Price Comparison

Vehicle price and specification comparison

International new vehicle price and specification comparison—Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand

Australia has a highly competitive new car market with 67 brands selling over 350 models. This high level of competition is benefiting consumers, with a vast majority of models sold in Australia for a cheaper price than other right-hand drive markets.

The FCAI has undertaken a benchmarking project which compares the price and specification levels of various new motor vehicles available in the Australian market with equivalent models in the United Kingdom (UK), Japan and New Zealand (NZ). These markets were chosen because they are right-hand drive, like Australia. The vehicles chosen for the project represent a cross section of mainstream and premium brands, and are available across the markets. The benchmarking data shows specification levels for each model vary between countries. As such, the pricing provided reflects specification levels.

IHS Automotive analysis

On 2 August 2014, the FCAI released  the results of benchmarking analysis undertaken by IHS Automotive—the leading source of information, insight and analytics to the global automotive industry—and verified with FCAI members. The analysis included the following vehicles: Ford Focus Trend hatch, Mazda 3 Neo, Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport hatch, BMW 328i, and Mercedes-Benz C200 sedan.  

Taking into account the different specifications, the benchmarking demonstrates that Australian-market vehicles are price competitive, against comparable motor vehicles sold in either the United Kingdom or New Zealand. 

To view the IHS Automotive data, click the links provided in the above model names. Each report details the price and specification levels of the model type in Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Further analysis—comparable specification price, by model

To produce a like for like comparison, the FCAI and automotive brands reviewed the IHS Automotive data and provided an estimate of the cost in the United Kingdom of the model variant with specifications equal to that available in Australia. Further comparison research was also undertaken for other models, independent of the IHS analysis, and released with the IHS analysis on 2 August 2014. In releasing the information, the FCAI highlighted that for the vast majority of the Australian new car market, a model of like specifications is cheaper in Australia than it is in the United Kingdom or New Zealand.

The below table provides the price comparison. The benchmarking data shows that specification levels for each model vary between countries. As such, the pricing provided reflects specification levels. 

In September and October 2014, the FCAI undertook further analysis. This included comparisons with the UK and Japan. The price comparison information is also included in the below table.

Vehicle

Price in Australia

(MLP)1

Price in UK2

(of Australian-spec model3)

Price in Japan4 (of Australian-spec model5)

Notes

Subaru XV 2.0

AUD$28,490

AUD$38,957

AUD$26,863

 

Subaru Forester 2.0i

AUD$29,990

AUD$41,534

AUD$29,179

 

Ford Focus Trend hatch

AUD$22,290

AUD$32,325

Model not available

 

Ford Focus 5HB Sport 2.0L Auto

AUD$28,190

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

AUD$32,267

 

Mazda 3 Neo hatch

AUD$23,792

AUD $30,271

Model not available

 

Mazda3 SP25 5HB I4 2.5L Petrol 138kW 6AT

AUD$ 27,890

Model not available

AUD$22,718

 

Mazda6 Sport 4SDN I4 2.5L Petrol 138kW 6AT

AUD$33,460

AUD$43,059

AUD$28,677

 

Mazda CX-5 FWD Maxx Sport 5WGN I4 2.0L Petrol 114kW 6AT

AUD$33,620

AUD$42,739

AUD$24,560

 

Holden Cruze CDX/Chevrolet Cruze LTZ

AUD$24,590

AUD$36,218

Model not available

 

Holden/Chevrolet Captiva LT

AUD$36,490

AUD$50,245

AUD$43,223

 

Holden/Chevrolet Trax LS

AUD$23,990

AUD$27,536

Model not available

 

Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport hatch

AUD$23,540

AUD$24,250

 

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

Sold as the Toyota Auris Icon in the UK.

Volkswagen Tiguan 132TSI

AUD$36,990

AUD$48,580

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

Sold as the Tiguan Match in the UK

Chrysler 300C Luxury

AUD$56,000

AUD$53,654

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

Sold as V6 Executive in the UK

 

Alfa Romeo Mito 875cc Progression 0.9litre 77KW

AUD$22,500

AUD$25,961

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

Sold as the TwinAir Sprint 105hp in the UK

Audi A4 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic Ambition

AUD$59,900

AUD$63,427

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

 

Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI S tronic (92kW)

AUD$35,600

 

AUD$37,641

 

AUD$34,436

Designated ‘SE’ in UK and ‘Attraction’ in Australia.

Audi Q3 1.4 TFSI S tronic

AUD$42,300

AUD$44,560

AUD$41,358

Designated ‘SE in UK

Audi Q5 2.0 TDI quattro S tronic (130kW)

AUD$62,600

AUD$63,645

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

 

Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic

AUD$63,204

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

AUD$61,480

 

Audi A6 2.0 TDI multitronic

AUD $78,548

$66,152

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

Designated ‘SE’ in UK.

