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Car Buyers' Guide: Bring on March bargains
By Jack Biddle • 13/02/2016
End of the financial year can mean good prices at the car yard
The Budget: $30,000
Gavin and his wife are on the lookout for a new or second-hand automatic 2-litre SUV with safety, extended warranty and road side assist on their wish list. Gavin is also asking if better deals are on offer if they buy towards the end of March, the end of the financial year for many. A good basic safety package is almost a given in this price range but don’t assume every used vehicle you look at has curtain airbags. Automatic is another buyer preference, but there are differences in design so, once again, thorough road test is essential. Keeping the specification levels fairly entry level is not a bad idea to fit the price bracket and to keep the new vehicle option alive. In regards to the best-time-to-buy question, the industry will usually try to find ways to offer special prices regardless of the time of year but yes, come the end of March dealers offer incentives. But try and look at the big picture. Some brands who may not offer big discounts can have servicing built into their prices and longer warranty periods. Some won’t discount because of high demand and others can offer extended warranty, free servicing and extended roadside service. It’s a matter of looking carefully at each deal offered.
I did see a 2015 (new shape) Nissan Qashqai ST advertised for $29,990, which would tick many boxes. It has a reverse camera and daytime running lights among other features and had travelled around 15,000km. You would inherit the remainder of the three-year new-car warranty and Nissan’s roadside assist programme.
The JLX 2WD auto sits under your budget ($29,990) and is worth a look. Standard features include navigation, climate A/C, cruise control, reverse camera and day-time running lights. Suzuki also offers a five-year warranty and roadside assist programme. Downsides could be the 1.6 litre engine capacity (86kW). On-road-cost need to be added.
A new Sportage is on the way so look out for special offers to help clear stock. The asking price for the SX Urban is $32,990 plus ORC and includes three years free servicing, five years/100,000km warranty and roadside assist.
Don’t sacrifice personal preferences for price, even if it means going a little over budget.