Car dealers overstocked and slash 2018-plate vehicles

WE MAY be two months into the new year but slow sales at the end of last year mean that dealerships are still stuck with stocks of 2018-plated vehicles. That's bad news for them and good news for prospective buyers, with deals on everything from city cars to family SUVs. The looming end of the Japanese financial year in March is another incentive for dealers to move vehicles and meet annual sales targets.

That combination ensures there are plenty of good buys to be had, providing you don't mind buying an "old" new car.

Vehicle valuation and car data website RedBook notes February is a great time to negotiate on a new set of wheels. General manager Ross Booth confirms that many dealer forecourts are still stocked with 2018 built cars.

"There are some good buys to be had, but you need to do your research on the total cost of things like servicing costs and warranty periods," Booth says.

"Buyers should remember the price of the car needs to be cheaper as it is a 2018 build and when it is eventually sold as a used car it will therefore be worth less than a 2019 build.

"There is significant stock on some models so you may be able to find the exact model and colour you are after. The longer you wait though the more likely the stock and colour you're after may not be available.

"We recommend you complete your research on exactly what you're after and that it will meet your needs looking at the total costs, including depreciation, servicing and warranty, rather than just a perceived cheaper purchase price."

With that in mind we've cast our eyes over some of the better deals being advertised. Note some of the deals end on February 28, others go through to the end of March.

Hatchbacks

If you're not fussed about a 2018-plate small car, Holden has the Astra R manual for $20,990 in your garage, plus a plate bonus. That's well under the $21,490 sticker price before on-roads and, depending on your state, represents a saving of about $3500. An automatic transmission adds another $1000 to the price.

A new version of the Mazda3 is due before the end of the financial year, so the current car is now officially in run-out. That makes the SP25 GT's $29,990 on-the-road price the same as its list cost, saving you more than $3000. Cheaper versions are $1000 more than their sticker price, a $2000 saving.

You can get a base Hyundai i30 for a smidgen over $20k drive-away.
You can get a base Hyundai i30 for a smidgen over $20k drive-away.

It is a similar story with Hyundai's i30. The base Go is $20,990 out the door with a 2018-plate clearance bonus of $500, a discount of about $3000. Volkswagen is also effectively charging buyers of the Polo Trendline $1000 to cover on-road costs, with prices starting at $18,990 for the manual version. Skoda's gone one better by charging $16,990 to take possession of a Fabia. Both represent savings of about $2500. The fine print on the website says these are model year 2019 cars, but beware: the 2019 "model year" starts in September 2018.

Volkswagen has a few manual versions of the Golf GTI on its books and is looking to shift them for $38,990 on the road, a saving of roughly $10,000 on the original retail price.

If you'd rather not buy last year's model, the best small car deal is Kia's Cerato. A new version of the hatch arrived recently but the price remains a razor sharp $19,990 drive-away. There may be a few 2018-plate versions of the old model around. They're officially the same price as the new model, but dealers are sure to sharpen their pencils on the older stock.

Small SUVs

The RAV4 is available for $31,990 drive-away.
The RAV4 is available for $31,990 drive-away.

A new version of Toyota's popular RAV4 is due soon and the current front-drive GX automatic is good value at $31,990 drive-away for last year's model, a discount of more than $4000. Honda's HRV VTi is $26,990 on the street with a seven-year warranty, a saving of about $3000. Honda is also throwing in an extended seven-year warranty, seven years of premium roadside assistance and a free birthday gift.

Demonstrator versions of the Holden Trax LS with an auto transmission are $22,990 drive-away, about $7000 off the regular price.

The Hyundai Tucson Go manual is $27,990 drive-away plus a $750 factory bonus, representing a saving of more than $4500 on the usual drive-away price. Add $2000 for an automatic version.

Ford is selling several Escape variants with big discounts. Pics by Thomas Wielecki
Ford is selling several Escape variants with big discounts. Pics by Thomas Wielecki

Ford's Escape ST-Line is $39,490 and the range-topping Titanium is $45,340, discounts of about $4500 each.

Holden's Equinox LS+ SUV with an automatic transmission is $31,990 out the door. That's almost $5000 less than the usual price. Buyers of 2018-plated vehicles can also pick up a $2000 factory rebate.

A Nissan X-Trail ST-L with last year's build plate can be yours for $36,990, which Nissan calculates to be $2500 off the regular recommended price.

Kia's Australian Open edition of its Sportage was $31,777 drive-away when it launched last month. Now it can be yours for $30,990.

Family SUVs

A 2018-plate Toyota Kluger GX 2WD is $42,990 on the road, a discount of more than $6000. Alternatively, move up to the more luxurious GXL model for $53,990 drive-away, a saving of almost $6000.

Ford's Ranger-based Everest 4WD is $55,190 for the Trend model, a discount of close to $6000.

You can save more than $8500 on a Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.
You can save more than $8500 on a Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.

A 2018 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLX auto can be yours for $44,990 drive-away plus a $3000 factory bonus, which effectively makes the big SUV $41,990 on the road. more than $8500 off the usual drive-away price. Any colour other than white adds $590.

The Volkswagen Touareg is about to be superseded and 2018-plate versions of the outgoing V6 TDI model are $85,490 drive-away, a saving of $?????.

Utes

A 2018-plated Volkswagen Amarok TDI420 Core 4WD dual cab auto is $40,990 drive-away (add $610 for a colour other than white). That's a serious discount of roughly $13,000 off the regular on-road cost.

You can save more than $10,000 on a new Mazda BT-50.
You can save more than $10,000 on a new Mazda BT-50.

Mazda's top-spec BT-50, the GT dual cab 4WD, is $47,990 on the road for the manual. That's more than $10,000 off its usual drive-away sticker. An auto adds $2000.

The Toyota HiLux SR5 4WD is $52,990 drive-away - with free auto - as opposed to its regular tag of $54,440 before on-road costs. That's a discount of close to $9000 on Australia's most popular vehicle.

The XLS model is the pick of the Ford Ranger family, priced at $41,990 on the road. That's almost $12,000 less than the regular drive-away price.

Holden's Colorado LTZ is $49,990 out the door, a saving of more than $7000.


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