Toyota Hilux continues to be Australia’s best-selling vehicle.

By | News | No Comments

After taking the title in 2016 for Australia’s best-selling vehicle, the Toyota Hilux has done it again and continues to hold the title for 2017.

According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), in December alone the Toyota Hilux topped the market at 3949 sales, followed by the Holden Astra (3533), the Ford Ranger (3458), the Holden Colorado (3222) and then the Mazda3 (2807).

Not only have Hilux 4X4 sales increased by 13.6 percent when compared with 2016 but overall vehicle sales for 2017 that amounted to 1,189,116 units, meant a 0.9 percent sales increase. Another record year for overall vehicle sales. Despite economic warnings, this sales boom is expected to continue in 2018, as predicted by the FCAI, due to economic growth, low-interest rates, and competition.

Now the question is, will Australia continue to shun traditional sedans and hatchbacks in favour of utes and SUVs?

And with the sales growth of utes which now account for one in five new vehicle sales, will the Hilux take out the title in 2018? Stay tuned.

Want to help get the Hilux to the best-selling vehicle in 2018? Click the button below to our vehicle deals page to see our Hilux and many other deals.

Get A Deal

What is the Meal and Entertainment Card and how can this benefit be used?

By | News | No Comments

If you work for a not-for-profit employer or the Northern Territory Public Health Service, you may be eligible to salary package $2,650 per year by using the meal and entertainment benefit on meals, entertainment, and even accommodation. We interviewed our General Manager, John Heinke to give you more information about this benefit.

 

What is a Meal and Entertainment Card?

Meal and Entertainment cards are a type of Australian tax office salary packaging available to employers who work for the NT public health service or those who qualify as not-for-profit (an entity set up for the benefit of members) e.g. a trade union or a public Benevolent Institution (charity for tax purposes) e.g. Royal flying doctor service. The meal entertainment card allows employees to expense food and drink, entertainment, holiday accommodation, and even venue hire while using pre-tax dollars.

 

How much can an employee save each fortnight or each year?

In actual dollar terms, the employee can package $2,650 per annum. This can be spent on meals, accommodation and function hire using pre-tax dollars.

Any employee of a qualified employer can access the meal and entertainment card.

 

So, it’s an actual legal benefit offered to employees and is approved by the ATO?

Yes. There are rules around how much can be used, who can qualify to use the card and, most importantly, rigid ATO reporting requirements. But if your employer’s status qualifies for this approved tax benefit then employees can access the tax savings.

 

Why would an employer choose to offer this benefit to staff?

To be able to provide $2,650 of an employee’s salary in a tax-free method means the employee is financially better off. At a 30% tax rate, the tax saving is $795. Salary Packaging Australia can provide this benefit to employers at no cost.

 

How else can this be used as a benefit and is it all just about meals out and dining or can I use it in other ways?

The Meal and Entertainment Card can be used for;

  • Venue Hire
    • Events such as 21st birthdays or engagements fall within the definition.
  • Holiday accommodation
    • From a five-star resort to a caravan park satisfies the accommodation rule
    • That ship cruise you have always wanted to go on.
  • Meals
    • Café, restaurant or hotel meals all satisfy the criteria
  • Food and Beverages
    • Consumed at special occasions such as weddings and birthdays also satisfies the criteria.
  • Family and friends
    • Can be included in all of the above expenditure

 

What can’t I include as a benefit with the Meal and Entertainment Card?

But as we know with any tax legislation the rules must be followed, therefore you cannot include;

  • Takeaway food or bottle shop purchases
  • Regular groceries
  • Hiring outside of meal and venue hire e.g. an Elvis impersonator
  • Movies or musicals
  • Flights to and from your five-star resort

 

Does this mean that my annual holiday just got cheaper? Can I use it to go overseas or is it for Domestic travel only?

Yes, your annual holiday suddenly can be paid in tax-free dollars. You can use the benefit overseas but be mindful of any additional costs due to currency exchange.

 

It sounds too good to be true!

The meal and entertainment benefit accrues to employers that either work for NT Public Health, have not for profit status or qualify as a charitable organisation. Due to these classifications, the tax system allows the employer to add value and incentive to their employee’s wages. This adding value is achieved by using the Fringe Benefits Tax legislation. The reality is that the tax system allows it and therefore the employee is within their rights to exercise the benefit.

