RateCity.com.au
powering smart financial decisions

Economists call for petrol tax hikes

Economists call for petrol tax hikes

Many drivers will tell you they are feeling the pain of rising petrol costs, but economists at the Australian National University say motorists would benefit from a higher tax on petrol.

It’s a tough call but, after comparing global petrol prices, they say if consumers were forced to pay more at pump we would use less petrol and buy more efficient cars.

The study spanned 13 years and 132 countries looking at the effect of petrol prices on the take up of fuel-efficient vehicles.

One of the authors of the study, economist Dr Paul Burke said: “Higher prices lead to consumers using less petrol and also consumers deciding to purchase cars that are more fuel efficient”

“We expect that to happen, but we worked out how big the effect is in our study.”

The study also looked at the impact of the 2001 decision by former Prime Minister John Howard to stop the automatic indexation of the petrol tax which, he says, effectively froze petrol excise duty at 38.1 cents a litre. 

“Across the economy the effect is quite big. So we estimate that the fuel economy of new vehicles now sold in 2013 is about 2 percent worse that it would have been,” he said. “We’re using, now, probably about 3 percent more petrol as a result of that decision.”

He wants to see the petrol excise duty once again rise with the rate of inflations, which he says would generate more than $5 billion of extra revenue annually.

Critics have hit back at the findings, claiming there are other ways to encourage motorists to reduce their reliance on petrol.

Among those is Wendy Machin, the president of NRMA Motoring and Services, who said it would be better to reward motorists who opt for fuel-efficient vehicles such as with access to transit lanes or the best parking spots.

“I think you go out and ask a lot of families if they want to pay increasing amounts for their fuel, they’ll say no,” she told the ABC.

“People I don’t think feel it is their responsibility to pay for these changes. I think they are looking to their leaders and to public policy to come up with some better solutions other than just taking them to death.”

Tips to slash car costs

  • Shop around: finding the cheapest petrol price in your neighbourhood is now as easy as downloading a smartphone app or comparing online. For instance, MotorMouth’s Petrol Price Finder enables motorists to search by suburb or postcode online or sign up to receive email alerts as petrol prices move.
  • Drive more economically: the federal government’s Green Vehicle Guide offers tips for motorists to reduce running costs. These include driving at a safe distance from the car in front so as to anticipate traffic movements and avoid sudden breaking and accelerating, which can use more fuel. Removing excess weight from the car, removing roof racks when not in use and keeping tyres correctly inflated can all help to reduce petrol consumption.
  • Save $1000 on your loan: while it won’t reduce your petrol consumption, refinancing to a lower rate car loan will likely give you the biggest bang for your buck. For example, on a $10,000 personal loan RateCity shows that switching from the average interest rate of around 12.73 percent to one of the lowest rates at 6.34 percent, could save borrowers more than $1000 over three years. The savings are even greater if you’re switching from one of the highest rates of interest at around 18 percent, which is why it pays to compare personal loans using a site like RateCity.
  • Go green: before driving away in your new or used car consider the vehicle’s fuel economy. All new light vehicles sold in Australia are required to display a Fuel Consumption Label to help motorists makes informed choices about the environmental impact and running costs. Or check out RateCity’s recent story about the cheapest new cars to run.

Did you find this helpful? Why not share this article?

Advertisement

RateCity
ratecity-newsletter

Money Health Newsletter

Subscribe for news, tips and expert opinions to help you make smarter financial decisions

By signing up, you agree to the RateCity Privacy Policy, Terms of Use and Disclaimer.

Advertisement

Learn more about car loans

How to get a chattel mortgage?

Both businesses and individuals may use a chattel mortgage, provided that the car is being used predominantly for business purposes. 

To apply for a chattel mortgage, you need to first consider your options and choose a suitable lender that meets your requirements. Once you have selected a lender, you can apply for the loan online by filling out a form. If the lender doesn’t offer an online application process, you can either call them or visit their nearest branch. 

After you’ve applied, the lender will ask you to supply documents that confirm your identification, income, job profile, etc. If everything is in order, most lenders will arrange the loan’s settlement, so all you need to do is pick up your car!

What is the luxury car tax?

The federal government imposes a luxury car tax of 33 per cent on the value of a car above a threshold. As of the 2017-18 financial year, that threshold was $75,526 for fuel-efficient vehicles and $65,094 for other vehicles. So a fuel-efficient car worth $80,000 would be taxed only on the difference between the threshold and the value of the car ($4,474), rather than taxed on the entire $80,000. Similarly, an ordinary car worth $70,000 would be taxed on the $4,906 above the threshold, rather than the entire $70,000. The luxury car tax is paid by dealers that sell or import luxury cars, and also by individuals who import luxury cars.

How to find a great car loan

Historically, finding a great car loan would require excess research ranging from visiting an excess of websites or making phone calls, but technology has moved on. Using RateCity, Australia’s leading financial comparison service, you can check out great deals from a range of lenders on the one site.

To start, select the amount you want to borrow and the length of the loan, narrowing your search to show just fixed or variable interest rate results.

Once you’ve indicated your search criteria, you’ll see an immediate list of lenders, ranked by interest rate or application fees. You’ll also be able to view the monthly repayment amount for each result, helping you to know what you can afford.

Up to six products can be compared side-by-side, complete with more information about each car loan, giving you more information about your options.

When comparing your car loan options, it’s ideal to keep in mind some points find a great car loan for your needs. Consider the following:

  • Choosing a low interest car loan can reduce costs
  • Selecting an option with low fees and charges is ideal, because these can really add up
  • Be aware of penalties, such as early exit penalties if you pay off the loan sooner than expected
  • Consider the features that best suit your situation

There are many ways to ensure that you get a great car loan. Ultimately, you’ll end up with the best deal by doing your research and selecting the most suitable product for you.

