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SUVs claim over half of the market while new car sales continue to face tough conditions

SUVs claim over half of the market while new car sales continue to face tough conditions

New car sales continue to be impacted by “challenging and difficult conditions”, according to the latest Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) data.

The FCAI figures for July 2020 revealed new vehicle sales were down 12.8 per cent year-on-year, marking the 28th consecutive month of declining sales for the Australian new vehicle market.

“Nationally, 72,505 vehicles were sold during the month, and this represents a decrease of 12.8 per cent on July 2019, when sales totalled 83,184,” FCAI chief executive Tony Webber said.

“On a year-to-date basis, there were 514,920 vehicles sold to 31st July 2020, which represents a decrease of 19.2 per cent on the same period in 2019, when sales totalled 637,650 vehicles,” he said.

However, Mr Webber said the results were not unexpected given the current market conditions and the industry’s long-term downturn.

“The Australian automotive industry, like many sectors in the Australian market, continues to face challenging and difficult conditions exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Webber said.

“The extended Stage 4 Restrictions which have now been invoked in Australia’s second largest market, Victoria, will no doubt further challenge the industry during the coming months.”

Preference for SUVs and LCVs continues to be evident

Despite the new car sales slump, Australian consumers’ preference for Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) was evident once again in July, with 70.9 per cent of the market devoted to these two categories collectively.

SUVs claimed 50.4 per cent of the market with 36,560 sales, while LCVs claimed 20.5 per cent with 14,898 sales. Passenger vehicles, which totalled 18,149 sales for the month, represented 25 per cent of the market.

This consumer preference was reflected in the top 10 vehicles sold, which included six SUVs and LCVs, and four passenger vehicles.

Toyota was by far the strongest performer of the month with 15,508 sales, followed by Mazda (7,806 sales), Mitsubishi (4,684 sales), Hyundai (4,634 sales), and Kia (4,625 sales).

For the first time in its 26-year history, the top selling vehicle for the month was the Toyota RAV4, with 4,309 sales. It was followed by the Ford Ranger (3,104 sales), Toyota Hi-Lux (2,947 sales), Toyota Corolla (2,192 sales) and the Hyundai i30 (1,745 sales).

Meanwhile, new vehicle lending continues to be competitive. The lowest car loan rate on the RateCity database at the time of writing is 2.99 per cent (3.60 per cent comparison rate) from the Queensland Country Bank for new cars up to five years old.

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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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Learn more about car loans

Can you get a chattel mortgage with bad credit?

Getting approval for a chattel mortgage with bad credit may be possible, given ‘chattel’ (usually a piece of equipment or car) is put up as security for the loan. That means if you fail to repay the loan, the creditor can recover the loaned amount by repossessing and selling the car or piece of equipment. This differs from unsecured car loans, where the asset is not tied to the loan and cannot be taken if you don’t meet the repayments. 

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 depreciation?

Depreciation is the reduction in the value of your car. Almost every car loses value each year, although at different rates. As a guide, cars depreciate on average by 14 per cent per year in the first three years and then eight per cent per year after that.

What is resale value?

The resale value is the price you could realistically charge if you were to sell your car. Almost every car loses value each year, although at different rates. As a guide, cars depreciate on average by 14 per cent per year in the first three years and then eight per cent per year after that.

What is a variable-rate loan?

A variable-rate loan is one where the lender can change the interest rate whenever it wants. For example, if you sign up for a variable-rate loan at 8.75 per cent, the lender might change the interest rate to 8.90 per cent the month after and then 8.65 per cent the month after that. By contrast, if you take out a five-year fixed-rate loan at 8.75 per cent, the lender is obliged to leave your interest rate at 8.75 per cent for at least five years.

What is equity?

The equity is the share of the car that you own. For example, if you take out a $15,000 loan to buy a $20,000 car, you have $5,000 of equity in the vehicle, or 25 per cent. (The lender has the other 75 per cent.) Equity changes 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, you would still have $5,000 of equity in the vehicle, but your share would be 33 per cent.

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.

What is an interest rate?

The interest rate is the price you have to pay for borrowing money. The interest rate is expressed as an annual percentage of however much of the loan remains to be paid. For example, if you took out a $10,000 car loan with an interest rate of 8.75 per cent, you would be charged 8.75 per cent of $10,000, or $875 of interest per year. But if you then reduced the outstanding loan to $9,000, your annual interest bill would be 8.75 per cent of $9,000, or $787.50.

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 to get pre-approval for your ANZ car loan?

Getting pre-approval on your car loan can give you a good idea of how much you may be allowed to borrow. This will help you set your limits while selecting your car. You can apply for pre-approval for an ANZ car loan by filling out a simple online application form, where you’ll have to submit relevant identity, employment and income documentation. 

ANZ will then conduct a credit check based on your application and documentation. It’s important to note that this could have an impact on your credit history. Based on your credit and income documentation analysis, ANZ will provide an amount they are willing to give you as a loan. After this, you can find the right car that matches the proposed loan amount and send it through your final loan application. 

It’s important to remember that pre-approval gives you an indication of how much you can borrow from ANZ to purchase your car, but it doesn’t guarantee the final approval. 

What is a chattel mortgage used for?

A chattel mortgage is usually used to buy an asset - such as a car - for your company for business use. Relatively similar to regular mortgages, a chattel mortgage structure is based on a lender providing you with funds to purchase an asset while registering their security interest on the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) for the life of the loan. In this case, the asset is known as the chattel. After the loan has been repaid, you will have full ownership of the asset. 

A popular finance option, a chattel mortgage is usually preferred by self-employed or small business owners, due to flexible options available for repayment. In some cases, you may get 100 per cent of the cost of the asset, which means that no upfront deposit needs to be put down.

However, it’s important to note that a chattel mortgage is not regulated under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act. It’s therefore important to seek advice about the product and fully understand the agreement terms before signing.

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.

What is a finance broker?

Finance brokers help borrowers organise car loans with lenders – that is, they act as middlemen between borrowers and lenders. While lenders will only recommend their own products, finance brokers recommend products from a range of lenders. Finance brokers need to be accredited with a lender to do business with that lender; a typical broker will be accredited with between 10 and 30 lenders. Finance brokers generally don’t charge consumers; instead, they receive commission payments from lenders.

Does my insurance cover other cars I drive?

If you’re driving someone else’s car, say your friend’s, and you’re involved in an accident, whose insurance is responsible, yours or your friend’s? Does car insurance cover driving other people’s cars?

The short answer is yes. A few car insurance providers offer insurance cover for people to drive someone else’s car. It’s always better to double-check this before you get behind the wheel.

If you’re not covered, you can opt for non-owner car insurance which lets you drive someone else’s car and be protected against liability. However, you will not benefit from other coverage such as damage to the vehicle, replacement rental or medical expenses.

Getting comprehensive insurance driving other cars can be done with temporary insurance. It’s recommended that you do this if you plan to drive someone else’s car, even for a short duration. You can choose between policies that cover you for a fortnight, a month or even a pay-as-you-drive option with temporary insurance.

Alternatively, you can ask the car’s owner to check with their insurer if you can be added to the policy. This will ensure that you are covered fully with comprehensive car insurance driving other cars. Do note that adding you could increase the annual premium for the owner.