Used car prices remain high but many drivers not confident to haggle

woman driving used car and smiling

There are over 20 million registered motor vehicles in Australia and according to online automotive marketplace Autotrader, 75% of Aussie drivers have purchased a used car at some point in time. 

However, that’s not to say that we are well-versed in haggling prices. 

In recent research commissioned by Autotrader and undertaken by YouGov, it was found that 64% of Aussie drivers between 22 and 54 feel very uncomfortable negotiating the price of a pre-loved set of wheels. Plus, 50% of Aussie drivers claim they aren’t very knowledgeable about cars at all. 

So where do second hand car prices sit now? 

According to Moody Analytics Used Car Index, second hand vehicle prices in July 2021 were 27.4% higher than the same time in 2020. 

But this doesn’t mean there isn’t still wriggle room when it comes to negotiating the price of a used car. 

Dr. Tim Sharp, a behavioural psychologist and founder of The Happiness Institute, says that when making a major purchase, it’s all about having the confidence to secure a fair deal. 

“When completing a major purchase, the factors that affect pricing can play a major part on our psychological well being. We typically experience a range of emotions in the lead up to and during the purchase from anxiety to excitement,” says Sharp. 

“However, when we focus on the positive emotions and let that guide our decisions, we typically walk away with a fairer deal and a better experience as a result. The best way to do this is be prepared and do your research. By building your knowledge and information, you’ll be in a better place to achieve a successful outcome.”

Tips for haggling the price of a used car

There are a bunch of ways to prepare yourself heading into a negotiation about the price of a used car. 

Here are Mozo’s 3 top tips: 

1. Research other used cars on the market:
By looking around at the prices of other second hand cars, you’ll be able to get a feel of how much you should be paying. Research cars that are the same make, model and year as well as cars that are similar. It may also be useful to ask your friends and family, you never know who might be a car price whiz or haggling queen! 

2. Know your maximum price and be prepared to start low:
Once you know how much you are likely to spend, establish what your absolute maximum price is (and don’t go over it). Similarly, be prepared to initially ask the seller for a low price (within reason), because remember the lower you start the more room there is for them to lower what they are asking for. 

3. Get pre-approved for a low rate car loan:
If you need the help of a car loan to purchase your pre-loved whip, try and get pre-approved. By being pre-approved you’ll know exactly how much you have to spend when you start your negotiations. Don’t forget, when shopping around for a car loan look out for low rate options. In some cases the healthier your credit rating the better rate you get, so it might be time to take a look at your credit history and make sure it’s in check. 

Ready to start comparing used car loans right now? Check out these top options below or head over to our car loans comparison page for more!

Mozo may receive payment if you click the products below. We don’t compare the entire market, but you can search our database of 92 car loans.
Last updated 26 June 2024 Important disclosures and comparison rate warning*
  • Used Car Loan

    Fixed, Secured, No vehicle age limit

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    6.57% p.a.to 18.99% p.a.
    7.19% p.a.to 21.78% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Get a competitive fixed interest rate on a secured used car loan of up to $75,000 depending on your credit score. No vehicle age limits. Easy online application. Fast pre-approval. Pre-approved funds held for up to 3 months. No monthly account keeping fees, no exit fees and no early repayment fees. Flexible weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments on terms from 1 to 7 years.

    Repayment terms from 1 year to 7 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 6.57% would cost $35,528.12 including fees.

    Compare
    Details
  • Used Car Loan

    Home Owner Discount, Up to 5 years old, Variable, Secured

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    7.49% p.a.
    8.36% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Eligible for homeowners only. Low fixed car loan rate for purchasing new and demo vehicles from dealers or private sale. There is no monthly or ongoing fees and early payout options available. Winner of Mozo's Experts Choice Car Loan 2021 award^. Good credit history. Stable employment history and Australian citizenship or PR required.

    Repayment terms from 3 years to 7 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 7.49% would cost $36,939.75 including fees.

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    Details
  • Car Loan

    Up to 7 years old, Fixed, Secured

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    6.49% p.a.
    6.84% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Purchase or refinance a new or used car, caravan or motorbike, up to 7 years old. Fixed rate with terms from 1 to 7 years. Make additional payments and free redraw. No early payout penalties. No monthly fees. Quick start application in less than 5 minutes online.

    Repayment terms from 1 year to 7 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 6.49% would cost $35,460.64 including fees.

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    Details
  • Used Car Loan

    Home Owner, Up to 5 years old, Fixed, Secured

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    7.79% p.a.
    8.90% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Eligible for homeowners only. Low fixed car loan rate for purchasing new and demo vehicles from dealers or private sale. Early payout options available. Winner of Mozo's Experts Choice Car Loan 2021 award^. Good credit history. Stable employment history and Australian citizenship or PR required.

    Repayment terms from 3 years to 7 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 7.79% would cost $37,196.87 including fees.

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    Details
  • Better Car Loan Special Offer

    Fixed, Secured

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    6.24% p.a.
    6.65% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Get a fixed rate car loan for amounts over $20,000 with Police Credit Union. Make additional repayments at any time without penalty. Free online redraw. Available for new and used cars. Can also be used for motorcycles, boats, caravans, trailers or any registrable vehicle.

    Repayment terms from 1 year to 5 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 6.24% would cost $35,295.27 including fees.

    Compare
    Details
  • Used Car Loan

    Up to 5 years old, Fixed, Secured

    Interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    8.99% p.a.
    10.10% p.a.based on $30,000
    over 5 years

    Used Car Loan with a fixed rate for the life of the loan. Fast online application. Good credit history. Stable employment history and Australian citizenship or PR required.

    Repayment terms from 3 years to 7 years. Representative example: a 5 year $30,000 loan at 8.99% would cost $38,236.30 including fees.

    Compare
    Details

* WARNING: The Comparison Rate combines the lender's interest rate, fees and charges into a single rate to show the true cost of a personal loan. The comparison rates displayed are calculated based on a loan of $30,000 for a term of 5 years or a loan of $10,000 for a term of 3 years as indicated, based on monthly principal and interest repayments, on a secured basis for secured loans and an unsecured basis for unsecured loans. 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.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Personal Loan Awards

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