What is a car loan calculator?

A car loan calculator is an online tool that helps consumers understand how much they would have to repay under different scenarios. Consumers can create these different scenarios by entering different borrowing amounts, interest rates, loan terms and repayment schedules into the car loan calculator.

What is a car loan?

A car loan, also known as vehicle finance, is money that a consumer borrows with the express purpose of buying a vehicle, such as a car, motorbike, van, truck or campervan. Car loans can be used for both new and used vehicles.

Where can I get a student car loan?

Student car loans are not a necessarily a product in and of themselves, but what you may be looking for is a guarantor car loan.

A guarantor car loan has a third-party act as a form of guarantee for your loan application, telling the bank or lender that if you default on your loan, someone will pay the loan repayments.

Going guarantor on a car loan is no new thing, and before internet-based credit scores, guarantor car loan applicants would apply for loans with a guarantor or property owner who could vouch for the person borrowing the loan.

To get a guarantor car loan, you’ll need someone willing to act as a guarantor for your car loan.

Can I buy a car as a student?

Buying a car is a huge financial decision, and shy of marriage and purchasing a house (or perhaps around the world travels), it may be the biggest financial decision you make. But if you’re looking at your empty pockets, don’t despair! Your dream of owning your own car could become a reality, if you look for and compare the right car loans for your circumstances.

How to apply for pre-approval of a car loan from RACV?

If you’re planning to apply for a car loan with RACV, the best way to start is by having a clear picture of your requirements. By getting pre-approval on your car loan, you’ll be able to go shopping for your new car with a definite budget that will help you narrow your search. Once you’ve decided to buy a car with the help of a loan, you may have even identified the type of car you would like to purchase, you can seek pre-approval on a car loan from RACV. 

You can apply for pre-approval by filling out a form online and uploading the relevant documentation regarding your identification, income, debt and credit history. Once you submit your application, RACV will review and verify the documents. If you meet their eligibility criteria, you will get pre-approval for the amount they are willing to lend to you. With this pre-approval, you can go car shopping with the confidence of knowing what you can afford.

How do I get car loan approval from Bankwest?

Bankwest offers loans for cars that are less than seven years old or have a minimum value of $10,000. Loan terms are between three and seven years  at a fixed interest rate, with the option to make extra payments without any extra charges.

To apply for Bankwest car loan pre-approval, you’ll need proof of your identity and income. You’ll also need other documentation, such as insurance certificates and registration papers. 

Once you receive conditional approval and have selected your car, you may have to provide supporting documents to proceed to the next stage.

How much is your car worth?

If you already own a car, you could potentially bring down the cost by selling your car in the process. Before that happens, though, you’ll need to find out how much your car is worth.

One of the first places to find this value is to research the value of your current car, giving you an idea of roughly how much it’s worth in its peak condition.

There are plenty of websites that offer a free online valuation, allowing you to enter your car’s make, model, year, badge and description, with results listing a price guide based on both selling your car privately and through a dealership.

Of course, dealerships will try to profit on your trade-in by buying it for less than they can sell it, making it highly unlikely that you’ll get the same price selling a car to a dealer as you would selling a car privately.

However, private car sales can be costly and can take months to sell, making car trading more convenient with a guaranteed return, even if you may not be able to realise the total value of your car’s worth.

Remember that everything is negotiable. If the dealership is offering you less for your trade than you wanted, try to negotiate elsewhere to gain that money back. Start by negotiating on the price of the trade and then ask them if they can give you a further discount on your new car.

How much is my car worth?

If you own a car, it may be something that can help you bring down the cost of your next vehicle purchase through its sale. However, before you can do that you’ll want to find out how much your car is worth.

Your car’s worth can depend upon various aspects, including:

  • Age
  • Condition
  • Model and make

A great starting place for aspects of this includes websites that offer online valuations, allowing you to enter your car’s make, model, year, badge and description, with the listed results displaying a price guide based on both selling your car privately and through a dealership.

Both have pros and cons, as cars can be very profitable, something that will no doubt impact any chance you have to make the most of your car’s value upon sale. Dealerships will try to profit on your trade-in by buying it for less than they can sell it for, so you shouldn’t expect the same price selling a car to a dealer that you would necessarily get selling a car privately.

Can I get a car loan with poor credit?

Poor credit doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to get finance for your car purchase, though your options aren’t likely to be the same as someone with good credit.

In fact, a number of specialist lenders exist offering car finance for customers with poor credit, able to provide access to bad credit car loans.

However having a history of poor credit will likely mark you as a potential risk to lenders, so your car financing needs could see higher fees and interest rates. Alternatively, consider a secured car loan, which is a type of loan that uses the car you purchase as collateral, reducing the risk.

Other options include getting someone close to act as a guarantor for your car loan, or to talk to a broker about a personalised rate specific to your circumstances.

What is a secured car loan?

A secured car loan is a loan that is connected to a form of security, or collateral. Generally, the security for a car loan is the car itself. If you fail to repay the loan, the lender might seize your car, sell it and then use the proceeds to recover their debt.

What is an LVR?

The LVR, or loan-to-value ratio, is a percentage that expresses the amount of money owed on the car compared to the value of the car. For example, if you take out a $15,000 loan to buy a $20,000 car, you have an LVR of 75 per cent. LVRs change over time as you pay off your loan and your car depreciates in value. For example, two years later you might now owe $10,000 on your car, which might now be worth $15,000. In that case, although there would still be a $5,000 difference between the size of the outstanding loan and the value of the car, the LVR would now be 67 per cent.