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Positive signs point to perfect car-buying time


The automotive industry in New Zealand has taken a few knocks in the past 18 months, but despite continuing media reports of economic doom and gloom, there are signs that things are picking up, and now is definitely the time to buy

Many people think car dealers are finding it tough at the moment with the current economic crisis, but “they are wrong”, according to Chris Gibbs from Royale Cars in Hamilton. In fact, Royale Cars has just finished a record year and last month was a record month for the company.

Much like the property market, now is the best time to buy and get a great deal. However, it is important that you buy your car through a reputable dealership.

“After the financial institution’s collapse it has gotten much harder to borrow money,” says Gibbs. “Reputable dealers, like us, have developed a longstanding rapport with finance companies over the years and are still able to offer finance.”

Gibbs says another major factor when purchasing a car is ensuring it has a guarantee. “We have just resolved a mess with a poor lady who bought a car privately. She then wanted to trade the car in, but found out that there was money owing on it from the previous owner, about $4,500 ... What happens next is the finance company now owns the vehicle, they repossess the car and she’s left out of pocket.”

Walter van den Engel, General Manager of Ebbett Holden Hamilton, shares the same views as Gibbs when it comes to purchasing from a reputable dealer.

“A lot of the smaller dealers, who were there when times were a bit better, have just disappeared,” he says. “From the public’s point of view, dealing with a reputable dealer who has been around the block a few times gives them little more assurance.”

However, in the industry there have been a few “bad eggs” who have given dealers a bad name. Gibbs says that as times have gotten tougher those deservedly “shady” dealers have not managed to stay afloat. “The market has just got that tough. Only longstanding reputable dealers are left in the industry and the fly-by-nighters are gone.”

Jim Wright from Jim Wright Nissan says in times like these when the economy is going through a tricky time people want to deal with businesses that are going to be around for a while, and have some longevity and credibility. “I think buyers out there at the moment are looking for people to help them, and that they know they can rely on.”

Dealers are able to offer you finance, as well as a trade, and are also able to offer a guarantee that the repo man is not going to be knocking on your door in the middle of the night.

Wright says buying a new vehicle is simple and easy when you’re dealing with legitimate dealers. “With a high-quality dealership like ours you get to purchase off people who know the product and can advise you correctly on the best car to suit your needs.”

There has never been a better time to buy a car. To see what reputable dealers have on offer, pick up your FREE local Auto Trader or browse the listings on

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