether this is a true reflection of their appeal to potential buyers.