According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' (FCAI) monthly 'VFACTS' report, 68,985 new cars were sold in September, which is 21.8% down on September 2019.

In the year to date, car sales are down 20.5% from the corresponding period in 2019.

FCAI chief Tony Weber said the industry is hoping for a positive turnaround because of two factors.

"First of all, we are seeing COVID-19 health restrictions across Australia, and particularly in metropolitan Melbourne, continue to ease," he said.

“Another sign that the market may improve is the announcement by the Federal Government last week of an easing of lending conditions for private buyers and small business in Australia. 

“Freeing up restrictions around financial lending will act as a stimulus for Australian industry."

In the market for a new car? The table below features car loans with some of the lowest fixed and variable interest rates on the market.

Update resultsUpdate
LenderCar LoanInterest Rate Comparison Rate* Monthly Repayment Interest Type Vehicle Type Maximum Vehicle Age Ongoing Fee Upfront Fee Total Repayment Early Repayment Instant Approval Online Application TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
6.24% p.a.
7.36% p.a.
1 year
  • Available for purchasing new and demo vehicles
  • $5,000 to $150,000 loan amount
  • Redraw facility available up to $5000/day
  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
6.57% p.a.
7.19% p.a.
No Max
Loan amounts from $2k to $75k
  • Available for any new motorised vehicle
  • No ongoing or early exit fees
  • 1-7 years loan terms. Pay monthly, fortnightly, or weekly
  • Get quick decision. Funds in 24 hrs if approved
6.99% p.a.
8.11% p.a.
1 year
Approval within 24 hoursEarly payout available
  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
7.29% p.a.
8.00% p.a.
2 years
Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here.

The comparison rates in this table are based on a loan of $30,000 and a term of 5 years unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates for car loans and secured personal loans for the relevant amounts and terms are for secured loans unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates for unsecured personal loans are applicable for unsecured loans only. WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Comparison rates are not calculated for revolving credit products.

Monthly repayment figures are estimates only, exclude fees and are based on the advertised rate for the term and for the loan amount entered. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.

The easing lending criteria places the onus on the borrower to be truthful in their loan applications, which would shorten the application process.

While it was announced with a focus on home loans, it would presumably also extend to the car loans sector.

FCAI said stricter lending criteria has been one of the "major factors" contributing to the decline in new car sales, along with coronavirus, bushfires and a weaker Australian Dollar at the start of the year.

The sedanapocalypse

While new car sales are down overall, the mix of types of cars on the road is changing.

SUVs with light commercial vehicles (i.e. utes) make up more than 70% of new car sales.

In the SUV space, light SUVs are up 11.4% on the month compared to September 2019, while upper large SUVs are up 4%.

These were two of the only three segments to experience growth, with the third being light commercial vans, up 4.5%.

In the passenger segment (hatchbacks, sedans), plug-in hybrid sales are also up 190.9% - albeit selling at very low volumes - as are regular hybrids, up 39.4%. 

This was largely aided by popular green vehicles such as the Hyundai IONIQ (up 200%). 

Fully electric vehicle sales were also up 41.2% in September, while hybrid SUVs also saw a 229.7% surge in sales.

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