 

Do I need to keep receipts?

Yes. Only if you are hosting an event, you will need to keep a record of the event and the attendees. This is just like claiming a deduction with your tax return. It is expected that you retain itemised receipts for all purchases made while using the benefit outside of the card, including venue or holiday accommodation. However, when charging expenses using the meal and entertainment card receipts are not required to be retained.

If you wish to use the SPA money management tool you will be reminded that the expense is of a meal and entertainment nature immediately and you can lodge a photo of the receipt electronically to satisfy ATO requirements.

 

What if I don’t spend my allocated funds by the end of the FBT year?

Your funds will roll over, but they do not accrue as a benefit. Unfortunately, if you miss the FBT year, you miss the benefit.

 

What about my HECS and HELP repayments

The $2,650 benefit is reportable. This means that a reportable fringe benefit will appear on your group certificate in the amount of $5,000. You will not pay tax on this $5,000 but it will increase your assessable income. This may have an impact on your repayment of the debt. We suggest you contact your financial advisor for advice where required.

 

Take advantage of being an employee of NT health or a not-for-profit Employer and start getting your taxation reducing benefits now. If you are unsure whether you are eligible for this benefit then give SPA a call on 1300 786 664 or click the button below to find out more.

Find Out More

What are the January Runout Sales and is it a good time to buy a vehicle

By | News | No Comments

VIEW OUR JANUARY RUNOUT DEALS

It’s January. Christmas has been run, done and won and the wonderful holiday season is now over for another year.

 

Every time you turn on the TV or the radio there is someone rabbling on about their HUGE run out deal on 17 plated cars and their Factory Bonus is that big that it will never be repeated. So you, as the everyday consumer, might ask if this is a great time to purchase that new vehicle or is it better to wait. Well, depending on your situation, it may be a great time to buy if you fit the requirements. Below are few ideas to take into consideration.

 

What are run out sales?

 

Run out sales are what motor dealers use to move out last year’s stock. In essence, they are the same as any retailer.  Aging stock is a hindrance on the bottom line and turnover is key. The more turn over, the better chance of profit, just like in any sales based business. It’s the same way that clothing stores sell last season clothes at a discount at the end of the season to move it on e.g. a jumper will normally be 50+% off in summer. A discount needs to be offered to persuade the purchaser to take something that is older and has not sold.

 

When is the best time to buy?

 

The earlier the better. Like most things in life, the bargains go early and the more desirable models will move quickly. You’ll find many of the major popular Japanese brands will time their stock allocation so that they hold very few cars over this time period and therefore have to discount less. What that means for you as the consumer is it’s generally best to get in early. No one really wants a purple Mazda 2 with beige interior anyway! The best models will be sold out quickly in the first few days and by the end of the month it will be the less compelling models left at the dealership e.g. unpopular colours, incorrect transmissions for vehicle class, and cars with obscure factory options. As a rule of thumb, the more obscure the car selection, the bigger the discount. However, remember that if it took a big discount to sell the car in the beginning, it’s going to be harder to sell when it goes back on the market.

 

Things to keep in mind

 

How long are you going to hold on to this car? It might be worthwhile hanging on until later in the year when all the “fresh” 18 plates arrive if you turn over your cars on a regular basis e.g. every 24-36 months. If you prefer to keep your cars long term, it’s a great time to buy if you are sensible and think about what you are doing and don’t get swept up in the hype from the dealer.

If you are a novice at car buying, it’s sometimes best to enlist an expert, and I am not talking about Uncle Barry who reckons he got a great deal. Talk to us at SPA or someone else who does this for a living. We are in the market every day and know a good deal or price when we see one, as we have years of data and experience to rely upon. Unlike Uncle Barry, who’s mate said you should be able to get one for this much like he did when he bought his last one two years ago.

 

Things to avoid

 

As mentioned before, there are few things to really avoid. Over inflated discounts is one. The other is 0% or 1% finance offers. If it requires this sort of deal to sell the car there is generally a major problem. NO ONE WANTS ONE! It seems attractive on the outside but paying full retail price for sub vented finance offers will come back to haunt you in the long run. Car dealers aren’t offering this deal to be the kind caring souls that they are. They are doing it to sell stock that no one wants in the first place. An example of this is Toyota Camry or quite a few of the various French brands in the Australian market place.

