Buyers in Brisbane’s inner west are paying $2,500 a month for an older car that’s now worth less than $100,000.
Key points:In a bid to curb the rising cost of car ownership, the City of Brisbane is offering new cars for $2.5 million to $2 million a yearThe city is offering a special discount for people with low incomesThe car could be yours for $1,500A city council spokesman said the program was being run by a team of experienced car buyers, who were aware of the problems associated with a car that costs $2 billion.
“The goal is to ensure that if you’re in a situation where you’re buying a car, and it’s at the time of purchase you’re at the peak of your wealth, you can afford it,” said Greg Wilson, the council’s assistant general manager for community development.
“You’re not going to buy one at the last minute.”
Mr Wilson said the city was also offering a discount for residents with low income levels.
“People on low incomes, and in particular people on low income, they’re very vulnerable to the cost of a car,” he said.
“So we’re looking at ways to help them buy a used, refurbished or used car.”
It’s not just about affordabilityThe council said the discount was a temporary measure until the council found a solution to the high cost of the older cars.
“We’re still in the process of finding out exactly what we can do to reduce the cost to the consumer,” Mr Wilson said.
The program was launched last month and will be extended through to July.
“This is the first time we’ve seen an area where we’ve taken a very long look at the car market, because we have a very high population density,” he added.
“In particular, we’ve had a huge number of people moving from regional areas into the city.”
The council’s deputy chief executive, Matt Williams, said there were many factors at play, but they were working hard to find a solution.
“What we’re really focused on right now is finding the best way to make sure that the cost for a car is not going up and the cost is going down,” he told ABC Brisbane.
“Our priority is the affordability of cars.”
He said there was a $30,000 price cap for new car purchases, and there was an “upcoming $300,000 car levy” that would apply to those on lower incomes.
“If we’re not making the right investment in the car industry, it’s not going down, it’ll be worse than it was,” Mr Williams said.
He said it was important for councils to work together to ensure all residents had access to affordable vehicles.
“A city like Brisbane, and especially inner-city Brisbane, needs a car industry that works with all communities,” he warned.
The council is also encouraging families to look into the new car buying options offered through its website.
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