Looking to drive a hard bargain on a new set of wheels? Of course you are! But first, it’s important to know how much a new car really costs – and how much others before you have paid. Why? Because knowing ‘your price’ will not only help you narrow down your search on the car model you can afford without stretching your budget, but also give you the confidence and facts you need to drive away with a great deal.
That’s why we’ve compiled this guide on average new car costs in Australia. We’ve included average car costs by state, brand, model, fuel type, household income, and age group; plus listed some car running costs to also factor in.
What is the average price of a new car in Australia?
Aussies spend an average of $37,362 on new cars, according to Canstar Blue’s latest survey of new car owners. The average amount spent on small cars is only $26,454, while new sedans bring an average spend $36,075 and SUVs $39,857.
It’s worth remembering a new vehicle is a long-term investment. Our survey found Aussies typically hold onto their cars for about six years before upgrading or switching models. Overall, the average cost of a new car will depend on a number of factors, including (but not limited to):
- state taxes & fees (i.e. stamp duty, registration fees, etc.)
- your financing structure and initial deposit
- your specific car model and brand
- which dealership you go to
What is the average new car cost by state?
This table shows the average new car cost across Australian states (excluding Northern Territory), based on a Canstar Blue survey of more than 1,500 new car owners.
|State||Average car cost|
|New South Wales||$36,687|
Source: Canstar Blue research, September 2023.
Our research shows motorists in Queensland generally pay slightly more for new cars compared to other states. So, why do prices vary so much by state? That’s because overall car prices depend on a variety of factors including stamp duty, transfer fees, Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance, registration fees (levied by states and territories) as well as dealer delivery fees, RRP pricing structure across manufacturers, and so on.
But it’s not all just about the actual cost of buying a car, it’s also about the personal preference – and budget – of those buying the new car. With average earnings varying across the states, you would expect the level of disposable income to also have an impact on how much people are willing to spend on a new set of wheels.
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What is the average new car cost by age group?
This table displays the average new car cost by age group, based on a Canstar Blue survey of more than 1,500 new car owners.
|Age group||Average car cost|
|18 to 29 years||$34,619|
|30 to 39 years||$41,593|
|40 to 49 years||$37,961|
|50 to 59 years||$39,159|
|60 to 69 years||$36,442|
|70 years and over||$34,894|
Source: Canstar Blue research, September 2023.
Those aged between 30 and 39 spent the most on their new car, with the youngest and oldest age brackets were found to have spent the least on their new set of wheels.
What is a good price to pay for a car?
The general rule is that you shouldn’t spend more than 50% (maximum) of your annual income on a new whip. How much you’re willing to pay for a new car will be influenced by financial and lifestyle factors such as your household income, how many dependents you have, where you live in Australia, if you’ll use your car for personal or commercial use and so on.
How much does it cost to run a car?
The purchase price of a new car is only about half of the equation. Don’t forget there are also running and maintenance costs you’ll need to fork out to keep the wheels spinning. Here are the main ones to consider:
Car running costs
- Fuel: Petrol is one of the biggest car running expenses. The latest AAA Transport Affordability Index report found the average two-car Australian household pays over $95 a week in fuel. This equates to $411 a month or $4,940 per year.
- Car loan repayments: Car loan repayments are the biggest expense of car ownership (that is if you’ve taken out a loan to buy your vehicle). The latest AAA figures show the average Aussie household spends about $183 a week on car loan repayments. This works out to be about $793 a month or $9,516 a year.
- Car insurance: Having comprehensive car insurance is important to protect your wheels, yourself and others from unforeseen events on the road. According to the AAA, the average Aussie household spends around $148 a month or up to $1,780 a year on comprehensive car insurance. The overall cost of your car insurance premiums will be determined by factors such as your car model, your age, driving history, your suburb, etc.
- Car tyres: Car tyres wear and tear overtime. It’s typically recommended to repair or replace your tyres every 70,000km. Your tyres’ tread depth must be at least 1.6mm deep to be roadworthy in Australia. Aussies spend on average $344 on new car tyres, according to a recent Canstar Blue survey of car owners.
- Car servicing and maintenance: Your car will also require servicing and maintenance according to the manufacturer’s schedule. This will ensure your ride keeps running efficiently and safely throughout its lifespan. Many car manufacturers offer capped price servicing to new car owners. This is a fixed or capped price on certain servicing requirements such as oil and fluid checks, etc.
- CTP and car registration: CTP insurance and car registration are compulsory everywhere in Australia. In most states, CTP is included in the cost of your registration, except in NSW where you will have to purchase it separately before renewing your registration. CTP and car rego can cost anywhere between $500 and $1,500 a year, depending on the size of your vehicle, the state you live in and your subsidy eligibility.
What is car depreciation?
Cars are depreciating assets, unlike houses or shares which tend to go up in value overtime. Car depreciation refers to the decrease in value of your car overtime. It’s simply the difference in worth between when you buy it and the point at which you want to sell it. Depending on the make and model, a new car can lose anywhere between 10% – 15% of its value when you drive out of the dealership and then a further 5% – 10% every year you own it. This is an important factor to consider when buying a new car. And if you are looking for a new car, check out our latest ratings on new cars via the link below.