Here’s a (slightly lighthearted) review of your options.
What will $10K get you in the second-hand car market?
A quick look on carsales.com.au will show you basically what $10K will get in the second-hand car market in Australia. The oldest car listed at $10K is a 1951 Ford Anglia 10 Tourer – a 4 cylinder 3 speed manual vintage car. It’s done only 92,975 km (just over 1,500 km a year) and is a convertible. Used regularly by its WA based owner, it has even been converted to unleaded petrol.
Compare this to the highest mileage vehicle for sale for $10,000 – a 1964 Holden EH Special for sale in Victoria – a 6 cylinder 3 litre manual with no less than 945,169 km on the clock.
Or you could get a 2012 Hyundai i20. In fact, carsales has 1,588 private second-hand cars for sale for $10,000, so there’s plenty of choice in this price range.
What if you’ve decided you want to buy a new car?
Unfortunately, in this price bracket your choice is somewhat restricted. There’s only one new car model officially for sale new at less than $10K – the Chinese made $9,990 Chery J1*.
In fact, the Chery J1 is officially the cheapest new car to go on sale in Australia since the 1993 when Polish made FSM Niki went on the market for just $6,990 plus on road and dealer costs.
Chery are pretty new on the Australian car market. Set up in China in 1997 as a state owned business, it has taken an unusually entrepreneurial approach which is clearly paying off – the manufacturer is in the top 10 of Chinese car manufacturers by volume, producing nearly 500,000 vehicles in 2012, nearly half of the total 1.1 million new cars sold in Australia that year.
Interestingly, Chery also has a tie-up with Jaguar Land Rover that allows it to manufacture and sell Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles for the Chinese market.
However, the Chery J1 has come under fire from the ANCAP Australian car safety body, as it only has a 3 star ANCAP rating, and can’t even be sold in Victoria as it does not have stability control. ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh is pretty direct in his comments on the Chery, advising consumers to pay a little extra to get a 5 star rated vehicle, saying
“…you can get a lot of good [5 star rated] second hand cars, probably a [Toyota] Yaris or Mazda…”.
A sub $10,000 secondhand Toyota Yaris is likely to be a 2006 model or older.
Chery importer Ateco Automotive have said the current price is ‘not a special offer’, so maybe we can expect other offerings from Chinese (and maybe Indian) manufacturers to break the $10K new car barrier in the future.
*we did find another Chinese vehicle – the Geely MK GL listed at $9,999, although it was described as ‘nearly new’ and was an ex demo model