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The wheels keep turning despite 2018 car sales slow down

It’s no secret that key economic drivers put the brakes on Australian new car sales in 2018.

Factors such as the tightening of bank lending controls, a slowing property market, and extensive drought conditions all contributed to a three per cent drop-off in new vehicle sales. Significantly, it marked the first decline in new cars sales across the country for four years.

But despite the less than ideal performance, the news wasn’t all bad. Indeed, the heavy commercial segment actually recorded a record year, with the sector reporting sales of 41,426 units – up 12.4 per cent on the 2017 tally. Leading the charge was the Toyota Hilux, which ended 2018 as Australia’s most popular car for the third consecutive year. Once again, it edged out the Ford Ranger for the top spot.

SUV success story

There were also other interesting highlights from 2018. Key among these was that fact that SUVs accounted for 43 per cent of all sales. In contrast, passenger vehicles dropped five points, accounting for just 32.8 per cent of the market share. This marks the first time that passenger vehicles have made up less than one-third of the market. At the same time, light commercial vehicles managed to chalk up just 20.6 per cent market share, despite the fact that two of the category’s major players — the Toyota HiLux and the Ford Ranger — were the top-two selling vehicles in the market.

All hail the champion

Of course, there are still those that can claim to be big winners. For the 16th year in a row, Toyota took the crown as undisputed market leader with a final sales haul of 217,061 units. Impressively, the company successfully negotiated the market decline and even achieved a small degree of growth in its first year as a full-line importer of all its vehicles. Moreover, 2018 marked the 22nd time that the Japanese giant has grasped the coveted mantle of market leadership. Even more impressive was the fact it led the market in eight segments.

Toyota’s sales figures were almost double those of Mazda – the market’s number two performer. The company managed 111,280 units, recording a decline just above the market average. Third spot in the rankings, meantime, went to Hyundai, which chalked up 94,187 units – down 2.9 per cent.

Emerging from the pack

Other brands also emerged as standouts in 2018. Kia grew 7.5 per cent to record 57,699 sales, edging out Volkswagen (56,620 – down 2.4 per cent) in the process. Honda, meantime, ended the year 10.1 per cent up with 51,525 sales. Other brands that grew their sales volumes included Alfa Romeo, Isuzu Ute, Jaguar, MG, Skoda, and Volvo Car, which improved its results by 43 per cent.

Importantly, customer access to these market-leading cars needn’t be a challenge, with Melbourne Finance providing brokers with the opportunity to finance the market’s most popular vehicles. Tightening lending standards also doesn’t have to mean that a great new car is out of the question. Melbourne Finance has over 30 lenders to choose from, ensuring many solutions to suit a wide range of budgets and individual situations.

A tough crowd

Of course, there’s no denying that the car sales industry and certain major manufacturers faced significant challenges in 2018. Overall, the year ended with 1,153,111 vehicle sales. This is in contrast to the all-time record figure of 1,189,116 achieved the previous year. Every state and territory (except Tasmania) saw declines. New South Wales accounted for the biggest reduction in sales volumes — its recorded 6.6 per cent drop equating to 26,306 vehicles.

It was also impossible to miss one unmitigated disaster story, with once powerful Australian industry heavyweights Ford and Holden recording their lowest sales figures since the 1960s. Of the two, Holden fared by far the worst, dropping a staggering 32.7 per cent to end the year with just 60,751 unit sales. Ford, meantime, recorded sales of 69,081 units for an 11.6 per cent drop.

Revamped 2018 Ford Mustang


Now with a 10-speed automatic, revised styling, more power and a nastier exhaust note, the new Ford Mustang is tougher than it was.

Louder, prouder – Ford has updated their V8 Mustang, introducing a host of changes for 2018 that improve the appeal of its coveted muscle car. Already the most popular sports vehicle on sale in Australia, the midlife facelift uncovers more speed, dynamics, tech and safety.