 

Quite simply, popular cars aren’t discounted heavily because there is huge demand for both new and used. Cars that have “special” finance offers from manufacturers are normally impossible to sell second hand or are greatly reduced in value due to lack of demand.

 

The words of advice that I can give to you as a seasoned professional is pick up the phone and get an expert to do it. We don’t charge a fee for the service and can put a fantastic package together so that you can continue to save long after you leave the show room and help reduce the cost each week with great discounts on fuel and servicing along with all the benefits that pre-tax savings and  GST discounts.

VIEW OUR JANUARY RUNOUT DEALS

 

Looking for the best car loan? Then don’t get finance from a car dealer

By | News | No Comments

It’s the question we get asked at SPA a lot. How do I get the best car loan?

However, the question that customers should look at is how do I get the best car loan for my situation?

This question is far more appropriate, as comparing loans on interest rate alone can be treading a dangerous path. Whilst it’s a great way of measuring payment, it doesn’t necessarily take into account an individual’s situation.

In many cases, and industry studies, more than half of all applicants have to use a “non-conforming” credit facility.

So what does this really mean? Remember that power bill that was forgotten about when you moved rental properties or telco bill you disputed that took months to solve about being overcharged? Well, two to three of the major banks won’t even consider your loan.

This is why talking to a broker is a lot better than talking to a car dealer.

Most brokers will look into seven to nine lenders on a panel compared to a car dealer that only has one or two.

It’s always good to get a second opinion and look at what options and credit criteria meet your personal or business needs. Quite simply it’s the broker’s job to make sure they get the best rate and approval for your situation. If a 5 to 10-minute chat can save you a $1000 on your loan via reduced fees or rate, it’s well worth the phone call.

Additionally, a second opinion is recommended in most situations whether it be medical, purchasing or financial decisions. If you can’t find 5 minutes in your day, stop scrolling through Facebook looking for cat videos – give us a call on 1300 786 664, or email us at enquiries@salpacaus.com.au. Or if you would like more information on SPA car loans, click here.

Remember it’s your money. Make the most of it.

 

Prepare for your summer road trip with our playlist ideas

By | News | No Comments

It’s almost summer again and this can only mean one thing! It’s time for a swim at the beach or river with your family or friends. Everyone packs into the car to head off but there’s usually a fight over what comes over the audio system.

Similar to negotiating a peace settlement between nations, someone will have to come up with a playlist that keeps everyone happy! It’s harder than you think and all well-prepared individuals will have a few on hand to suit all audiences.

Get your road trip off you a happy start with these playlist ideas:

  • Think classic. Everyone likes the Beatles. They might say they don’t, but it’s hard not to sing along or tap your foot to a Hard Days Night, or even The Stones Jumping Jack Flash. Queen makes everyone happy too!
  • Avoid the obscure genres or artists that no one has ever heard of. No one wants to listen to the rare Leonard Cohen live track recording via bootleg on a European tour in 1976. Summer music has to be fun and Tom Wait’s gravelly tones probably won’t cut it either.
  • When thinking of beach or summer, you can’t go past the Beach Boys, or maybe even Jimmy Buffett.
  • Try to keep away from the latest overnight pop sensation that every tween is swooning over. No one deserves to be subjected to this torture. The trip needs to be enjoyable and everyone needs to agree.

An enjoyable drive there and back will make you forget about the parking, sand in awkward places and dash of sunburn that comes with each trip!

Now call your friends, grab your car keys, roll down the windows, crank up the volume and get your road trip underway.

 

Are you worried that you may need to upgrade your car to safely get to your destination, what better time to upgrade your car and sound system then road trip season? Call SPA today on 1300 786 664 to find out what deals you can get before summer rolls in.

Curtain call for the Australian Holden factory

By | News | No Comments

Well it’s almost here. It’s the start of the end. The last Australian made passenger vehicles are about to roll off the production line. Will anyone miss the Camry? Apart from the long sock wearing fleet managers from yesteryear, probably not. The Camry has just finished production, which is five years too late in my opinion, but only the occasional deluded cab driver who couldn’t afford a Falcon will miss this one.