AU Price listed excludes a LCT payment of $952 which brings the total MLP of the motor vehicle to $79,500

Audi A6 2.0 TFSI multitronic

AUD$77,317

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

AUD$66,536

AU Price listed excludes a LCT payment of $583 which brings the total MLP of the motor vehicle to $77,900

BMW 3 series – 328i

AUD$69,400

AUD$68,808

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

 

BMW 1 Series (116i)

AUD $36,700

AUD $42,854

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

 

BMW X1 (sdrive 18d)

AUD $46,300

AUD $51,938

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

 

BMW X3 (xdrive 20d)

AUD $64,400

AUD $67,533

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

 

BMW 5 Series (528i)

AUD $92,702

AUD $87,828

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

AU Price listed excludes a LCT payment of $5,198, which brings the total MLP of the motor vehicle to $97,900

BMW X5 (xdrive 30d)

AUD $94,625

AUD $98,648

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

AU Price listed excludes a LCT payment of $5,775, which brings the total MLP of the motor vehicle to $100,400

Mercedes-Benz C-class

AUD$60,900

AUD$56,659

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

 

Mercedes-Benz A180

AUD$35,600

AUD$42,417

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

 

Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG

AUD$74,900

AUD$87,156

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

 

Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTec Diesel

AUD$92,303

AUD$100,410

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

AU Price listed excludes a LCT payment of $9,933, which brings the total MLP of the motor vehicle to AUD$102,236.

Land Rover Freelander 2 TD4 SE

AUD$54,100

 

AUD$55,832

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

 

Range Rover Evoque eD4 Pure

AUD$49,995

AUD$46,795

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

 

Range Rover Sport SDV6 HSE

AUD$110,688

AUD$103,486

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

AU Price listed excludes a LCT payment of $15,541, which brings the total MLP of the motor vehicle to AUD$126,229.

Volvo V40 T5 R-Design

AUD$49,990

AUD$44,888

AUD$55,700

 

Volvo S60 T5 R-Design

AUD$63,890

Like-for-like comparison is not feasible

AUD$53,667

 

Volvo XC 60 D5 Luxury

AUD$69,990

AUD$68,555

Model not available

 

Notes:

  1. Prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and includes GST applicable to the base/standard specification model but does not include dealer delivery and various government charges (e.g. registration fees, stamp duty, CTP and the like) normally included in a ‘drive-away’ price. Any LCT applicable is shown in the notes column.
  2. For conversion purposes we have used the average daily exchange rate during the 1st half of 2014 from the Reserve Bank of Australia, Exchange Rate Data —$1 to £0.55 GBP.
  3. Price in the UK if a model with the same level of specification as Australian variant was available. Where a model with this level of specification is not available, these prices are based on estimates from the brand.
  4. For conversion purposes we have used the average daily exchange rate during the 1st half of 2014 from the Reserve Bank of Australia, Exchange Rate Data [http://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/hist-exchange-rates/index.html]—AUD$1 to ¥93.7
  5. Price in Japan if a model with the same level of specification as Australian variant was available. Where a model with this level of specification is not available, these prices are based on estimates from the brand.
  6. Each market has unique specification differences. Brands have sought prices in each market to a similar or ‘like-for-like’ specification levels as much as practical. Prices are Manufacturer’s List Price or RRP (UK) unless otherwise stated. These are not Drive-Away or On-the-road (OTR) prices.

Important notes

The vehicles chosen for this analysis are representative of a range of models across different market segments. They are also models that are available in the Australian, United Kingdom, Japanese and New Zealand markets.

The analysis compares the manufacturer’s list price. The comparison does not include associated costs such as stamp duty, registration and other taxes, which vary considerably from market to market. As such the prices are not ‘drive-away prices’ that would include those other fees, charges and taxes.

The relative affordability of vehicles in different markets is sensitive to a number of factors, including exchange rate and tariffs. To ensure the analysis reflected the current market, the FCAI used an exchange rate of 0.55, which represents the average rate for the British pound against the Australian dollar during the first half of 2014, and an exchange rate of ¥93.7, which represents the average rate of the Japanese Yen against the Australian dollar for the first half of 2014.

Despite the fact that cars today have world-class safety, security and environmental features, new cars in Australia are more affordable than ever before due to increased competition. This affordability is also reflected in the CommSec Car Affordability index, which shows that car prices in Australia are at their lowest since the index began in 1976.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are cars in Australia more expensive than overseas?

Our vehicle price and specification comparison research shows that when comparing ‘like-for-like’ vehicles, in three representative markets (the UK, Japan and NZ) the vast majority of new cars are comparable or cheaper in Australia than overseas. When we say like-for-like, we mean the same model with comparable specification and sold into a similar market segment.

The research also highlighted that in considering new car costs across countries, buyers need to consider each car’s specification levels, as this can vary substantially for each country.

The FCAI has not been able to check the price and specification of all 350 models available in Australia, but from the research conducted we estimate that the overwhelming majority of motor vehicles are comparable or cheaper in Australia than overseas.. 

Australia has one of the most competitive new car markets in the world, with 67 brands and over 350 models competing for 1.1 million new car sales each year. That competition helps give Australian consumers a better deal.

Why do vehicle specifications differ between countries?

In general, consumer preference differs between markets. Australia is a different country to the UK, Japan and New Zealand, and Australians generally have different uses for their cars. For example, more Australians travel longer distances or tow trailers than many overseas car owners. To be able to tow trailers over long distances, some models delivered to Australia have heavy-duty components including suspension, cooling systems and transmissions.

