As inflation bulges and curiosity premiums are ratcheted up, is new car affordability at an all-time minimal?

It struck me as I interacted with a mechanically operated airflow command knob within a manufacturer-new 2022 Volkswagen Polo.

I was deliberately turning it violently to make the airflow panel powering the dashboard flap about noisily – like it would in a motor vehicle from the 1990s – even though staring down the barrels of my passenger&#8217s eyes.

&#8220See, doesn&#8217t this remind you of your 1st car? How humorous.&#8221 The passenger laughed and agreed. To be genuine, it pained me to say it, even as the fond recollections of my to start with girlfriend&#8217s 1997 Mitsubishi Mirage washed around me.

Here I was sitting in the most affordable, slowest and smallest-motored automated Volkswagen – &#8216ghetto&#8217 air-conditioning controls and all – now realising it fees $31,000 travel-away.

That&#8217s not inexpensive, that&#8217s a good deal of dollars, I to start with believed. To confirm that, ironically I experienced to glimpse no additional than 5 years in the past into my personal past, way again when we bought our 1st &#8216family members&#8217 motor vehicle – a 2017 Volkswagen Polo GTI.

With its 1.8-litre turbo motor and six-speed guide, brand name-new from a dealership, it expense $26,000 generate-absent. I even went and observed the bill, just to cancel out my personal disbelief and doubt.

It shows we&#8217re presently spending so much extra for considerably less, but to be good, this is a broader and a lot more existential issue than one particular located exclusively in the car industry.

Just look at inflation more usually, and the RBA&#8217s feeble endeavor to ratchet up fees to control inflation. Aside from these financial pressures, there are operational ones certain to the car or truck and tech business too.

Both are source and unusual-earth mineral-abundant, and electrical autos are the most hungry of all products. The resources they require are finite, so no wonder automobile source and pricing are currently buckled, and possible to be for 24 months now.

Far more pessimistically, I assume some makes want to think the significant pricing is listed here to remain. If you want to blame someone for inspiring them, you can stage your fingers at every person.

In my time as a humble item planner for a wee French car or truck manufacturer, I was advised a number of instances by my intercontinental colleagues that Australian-spec cars and trucks were the worst blend of &#8220the greatest-quality know-how and worst-emissions engines&#8221.

Our entry-amount automobile was designed from the world level &#82203&#8221 design, this means the inexpensive 1 in Australia no-just one purchased was surprisingly a mid-spec design in Europe. Exhibits how a lot we expect from motor vehicle brand names in normal.

Then there&#8217s the problem of crash-exam and safety rankings, which indicate each and every auto in Australia will have to have radar/lidar/digicam-dependent computerized braking units, ultrasonic sensors all over the place, on even the &#8220least expensive&#8221 things, to get the full-excess fat five-star ANCAP score.

Still, rapidly-forward 5 decades, flapping about with my Volkswagen Polo equipped with myriad radar units, I observed myself in the same predicament once again.

I desired a new family members motor vehicle simply because we&#8217re established to welcome another little one, building two, in addition a blue heeler, in overall. When my lovely and famous wife blossomed as a new mom with loyal, three- and 5-doorway scorching hatchbacks by her side, infant two signalled a stage-modify for our garage.

I essential to invest in some thing substantial and fitting, but only had all over $35,000 to commit. Things like the economic problem, rare-earth minerals, and a car or truck marque&#8217s sentiment toward the problem are almost irrelevant at this position in time, as I can&#8217t pay for to hold out for the current market to neat if it ever will.

I also needed a new petrol automobile, a great deal to the distaste of my Tesla-driving buddies who think I should really be paying double that on the fantastic each day: a Tesla Product 3. As a lot as I&#8217d love an electric auto, I can&#8217t manage a person.

I&#8217m not confident they thought me both, but it&#8217s the reality of the matter ironically. My struggles to obtain a suited and brand name-new motor vehicle for $35,000 have been challenging, but fortunately my partner succumbed to a person with a handbook transmission.

Furthermore, she felt she had to row her personal gears to get the relatives automobile she wanted, as anything else was north of $40,000, and if not, extra high priced and smashed with huge wait lists way too.

We acquired a 2022 Mazda CX-5 Maxx – with optional Soul Red paint, floor mats, visors and some other goodies – for $36,000 travel-away, proving a excellent offer can nevertheless be experienced, if you purchase the a person no one wants.

The car or truck was technically a demo, but with 700km on the clock, it was essentially a new motor vehicle. So to reply your issue, are new cars and trucks becoming exclusively for the prosperous? Yeah, form of.

If you want to go total austerity method and row your own gears or acquire the undesirable one, guaranteed, even the normal punter (like me) can acquire new.

But if you want what&#8217s very best, or one particular with the primary amenity of an automatic transmission, you&#8217re gonna have to have to cough up, and cough up way more than you feel.

And if individuals anecdotes are not persuasive sufficient, then we need to refer to the humble Volkswagen Polo the moment again.

We&#8217re not singling out Volkswagen – as this applies broadly across plenty of other vehicle makes way too – on the other hand we must maintain the narrative of the story.

From the time period I purchased the 2017 Volkswagen GTI talked about higher than, Australians observed an regular 11 per cent enhance* in earnings. On the other hand, the regular NSW properties value grey by 29 per cent**, and the foundation model Polo, very well, the entry place went up by a good 47 for every cent***.

And right here we are wondering real estate has gotten seriously highly-priced for primarily the identical matter.

What do you feel?

Has it turn into more highly-priced to invest in a new vehicle, or does the raise in engineering, safety and global output logistics offset it fairly?

Let us know in the remarks below.

*Information from CEICdata
** Data from
***Details from Redbook

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