The car all Australians will miss will be the Commodore. You’ve all driven in one, owned one or if you are Gen Y, maybe were conceived in one. From the VB to VF we all have a favourite that brings back memories. It could have been your First VS Ute or even a VC wagon with a 202 in the front. We all have a memory of one.

There were milestones and sales records broken. Brock conquered the mountain in a few whilst Craig and Jamie took over in his passing. Every primary school boy would talk before school about whose dad got what company car, and the Commodore was the one to have.

Nothing would bring more excitement into most fleet or leasing companies as when the Holden Rep would bring in the keys to the latest released V8. The whole office would simply stop as everyone wanted to drive it.

We as a nation of car buyers are very lucky. We have a crowded market and every manufacturer will fight for your ownership and hard earned money. Don’t buy boring. Buy the car you want and create memories and road trips you deserve.

To make more long lasting memories, call SPA today on 1300 786 664, or email us at enquiries@salpacaus.com.au.

Are you thinking about buying a RAV4? You may want to think again.

By | News | No Comments

What can be said about the Toyota RAV4 that most well respected motoring journos haven’t already said? More than likely, the truth. Yes, that’s right folks. This car isn’t great.

When compared to almost anything on the market at the moment, my honest opinion is that unfortunately this car only just beats the poorly crafted Chinese knock offs.

This car is the same car as the one released way back in 2005, you know when Britney went crazy and the Wests Tigers actually won football games?

At the end of the day the reason is simple – it’s the same chassis in principle and the same body. Remember a pig with lipstick is still a pig.

The engine and interior have been given a quick refresh and the badge and colours have also been updated, but it’s still thirteen years old.

That equates to 4745 good reasons why it doesn’t drive well. So how do I know this? I was behind the wheel of one of these over a three day period in mixed conditions in the Cairns Hinterland. What I would have given to be seated in a CX5 or Hyundai Tucson, in a car that has progressed and whose manufacturers have actually developed the drive train rather than only the headlight design.

Now, I know all of those people who are screaming and yelling at me on their iPhones live in TOYOTA country. And yes, TOYOTA makes a great product if you want a real 4wd but instead of the RAV4 perhaps consider a CX5 or Tucson.

The RAV4 has no road feeling through the front steering and sounds like an asthmatic chimney sweep at best.

I know car tech becomes out-dated fast but the RAV4 tech is old and at the least is out-dated by about 5 years.

If we compare the RAV4 to the Mazda CX5, you are treated with complete touch screen and rotary dial input function. The Mazda beats this car hands down. It looks better, drives better and I dare say it even smells better.

So, where did it all go wrong for the manufacturer, soon to be importer, from Altona? Well it’s still stuck in the idea that hairdressers and young women see this car as a status symbol and the ideal of it being ‘my first new car’. It seems that TOYOTA’s marketing and engineering department haven’t met recently to measure where they are and where they should be and at the moment, to their detriment, these are polar opposites, like Vegemite and peanut butter.

So what does this car score out of five stars? A mere two stars.

Why two, rather than one, or even less? TOYOTA has a great service network all over the country and they have a reasonably good resale value. While this car is good to have, it’s not great to drive and unfortunately it will be a long period of ownership knowing that you drive the equivalent of whitegoods on wheels.

If you are on the hunt for a new vehicle, then give us a call about discussing RAV4 alternatives such as the Mazda CX5 or Hyundai Tuscon. SPA can help you making the right decision for you and any of your Salary Packaging needs, give us a call on 1300786664.

Work for Corporate Not for Profit? You could pay your mortgage or Rent Tax free by working for a Rebatable employer

By | News | No Comments

Are you working in education, community service, association and industry groups and sporting clubs and you’re wondering about the benefits of working for a Rebatable employer? Well, we interviewed our General Manager, John Heinke to give you the ins and outs of significant Rebatable taxation reducing benefits.

1.   What types of employers are eligible for this type of benefit?

Generally, they are Not-For-Profit (NFP) organisations that are not charitable with their intent. For example, full blown charities such as Blue Care and St Vincent De Paul versus a Private Catholic school or a trade union. Catholic schools are NFP, because their intention is for education so they fall under the Rebatable status. This is a very common mix up, because people assume that just because they are NFP, they are charitable, but that is not always the case. To be NFP, you must have a charitable intention.