First up, appearance. The new model boasts a reshaped bonnet and has gained some air vents. There’s a 60mm broader grille, plus countersunk ‘eagle eye’ all-LED headlights. The remodelling in the rear is subtler: techier-looking LED taillights and quad exhaust tips. Less muscle car, more motorsport effect, then, but from the rear this is a tougher looking car.

The interior of the Mustang has never been built to high-street opulence, it’s materialistically modest and has been built-to-cost since the 1960s. This helped it retain its nice level of American-tinged kitsch, rather than a premium Euro-look. One noticeable upgrade is the all-digital 12-inch digital instrument cluster with countless personalisation menus. The modest 8-inch centre touchscreen has been upgraded to Sync3 software with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while a reversing camera and sat-nav are both standard.

This new GT absolutely roars because, according to Ford, customer feedback made it clear the outgoing V8 was way too quiet. But quiet can be cool. The adaptive exhaust’s Good Neighbour mode allows you to electronically preselect time-of-day parameters for the Mustang so it starts up in Quiet mode rather than the already-bellowing Normal setting.

The 2018 Mustang starts from $66,259 plus on-road costs, and despite the price hike with the new model, it still represents eyebrow raising bang-for-your-buck. The range includes the Mustang GT Fastback auto, GT Fastback manual and the top-end GT Convertible auto.

GT fastback features

  • Engine – 5.0-litre ‘Coyote’ V8 petrol
  • Maximum power output (kW/rpm) GT : 339 @ 7,000 rpm
  • 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic
  • Automatic On-Off LED Headlamps with Automatic Levelling
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • New optional Recaro seats
  • Active Exhaust Valve with four selectable modes
  • Sync3 software with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Limited Edition Ford Mustang Bullitt

Ford Australia has confirmed that 700 units of the limited-edition Mustang Bullitt will be coming to Australia in October.

Built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Steve McQueen film Bullitt (famed for its epic 10min car chase that stars a 1968 Mustang GT 390 fastback tearing up the streets of San Francisco), the Bullitt Special Edition will be offered in a new one-off colour; a Dark Highland Green that matches the tone of the movie car.

The new version is distinguished by Bullitt badging, a darkened front grille, gloss-black 19-inch ‘Torq Thrust’ wheels and a beefed-up version of the Mustang’s 5.0-litre V8 engine. While in the cabin, Recaro seats, a badge bearing your unique chassis number and a new B&O 1000-watt sound system with 12 speakers also join the standard features list.=

Time for a new set of wheels?

If you are interested in learning more about the new 2018 Ford Mustang, or any other vehicles, the team at Melbourne Finance have extensive experience in negotiating, procuring vehicles across Australia.

Speak to one of Melbourne Finance’s expert Consultants for an obligation-free quote.

The beginner’s guide to getting a car loan


Buying a new car’s super exciting. But getting the loan to finance it? Not so much. Thankfully, getting your car loan ducks in a row doesn’t have to be a hassle. Here are the 5 things that will get you into your new car and onto the road in half the time.

Proof of income

One of the biggest things car loan providers are looking for is proof you’ll be able to repay the loan. Requirements differ from lender to lender, but as a general rule, you’ll need to show 3 months of steady income to even be considered for a loan. If you’re self-employed, depending on circumstances, you may have to provide a copy of your tax returns or the last two years.

Credit history

Along with knowing you’re able to repay your loan, lenders are also looking for proof that you’re not a bad risk. So you’ll need to provide details on any other loans and debts you currently have, as well as ones you’ve had in the past. Information on mortgages, personal loans and credit cards should all go into the pot.

Proof of residence and identity

Lenders love their paperwork, so don’t forget about providing details of your current residence and proof of your identity. You’ll need to show 100 points worth of ID which may include your birth certificate, passport, driver’s licence, Medicare card and a utility bill (gas, electricity or water).

Vehicle information

Once your potential lender knows who you are, they’ll also want to know what you’re going to buy. So you’ll need to hand over details about the purchase price, VIN number, year, make and model of the car you’re planning to buy. If you’re buying a used car, the seller should be able to provide this information, as well as details on mileage, title and any liens or legal claims on the car.

