Six foolproof tips for car saving success in 2017

2016, with all its political pain and celebrity heartache, is outta here. Gone. Finito. So as 2017 graces us with the promise of a fresh start (please), many of us may still need something shiny to help us get over the year that was. 

For many Aussies the goal for the New Year will be replacing the family car, or perhaps buying their first! 

But whether it’s a Bentley or a Fred Flintstone footmobile, you’re going to have to get your saving cap on. Don’t worry, these six surefire tips will have you saving and driving away in no time. 

1. Set a realistic target

First things first, work out how much you can afford. As much as I’d like to believe that I’m actually James Bond and worthy of an Aston Martin, reality suggests otherwise. So think about your current financial situation and set yourself a realistic goal that won’t break the bank. 

Check out the Mozo Savings Goal Calculator to get started.  

2. Get saving! 

The first step to saving isn’t stuffing you spare cash under a mattress - it’s budgeting. Get the calculator out and set a weekly budget, and make sure you include all of your essential expenses such as rent, groceries and bills. That way you’ll be able to see how much you can afford to set aside each week for your car. 

In the meantime, you’ll want your money to be working for you. Opening a savings account or term deposit will help you make the most of your money while you save.

3. Consider your finance options

Want a little bit of help reaching your goal? If you’re not going to buy your new wheels outright a car loan may help you bridge the gap and get on the road faster. Just remember that the more you save, the quicker you’ll be able to pay off the car, and you’ll pay less too! Make sure you shop around and compare the many car loans on the market. 

Just take note of this example: If first time car buyer John, who is looking to borrow $10,000, went for the lowest secured car loan rate in our database of 4.94% over the average, on a five year term he would save $742 in interest. See why it pays to shop around?   

4. Pick your car type 

Once you’ve scrimped and saved for months, and are at the yabba dabba doo moment, don’t waste all that hard work by picking the first car you see. Research is paramount to ensuring you get a reliable model and a great deal. 

Not only is it important to find a make and model that’s right for you, be sure to think about the ongoing costs such as fuel, maintenance, insurance and green slips. A 4WD may look great and give you the opportunity to peek into other people's cars at the lights, but it’s going to hurt your hip pocket in petrol costs over time. 

5. Decide on new vs used 

The classic conundrum. Once you’ve worked out the type of car, it’s time to decide on the year. While there’s no ‘correct’ call, keep in mind a car is a depreciating asset, especially a brand new car which will lose a significant amount of its value in the first few years. On the other hand, while a used car may prove much better value for your dollar, it generally won’t come with added extras and could come with existing problems. So weigh up the pros and cons of each to come to your final decision. 

6. Make the most of car sales 

Last but not least, to really save on the cost of your new wheels, make sure you’re buying at the right time of year. 

End of financial year sales are a must and could save you a motza! You may also be able to find a significant bargain at the end of the calendar year as dealers attempt to clear old stock before the New Year. Plus by waiting until these top car sales periods come around, you’ll have plenty of time to get saving in the beginning of 2017.