 

2.   What does the employer gain by offering these types of benefits back to their staff?

The Rebatable status is halfway between a full charity and full Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) so the employees for Rebatable organisations can package a certain amount. In doing this, the tax rate is a rebated rate, which means it’s not the full 49%, it’s more like 32%. So for people on an income of over $100k, the Rebatable status as an NFP is advantageous. One of the anomalies is that if you are doing a novated lease, then there is a benefit for you in Salary packaging a motor vehicle through a Rebatable organisation.

 

3.   Do many employers offer these benefits to staff?

Not enough. Mainly they don’t know about it and they don’t understand the impact of it. A lot of companies still think they are responsible for the difference in reduced amount of FBT and the full amount, and they are not. Because of the Rebatable status, the FBT burden is on the employee and that rate is less than their marginal tax rate, therefore, the employee saves anyway.

 

4.   In broad figures how many people are missing out on tax benefits that they are entitled to, yet not taking advantage of it?

That could be a very large number. There would certainly be at least 100,000 people employed by the Catholic education system and so I would suggest that, though many of them might have salary packaging, it’s not in a Rebatable sense; it’s just in a novated sense. We have seen a lot of Rebatable employers using the standard novated leasing Employee Contribution Method (ECM) which is advantageous but not as advantageous as if they were using the Rebatable method. I would suggest that 90% of the Catholic education system would not be using the full benefit, and I would think the figure would be higher amongst other Rebatable organisations.

 

5.   Is this because the Rebatable benefit is a new offering?

No, this benefit has been in place since the FBT laws were formalised in 1986! One of the issues is that companies don’t understand their status and they need to clarify that.

 

6.   Can an employee package multiple items at once or is it restricted to one benefit. For example, could you only package your mortgage payment or could you do a personal loan and your mortgage payment together?

The beautiful thing about Salary Packaging is it is a bit like a wizard and his wand! The package chooses you! If there is a benefit in doing it, we can show you the benefit and do it for you. If there was no benefit, you wouldn’t do it – you’d be crazy to. Under a Rebatable status, you can package up to the limit, which are items that attract full FBT up to $30,000 grossed up value, or approximately $16,000 in actual cash terms. So that means a school principal could put $16,000, not tax-free, but taxed at a reduced amount, toward their mortgage or their rent. Once you’ve got the $16,000 cap amount, you can then do your motor vehicle and you can package exempt items, such as personal expenses i.e. mobile phone.

 

7.   Does this affect the ability to obtain credit for home loans and cars?

It actually improves it. Back in the dark ages of 2000, the bank would not understand it. The bankers would think “Now wait a second, your salary has been reduced by salary packaging so we must assess the reduced amount.” It only took them a couple of years to figure out that a person with an $80,000 salary with salary packaging effectively means they are earning $85,000 and so the borrowing capacity went up accordingly. Now, the banks love it, because it shows 2 things:

1.     Your outcome is better in dollar terms and

2.     You’re with a secure, recognised employer.

 

8.   How much work is involved in setting up this type of packaging for staff?

No more than other benefits, but because it is a hybrid, it does need people to deliver it on site. You need that interaction to actually work through the differences. I think one of the interesting things that we see is that Rebatable employers just write off the other benefits, as they don’t understand it. For example QLD Education only package motor vehicles and superannuation, whereas Catholic Education, Lutheran schools or NFP schools have all those other benefits available to them. A lot of our competitors don’t offer this benefit as there is no benefit for the Salary Packaging provider. Their thought process is ‘let’s not tell them about it, let’s just sell the cars.’ That’s their strategy but unfortunately, this is one of the biggest problems, no one is educating the Rebatable companies on their status.

 

Take advantage of being an employee of a Rebatable Employer and start getting significant taxation reducing benefits now. If you are unsure about if you are eligible for benefits then give SPA a call on 1300 786 664 or click the button below to calculate the effect the Rebatable Employer benefit can bring to your take home pay after your rent or mortgage or credit card payments. The process is simple and fast, calculate your instant savings now.

Instant Savings Calculator

Salary Packaging Australia Remote Housing

Remote Area Employees – Don’t donate more money to the government than necessary

By | News | No Comments

You’re probably just about to open your group certificate via email or Trevor in payroll gave it to you in a sealed envelope. That sum at the bottom says that this year you paid the federal government 10, 20, 30k in tax. Like most people you feel upset, probably a little disappointed and wonder how much better life would be without paying tax. In theory, we know this can’t happen, but it can be reduced.