Proof of insurance

Again, requirements differ from lender to lender, but be prepared to hand over details of how you plan to insure the car. You can arrange a certficate of currency with your insurance provider prior to handover and it’s usually sorted with a quick phone call.

And that’s it – a quick guide to getting your car finance sorted.

The Secret to Smarter Car Buying


Dreaming of a new car, but dreading endless Saturdays stuck in showrooms? Hate the thought of haggling for the best deal? Slightly suspicious of slick salespeople? We hear you. Thanks to our hassle and haggle-free car buying service, you can have your car and drive it too. Here’s why it’s the best way to buy your new car.

Access our exclusive network

You know what you want, you just don’t have time to get out there and find it. But thanks to our extensive database of dealers, we can source your new car in half the time. Simply let us know what make and model you’re after, we’ll contact our network and get back to you with the best price and delivery option. Seriously, it’s that easy.

Deals & discounts

As a solo car buyer, you never quite know whether you’re getting the best deal. But our dealers know they’re quoting on a genuine sale, so they’ll go the extra mile to get your business. That means prices usually reserved for fleet buyers and savings that can stretch into the thousands. We can also get you a great deal on your trade-in, softening the hit to your hip pocket.

Honest, independent advice

Our car buyers seriously know their stuff. So you can trust their expert advice is just that. And because they have no affiliation with specific dealerships or manufacturers, you can rest assured they’ll get you the best possible deal, regardless of who’s offering it.

Your dream car delivered to your door

We don’t like to stuff around, so along with the best possible price, we also get you the best possible delivery time. We also know you probably want to hit the streets right away, so we’ll deliver your new ride direct to your door, along with a full tank of petrol. Winning.

Ready to get cracking?

Our expert car buyers are raring to go. For more information on our car buying service, or for a quote on your dream car, get in touch. We’ll find the car and the deal that suits you.

Thinking of buying a new car this year? Act before the EOFY and bag yourself a bargain

Shot of a young young on a roadtrip to the beach at sunset

Think EOFY is all about the tax man and trips to the accountant? Think again. Thanks to over supply and stocktakes, it’s also the best time of year to buy a new car. If you’ve been considering getting a new set of wheels, now might be the time to act. Here’s why, along with our top 6 EOFY picks.

Why buy at EOFY?

Want to save a couple of grand on a new car? With dealers under pressure to move older stock and bolster their sales figures, EOFY is definitely the time to buy.

Besides offering lower ticketed prices on new cars, dealers will often include incentives like third party insurance and longer rego. Throw in added extras like extended warranties and upgraded package options at no additional costs and you’re bound to bag a bargain.

Great deals are also available on demo models, so don’t discount options with a few extra k’s on the clock.

The top 6 deals on offer

Some deals are better than others, but in our opinion you can’t do better than these.

Volkswagen: Volkswagen will get you on the road in a brand new Golf 92TSI 6-speed manual for $22,990 driveway plus an added $2,000 factory bonus.

Land Rover: Save the amount equal to the GST when you buy new or demo model Range Rover Evoque or Discovery Sport.

Mitsubishi: Get a 17MY Triton GLS 4WD double cab manual model for just $38,990 driveaway, and a bonus trip to the shops thanks to a $2,000 EFTPOS card.

Kia: Walk away with $3,000 extra value on the Sorento Si Limited – leather seats and 18-inch alloy wheels included.

Volvo: With 3 years/45,000 km scheduled servicing, 2 years extended warranty and a year’s free rego and CTP, the XC60 and 7-seat XC90 are definitely deals with considering.

Want to get on the road? You’ll need to move fast

EOFY year deals are on for a limited time – come 1 July and it’s all over red rover. But before you rush into your local dealership, give us a call. We can manage your trade-in, get you great deals on finance and deliver discounts generally reserved for fleet buyers. This service is free when you when you arrange finance with us, so give us a call on 1300 132 664 to get started.

