Car sales up 2% despite COVID: How you can save on car running costs

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on February 17, 2021
Car sales up 2% despite COVID: How you can save on car running costs

Even COVID can't put the brakes on car sales which grew over the second half of 2020, according to the latest figures.

The half-year results of shows a 2% growth in car sales for the half-year ending December 30, while earnings growth was up by 13% despite the pandemic conditions.

"The strong performance of carsales in the first half reflects both the resilience of our business and its growth potential," said Group CEO of carsales Cameron McIntyre.

"There are positive trends for our business emerging from the pandemic. 

"Demand for vehicles across all our markets has been strong due to lower public transport usage, the absence of international travel and the evolution of more flexible working arrangements."

Car sales have been rebounding in recent months, putting an end to nearly three years of consecutive monthly declines.

It comes after a recent survey from car subscription service Carbar found almost six million Australians intend to purchase a new car this year.

The majority of respondents (34%) said they would buy a second-hand vehicle, while 22% are after a new car.

That's despite an overwhelming 41% of car owners who say they don't feel in control of their car running expenses, which costs $5,100 annually or $9,000 for those with loan repayments according to Carbar's data.

Save on car running costs

To increase awareness around the true running costs of a car, competitor Car Next Door has released a car cost calculator to help Australians track their vehicle expenses such as registration, services and insurance as well as parking and depreciation.

Car Next Door CEO and founder Will Davies says the calculator is an eye opener on how much money Australians actually spend on car running expenses.

"Cars are one of the biggest expenses we have and when you look at all the outgoings like registration, fuel, insurance, tolls and depreciations, they quickly become a huge financial burden," Mr Davies said.

“The amount of money spent on cars that are parked 95% of the time is just mind-blowing.

“We end up enslaving ourselves to these vehicles."

The platform, which allows users to rent out their car to make extra money, has reported a 245% increase in customers during the pandemic with over 12,000 people reportedly joining every month

“Months of working from home and hybrid work situations along with rising costs of car ownership, financial pressure and economic uncertainty has been a big motivator for this change," Mr Davies said.

The calculator works out what you actually spend on your car and compares it to what else that money could have been used for.

For Sydneysider Jake Alderton, the money that could have been spent on other things was eye opening.

Jack Alderton with Car Next Door Audi (1)

Pictured: Jake Alderton. Image supplied by Car Next Door.

The 26-year-old decided to get rid of his Mazda 6 at the start of COVID because he had lost hours due to cutbacks at work and was trying to save money.

“I sold my 2005 Mazda 6 at the beginning of the pandemic as it was costing me around $400-$5000 a year and I was hardly using it, so when I did my sums, I realised it didn’t make financial sense,” says Jake.

By ditching the car, he realised he would have an extra $27,182.80 in his pocket after six years.

According to the Car Next Door calculator, that money could have been spent on:

  • 66 years of Diamond Membership with the Sydney Rabbitohs. 
  • 774 general admission tickets to AFL games
  • A flat white coffee, daily, for the next 19 years
  • 87 return flights between Sydney and Byron
  • 102 years of MasterClass online learning membership 

Image supplied by Car Next Door.

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Emma Duffy is Assistant Editor at Your Mortgage and  Your Investment Property Mag, which are part of the Savings Media Group. In this role, she manages a team of journalists and expert contributors committed to keeping readers informed about the latest home loan and finance news and trends, as well as providing in-depth property guides. She is also a finance journalist at which she joined shortly after its launch in early 2019. Emma has a Bachelor in Journalism and has been published in several other publications and been featured on radio.


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