Salary packaging can reduce your taxable income if it’s applicable to your situation.

If you live in a regional area of the country, you could be eligible for a 50% tax reduction on your rental costs.

This is something you normally spend your net income on. By claiming your rental costs as a salary packaging benefit, this means you pay less tax, take home more money and get more out of your pay. You could even pay 100% of the mortgage interest on your home as well however this will incur a small amount of Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) to be paid as well.

This could get you up to 2-5k back in your pocket and not on the bottom line of a federal government donation.

Perhaps you have just moved interstate from work with a big promotion, did you know that you could claim up to six to twelve months rent tax-free? And on top of that, you can also claim all of the costs of moving and selling your old house. Yep, that’s right. The astronomically exorbitant rate of commission that you paid to a real estate agent has just become an exempt benefit item and lowered your taxable income. No one likes paying 15-20k to a bloke with a Mercedes and Rolex, for him to stick an ad online, speak to a few people and then sell your house in 15 minutes flat. It’s highway robbery in my mind, however, the moment you get 5-7k back in the bank from the tax benefit will help soften the blow a little.

Simply by paying your rent pre-tax, you can get another 5-20k from the remote area benefit.

Now that’s a winner, winner, chicken dinner idea. Take the promotion, get the deduction and pay less tax.

So, should your accountant know about this stuff? Yes, they probably should, but Graham, Silvia or Barnaby are generally too busy lodging returns and BAS documents for local businesses to worry about you, the employee. All he or she wants are the large business clients that they can advise to and make thousands from rather than the $90 to process your tax.

Our staff at SPA help you sensibly and legally minimise your tax so you don’t pay more than you should. To find out your potential benefits click on one of the calculators below or give us a call on 1300 786 664 and we can run some scenarios in order to work out what you shouldn’t have paid this year so you don’t get stung.

In the words of Kerry Packer, “Now of course I am minimizing my tax and if anybody in this country doesn’t minimize their tax they want their heads read because as a government I can tell you you’re not spending it that well that we should be donating extra“.

Don’t donate to a politician’s paycheck, work out what you can do to stop paying too much. If you can’t take a few minutes to work out what you can do to save, you probably need to take KP’s advice.

Remote Benefit Calculator         Exempt Benefit Calculator

Top Car Dealer EOFY Sale Gimmicks to be Aware of Before Buying a Car

By | News | No Comments

It’s End of Financial Year, the car ads are playing non-stop on the TV. All you hear on the radio is you can get a free this, thousands of extras, some free steak knives and we’ll even chuck in a free Esky full of cold tinnies. Well maybe not the last one, but I have seen a dealership give away a pallet of beer with every ute sold.

Regardless of the gimmick or advertising claim, you will pay for this somehow, somewhere, at some point. Since when have car dealers been known to be the caring, gentle, devoted souls who want to help you and your family’s motoring? Actually, they just want to make a profit to pay for the 5 star Fiji resort holidays and their next Rolex.

But are any of these gimmicks to lure you into buying really worth investigating or are you just falling for another trick to play on your emotions?

Here are the top six gimmicks to look out for:

1)   $500 worth of free plastic accessories

It’s 2017, do you really need seat, headlight and bonnet protectors? These are items which cost nothing to produce, don’t add any value and don’t do anything. It’s not 1973, headlights are now made of polypropylene to make them safer in accidents and help reduce pedestrian injury, they haven’t been made from glass for twenty years.

Simply give these a wide berth, ask for the extra discount in lieu of the accessories.

Chasing up a discount rather than extra accessories means a lower price that translates into lower finance payments, which will make a bigger impact in the long run.

 

2)   Free comprehensive insurance

Read the fine print on this one, as there can be some hidden traps. Do you get to pick the company so that you can keep your insurance rating or multi-policy discount? Is there a ceiling or limit in the insurance cost? More than likely. Is it limited to $1000 or $1200 per annum? If so, ask for a discount instead of the offer, a better deal is only a click away online. Geez, if a meerkat can find you a decent deal there is no reason why you can’t.