To Uber or not to Uber? The car finance facts you need to know

Close up photo of a businessman driving a carre

Whether you need to top up your fun fund or ease the financial demands of daily life, moonlighting as an Uber driver is a great way to make some extra cash. Here are the pros and cons of getting behind the wheel, along with some tips on getting your car finance sorted.

Why Uber?

Did someone say flexible? Work when you want, where you want, for as long as you want. And because your hours are up to you, you can earn as much (or as little) as you like. Throw in weekly deposits into your bank account and a quick and easy sign up process and Uber looks like a pretty sweet deal.

Why not Uber?

One word – people. The majority are nice, but you’re bound to have some average passengers along the way. You’re also going to have to absorb the financial costs of driving – oil and tyre changes, cleaning costs, insurance and petrol. Factor in the tax man and your pay packet might be smaller than you’d envisaged.

Let’s say the pros outweigh the cons and you’re keen to get started. Here are 3 car finance facts you need to know:

Can I get a car for Uber on finance?

Absolutely. Driving with Uber provides proof of employment and can be used as a source of income on your car loan application.

Uber says they can help with finance – should I just go with them?

Uber does offer its drivers car finance through affiliated organisations, but they’re not necessarily the best deal. Shop around for the best interest rates and loan terms and pick the option that suits you best (not Uber).

And if you need help finding the right finance deal, contact us – we’re here to help!

Do I have to use my own car?

Nope, although your name does have to be on the vehicle’s insurance policy. So you can always use a borrowed car to build your income history and improve your chances of loan approval further down the track.

Need help with car finance?

Navigating your finance options can be stressful and overwhelming. If you’d rather avoid the hassle, give us a call. We’ve got a range of options and can find the car finance deal that’s perfect for you. You can get an online quote here or give us a call on 1300 132 664 to get started.

Car buyer’s checklist


Buying a new car is exciting, but it can also be daunting. If you’re unsure of where to start, relax—this checklist covers the main factors that affect the purchase of a new or used car. To get the most bang for your buck without compromising on safety or performance, you need to read this before you shake hands on a deal.

Do your homework

Research is key: being well informed helps you feel less stressed and smooths the entire buying process. Before you even visit a dealer or seller, think about your specific needs, from the size of the car to its special features. Next, set your budget (and its limits!) and prioritise your must-haves over those luxury extras. Now you can start focusing on the car itself.

A thorough look at makes and models across the market will set some parameters and simplify your decision-making. You may love the look and convenience of a compact car, but if you’re a mum-slash-taxi, forget it! You have to be realistic, but nailing this initial stage can also be enjoyable—and being prepared pays off.

Crunch the numbers

The true cost of a new car doesn’t start and end with the purchase price—can you afford to keep the car on the road? Once you’ve determined how much you can spend on finance repayments, factor in your running costs.

For a realistic estimate of your monthly expenses, consider:

  • registration and insurance
  • the car’s warranty
  • servicing costs, including maintenance, repair and buying specific parts
  • petrol costs and the car’s fuel economy
  • tyres and oil.

Arrange your finance

Before approaching a dealer, seek expert advice and secure your own finance—a pre-approved loan is as good as cash. You’ll not only know exactly what you can afford and be less likely to overreach, but also strengthen your bargaining position.

Borrow only what you can maintain and know the risks. Extremely low interest-rate offers usually require you to spend more than necessary in the long run, mainly to offset the loss of interest to the financier. Beware of unusually quick or easy loans, too, as they often entail high-interest rates.

Go for a spin

Found a car you love? Whether you’re buying a new or used vehicle, always request a test drive. This is the only way to get a feel for the car before you buy. Have fun, but be mindful not to let your enthusiasm influence your experience.

Ask the dealer whether you can choose your own route (rather than follow directions) and try to include a range of road and traffic conditions. You’re trying to establish whether the car suits you, not the other way around.

