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June 12, 2003

NEW ZEALAND: New car depreciation reduces

The annual survey of car operating costs carried out by the New Zealand Automobile Association has confirmed the steady and ongoing reduction in depreciation on cars purchased new in the country where used car imports, mainly from Japan, outstrip new car sales by more than two to one.

By bcusack

The annual survey of car operating costs carried out by the New Zealand Automobile Association has confirmed the steady and ongoing reduction in depreciation on cars purchased new in the country where used car imports, mainly from Japan, outstrip new car sales by more than two to one.

According to the country’s new car distributor trade body, the Motor Industry Association (mia ), this trend has been evident since new car prices levelled out following the abolition of import duty in 1998, and the result of the AA ’s research is evidence that new car ownership is continuing to become more affordable for private buyers.

According to the AA ’s figures, average per year depreciation (calculated over five years of ownership) has reduced to 14.3%, from 17.0% in the 2002 survey. These percentages compare with the survey done three years ago, when depreciation averaged 20.7% per year.

Looking at it another way, a $NZ30,000 car purchased new in 1997 would have been worth only $14,960 in 2000 (after three years’ ownership), but if an equivalent car had been purchased for the same price in 2000, it would now be worth $18,882.

“We’re confident that future AA surveys will show a continuing reduction in the depreciation faced by new car owners,” said mia CEO Perry Kerr. “The cost gap between new and used car ownership continues to close, and new car buyers are able to enjoy unrivalled driving pleasure and the latest safety technology. On top of that they don’t have to worry about unexpected repair bills.”

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