 

3)   Free servicing

Similar to an apple that has been in the deep freeze at the supermarket for the last nine months, this seems great on the outside, but horrible on the inside.

Don’t fall for this one, the dealer simply wants you to come back and see them for the next three years in order to upsell items that probably don’t need to be done at horrendous prices.  Ever been asked to replace your tyres at 30,000kms because one of the rears “might” not make it to the next service? Ever been asked to change your windscreen wipers at $85 a pop? This is how dealerships make money and lots of it; those Rolex’s don’t pay for themselves.

How much does a free service actually cost the dealership? Probably $150- $250, dependent on the size of the motor and car type. It always looks tempting just like the apples, but instead ask for the discount, the dealer costs these items out into the sale and purchase price. Once again, the car dealer isn’t here to be your friend, they’re here to make a buck or thousand from you.

Additionally, you can reduce your finance amount if you salary package on-road costs such as car servicing instead of building them into the final financed amount.

 

4)   0% Finance

I have written about this before, it seems to be the new way to sell the cars that no one wants. Do you ever see the popular car models giving money away below the RBA cash rate? Didn’t think so. Someone pays for this rate and it’s probably you. Don’t let a rate steer you into what car you buy, look at the quality, suitably and life cycle. Is the car at the end of its life cycle and about to be replaced by an update, yet you’re still paying full sticker price. Has the penny dropped yet? You’re paying the equivalent amount through the purchase price. Ultimately, you end up paying way too much for a car that should have been discounted heavily, a car that no one will want in three to five years’ time, your resale will take a topple. Put down the keys and walk away, no one will want a Renault, Citroen, small Nissan sedan or Ford hatchback. They didn’t want them before the headline rate, they won’t want them down the track. Take a deep breath and think, “hmmm, could I live with his car for the next seven to ten years?” Because that’s what will probably happen.

Don’t be fooled by a 0% finance offer as it usually has hidden conditions and by purchasing a less popular model you’ll ultimately lose out come resale time.

 

5)   Drive and “Experience days”

I must admit these can seem fun and are normally centred towards the high-performance models and buyers, but they’re not worth the money they are sold to you at as extra value. The promise of hot laps with a race car driver around a race track showing the limits of the car, is code for three people and a third rate washed up ex V8 Supercar driver (that raced in the Konica Minolta development series, fourteen years ago) crammed into the base level performance model and driven at a moderate speed above the road limit whilst eating soggy sandwiches and lukewarm lemonade in the pits. As fleet manager, I get offers to go along to many of those “drive days”. Each calendar year there are only one or two out of the hundred or so that are offered to me that are actually worth it.

Take the discount and walk in the opposite direction, three sweating, balding, fat blokes and lukewarm lemonade is not on anyone’s fun list!

 

6)   Free roadside assistance

It is a common mistake to think that you will receive actual roadside assistance. What you will receive is a tow truck that can do one of the following three things; put in five litres of fuel, jump start the car or tow it to the nearest workshop or mechanic. There is no knight in shining armour that is going to turn up like your state based motoring body such as NRMA or RACQ. These guys are the legends of the industry able to fix big problems in small bounds. They are able to fix everything from a dead battery, blown headlight globe and flat tyre to a vapour lock in an older car and still somehow carry it all in the back of the ute. Instead, with the free roadside assistance, you’ll receive is Tony the Towie and he isn’t going to fix the problem when you’re three hundreds kilometres west of Rockhampton.

Keep your car covered with the real providers and instead use this free roadside assistance deal as another opportunity to approach the dealer for an extra discount.

Also, keep in mind that roadside assistance can also be salary packaged, so don’t up your finance payments by building them into your amount financed.

All in all, what does it come down to? Ask for the extra discount and don’t be embarrassed. If you can‘t do it, get a professional (not your uncle) to do it for you instead, someone who knows the market and understands and has seen pricing trends over a period of time. Our staff are able to help you get those extra discounts that you may be too embarrassed to ask for. Just remember, the less you pay, the quicker YOU own your new car and not the bank!

 

When you chose to take out a Novated Lease on your next car with Salary Packaging Australia, we offer a service whereby we find the best deal from our large network of dealers. Reduce the pressure, give us a call on 1300 786 664 and allow us to use our buying power to do the negotiating for you.