As you drive, think about:

  • the steering, handling and visibility—do you feel safe and confident?
  • the brakes—does the car slow effectively and in a straight line?
  • the transmission and suspension—are these quiet and smooth?
  • the engine—are the acceleration and deceleration adequate for the car’s size?
  • safety features and driver aids—do these work and do you need them?

Protect yourself in private sales

When you buy a used car, you have to rely on your own reason and knowledge, so be very cautious. Private sales are unregulated and therefore expose you to a lot of risk. Conduct the appropriate background checks and don’t let the seller rush you.

To get value for money and enjoy peace of mind, engage an independent, qualified mechanic to inspect the car and identify problems. If you’re taking a test drive, ask to see a current green slip. The vehicle should have all the correct paperwork, so always check:

  • the vehicle identification number (VIN) and registration—match these to the vehicle make and model
  • the car’s validity—check the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR)for any outstanding finance and obtain the car’s history report for evidence of major accidents
  • the logbook—confirm that the car has had regular services.

Strengthen your bargaining stance

To put yourself in the best position to negotiate, shop around by exploring a few different options for purchase. Demonstrator vehicles can be an affordable option, but you can often get a great deal on a brand-new car. Do your research and hone your bargaining skills—the savings may surprise you!

Want to save time and avoid hassle? Consider using a car-buying service such as Melbourne Finance. Centralised car brokers typically put your desired vehicle out to tender, targeting a network of different dealers to get you the best price. They can also arrange a test drive and manage your trade-in, making the deal even more attractive.

Seek more information

Need more details? As automotive experts with years of industry experience, our finance consultants can provide you with frank and effective advice on the best loan option and lender for you or your company.  

Give us a call on 1300 132 664 and you’ll be on the road in no time!

Your fast guide to car finance


Looking to finance your next set of wheels but don’t know where to start? Navigating the car-loan market can be confusing, so it pays to know a bit about your options. As an introduction, we’ve put together a brief guide outlining the most popular loans. When you’re ready to find out more, give us a call, we’ll help you choose the right loan for your budget and lifestyle.

Commercial loans are the no-fuss option for busy professionals

Running a business can be tough. Maybe you’re a florist, out making deliveries all day, or a real estate agent, heading off to your next open home. Whatever it is you do, we know you don’t have the time to bother with complicated paperwork. We can help you arrange your car finance quickly – so you can get back to focusing on your business.

Whether you’re looking at borrowing funds through a chattel mortgage or hiring your car under a lease agreement, our low-doc options are easy to apply for and quick to approve. And, with a variety of loan terms and available extras, you’ll have the flexibility to structure your business in a tax-effective way.

Retain your financial freedom with a consumer loan

When you find the perfect car, you want to call it yours straight away – without incurring a financial burden. Our consumer loans allow you to purchase a new or used car and take ownership of it immediately, so you can be out on the road in no time.

With fixed payments and interest rates, your loan will align with your cash flow, so that you won’t have to worry about staying within your budget. We’ll also help you customise a contract term and repayment plan to best suit your situation. Best of all, this option is cheaper than a personal loan because the vehicle secures the finance, meaning you’ll get a lower interest rate.

Consider a novated lease to shrink your tax debt

If you’re looking for a way to combine all your car expenses – from loan repayments and insurance to fuel and maintenance costs – into a single payment, a novated lease could be the right option for you. This agreement involves your employer paying the lender on your behalf, meaning that you’re effectively leasing the car from your employer.

As a result, you’ll avoid paying GST on the car’s purchase price and its future running costs. And, because you’re making this deduction from your pre-tax salary, you’ll also be reducing both your taxable income and tax liability – potentially saving you thousands!

We’re here to help

Still a bit confused? That’s okay, it’s complicated stuff – but we’re here to make the process of selecting your car finance option easy and stress-free. Talk to one our expert finance consultants about your individual circumstances today, and we can help you make the best choice for you.

Give us a call on 1300 132 664 or email us at [email protected] We’ll put you in the driver’s seat – fast.

Winner 2011 MFAA Award