Price of Freedom - Calculating How Much Your Used Car Will Cost

The laws regarding pricing on used cars in Melbourne does an excellent job of protecting consumers from hard-to-understand pricing and nasty hidden surprises. When you see a 'Drive Away, No More to Pay' price at a used car dealer in Melbourne, you can be guaranteed that it means what it says! However, while nobody can advertise the price of a vehicle without GST, for example, there are still quite a few other costs to consider when buying a used car in Melbourne. Today we check out some of those, and how to be sure you're getting a good deal in the long-term as well as on the sale day.

Drive Away Prices versus Cash Prices

Used car dealers in Melbourne have very clear restrictions on how they display the price of a vehicle. In fact, used car dealers across Australia have to display a single, prominent total price for the vehicle, which is usually marked 'Drive Away, No More to Pay'. The price on the large sign on the windshield will usually be this total price.

However, many dealers also display a 'cash price' for the vehicle on the information sheet attached to one of the car's windows. The cash price will show you how much the vehicle costs, exclusive of fees and charges like GST, government stamp duty, number plate fees (for unregistered cars), registration fees and TAC charges. Most used car dealers in Melbourne will discuss the total price, not the cash price, with you.

Running Costs for Melbourne Used Cars

There are two major components of the running cost for a Melbourne used car:

  • The cost of fuel
  • The cost of repairs and servicing

You can discover the average number of litres a car uses to drive 100 kilometres from either the manufacturer website, or by using a web-based list (which may express fuel economy as MPG, or miles per gallon, and require you to do a conversion).

It is more difficult to estimate the cost of repairs and servicing, but one telling characteristic that lets you know that a Melbourne used car will cost more than usual to repair is how many of them are on the road. Common vehicles will have plenty of secondhand parts available, while less common vehicles may need to have their parts ordered in from manufacturers. It may take your mechanic longer to figure out how to perform common repairs on less common models of car also, adding to your labour charges.

Depreciation

How long are you planning to keep your used car in Melbourne? If you know this will be a temporary vehicle, the rate of depreciation for that particular model will play into your long-term 'costs'.

Insurance

Cars which are more often written off will be seen as a higher risk by insurance companies, and may cost you more to insure. You can quite easily get an insurance quote for a couple of different models of used car in Melbourne before you make your decision.

Loans

The cost of your loan will usually not vary with the model of car that you buy, only with its total price. Nevertheless, it is a significant cost of owning a car, and getting a better deal on your loan ultimately means that you get a better deal on your used car in Melbourne!

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