Happy hunting for car bargains

Phuti Mpyane

Phuti Mpyane

Those who know will tell you there's never a dull moment in the automotive industry. Last week both Fiat and Chrysler revealed that they will join forces to build cars of the future.

The slumped economic climate is a constant feature in this weekly commentary and there's no better place to witness it than on dealership floors.

However, there is good news coming from the auction side of things. Burchmores, the auctioneering arm of the McCarthy Group, is thriving as more and more people seeking bargains visit its premises. Auctions can do much to alleviate the pressure on finding affordable wheels and are also a good place to start when looking for a car.

In last week's article we said Hyundai South Africa has discounted R700 off the instalments on a new Getz or Accent for the first 12 months and we asked if the marked-down money will find its way back after this period has expired. Jaco van Loggerenberg of Hyundai South Africa replies: "The R700 discount is valid for 12 months, thereafter the payment returns to the full amount. We are expecting the interest rate to be lowered during the year, which will result in a lower repayment at the end of the year."

This week's happy hunting revealed that though dealers still put up prices on car windows, there's a silent code that they are more than willing to discuss discounts, repayment options and trade - in values.

Ensure that you wear your negotiation hard-hat when car hunting. This week's specials are a little more luxurious than usual. Bargain hunting executives who have always fancied the current Mercedes-Benz E-Class range and can easily access the Mercedes-Benz Lifestyle Centres at Bedfordview, M2 City, and Boksburg should make their way there.