Cars are more affordable than you think

If you want the cheapest price in the world for a Volkswagen Golf 1.4, then book a plane ticket to India. You will pay the affordable price of $15,195. Of course, it does depend on your wages and cost of living. According to an Auto Express (UK) report, Australia is the third cheapest of 11 countries to buy an average car.

Auto Express report

The Auto Express report looked at the purchase price, insurance and fuel costs for a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 in 11 countries. These were the UK, Australia, the US, Japan, UAE, Germany, Russia, South Africa, Venezuela, India and Brazil. It found:

  • India had the cheapest vehicle at $15,195
  • Russia had the second cheapest at $25,916
  • Australia came third at $25,925.

While Australia is the third cheapest country to buy a Volkswagen Golf, insurance costs were among the highest of the 11 markets surveyed.

As the table below shows, it may cost more to buy and insure a Volkswagen Golf in the US, but fuel running costs are much lower. Meanwhile, vehicle buyers in the UK may be justified in thinking cars in their country are unaffordable.

United Kingdom United States Australia
Average cost of new car (Volkswagen Golf 1.4)  $32,377  $26,023  $25,000
 Average cost of insurance  $1,218  $1,184  $1,142
 Fuel cost per litre  $1.86  $0.56  $1.16

GoAuto, an automotive media company, also looked at the cost of buying a car, but using the Economist’s Big Mac Index. In May 2016, GoAuto revealed Australia has the lowest right-hand drive car prices in the world.

Another Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) report found, of a range of vehicles sold in the right-hand drive markets of Australia, Japan, the UK and New Zealand, vehicles sold in Australia were almost always cheaper.

So Australians can be sure new cars are more affordable for them than many other countries.

Some bestsellers

  • The bestselling car in the UK is the Ford Fiesta followed by Vauxhall Corsa
  • In the US, topsellers are large pick-ups and heavy SUVs like Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado
  • The most popular car in Australia is the Toyota Corolla followed by Mazda 3.

FCAI said there was continuing strong demand in Australia for SUVs and light commercial vehicles in the year to September 2016:

  • Sales of light commercial vehicle sales are up 11.2% in the last year
  • SUV sales have risen 9.9% since September 2015
  • NSW has the strongest growth in all vehicle sales, up 5.4%.

Interestingly, sales to private buyers fell by 8.2% during the year to September 2016, while business purchases rose 14.3% in that period.

See our blog, More to buying a car than getting the best deal, which might help you make a better purchase.

Corrina Baird

Writer and expert

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered first hand what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years of writing and research in financial services, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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