Brands also position their products in different segments in different markets, and specify their motor vehicles accordingly. For example, some models that are sold in the Australian market as a premium product (and are specified accordingly), are sold in the UK market as a fleet car and are equipped to compete against mainstream models—in the UK the Audi A4 and BMW 3-series are sold to fleets and compete against the likes of the Ford Mondeo and VW Passat[i]

Are the specification differences due to unique Australian regulations, the Australian Design Rules (ADRs)?

Cars delivered to the market by FCAI members meet all safety and environmental regulations—the Australian Design Rules. These standards are substantially the same as the standards that apply in other major markets, such as the UK and the rest of Europe, the US and Japan. 

I keep hearing that Australia’s new car market is one of the most competitive in the world. Is this true?

Yes, Australia is one of the most competitive car markets in the world. For a relatively small market that comprises only 1.5 per cent of global automotive production, Australia has 67 vehicle brands and over 350 make/models of light vehicles. This is more brands than overseas markets such as the UK (53 brands), the US (51 brands) or Canada (49 brands).

That is a lot of brands to service a market of our size equating to only around 16,000 new vehicles sold per brand. The following table (produced by the Department of Industry) provides a comparison of the competitiveness of global markets in 2012. The table shows there are double the number of new vehicles sold per brand in Canada, almost three times as many in the UK and more the 15 times (i.e. 255,000 vs 16,587) new vehicles sold per brand in the USA than in Australia. 

Table A.1 Competitiveness of Global Vehicle Markets[ii]

 

Australia

Canada

UK

USA

No. of brands in market

67

49

53

51

Sales

1,112,032

1,620,221

2,249,483

13,040,632

Market size per brand

16,597

33,066

42,443

255,699

How does this competition benefit consumers?

Consumers are the ultimate winners from this competition as they get a greater range of choice of new vehicles offered at very competitive prices. 

With increased competition, manufacturers selling in Australia are under pressure to continually improve the safety and environmental features in their entire range.

Why did you choose to undertake this research?

The FCAI is the peak industry association representing manufacturers and importers of new passenger cars, SUVs, light commercial vehicles and motorcycles in Australia. 

In this capacity, we have become aware that this information was not readily available and there is a misconception in some parts of the community that cars are cheaper and of higher specification level or quality overseas than in Australia. 

Why were only select vehicles chosen for this research?

For this research we decided to choose vehicles that were representative of a range of models in different market segments and were available in all comparison markets. New Zealand, Japan and the United Kingdom were chosen for this exercise as they are right-hand drive markets, like Australia.

The analysis shows 38 different makes and models available in the Australian market and sold overseas. This includes a range of mainstream and premium brands. Around 10 per cent of the models available in the Australian new car market are represented in this analysis.

For the mainstream models we originally chose the Ford Focus, Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla because they are all top 10 models in either the Australian or UK markets. We have since expanded this to include the Subaru XV and Forester, Mazda 6 and Mazda CX-5, Holden/Chevrolet Cruze, Captiva and Trax, and the Volkswagen Tiguan.

The models we choose for the mid-size premium models (Audi A3, Audi Q5, BMW 3-series and Mercedes-Benz A-class and C-class) sell in all three markets. These models sell in different market segments and have different specifications in the United Kingdom than in Australia. For example, in the UK the BMW 3-series and the Audi A4 compete against other mid-size mainstream cars such as the Ford Mondeo. 

Additional premium models included in this analysis include: Alfa Romeo Mito; Audi A6, BMW 1 series and 5 series as well as the X1, X3 and X5; Chrysler 300C; Mercedes-Benz ML350; Land Rover Freelander, Ranger Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport; and Volvo V40, S60 and XC60.

How influential is the exchange rate in the analysis?

A number of factors influence the affordability of vehicles in different markets, such as the tariff applied on importation. However, a very significant impact on this kind of analysis can be the exchange rate used in the calculations. In this analysis, the exchange rate for both the British pound and the Japanese Yen are the averages against the Australian dollar during the first half of 2014[iii]. This exchange rate has been selected to make the analysis contemporary. We recognise that different outcomes would be derived if an alternative timeframe was selected for the average exchange rate. For example, if the analysis used the average exchange rate over a 10 year period or 15 year period, in both instances, this would make the vehicle price in Australia more competitively priced relative to the UK market. This is due to the strength of the UK Pound over the two periods relative to the recent period used in the analysis. 

Are some cars more expensive in Australia? Why is this?

While the vast majority of new cars are less expensive in Australia than in overseas markets, it cannot hold true for all models. There will be some luxury models that sell in small quantities, making up around only 1 per cent of the market, that are likely to be more expensive in Australia and New Zealand than the UK. 

The additional cost goes towards providing the support expected by the car buyers, which includes enabling the dealer and suppliers network to be able to service and support those cars in terms of supplying parts, training of technicians and the availability of specialist tools and technical information. Obviously, with such small numbers of cars sold, the brand and their dealers need to amortise the cost over a smaller number of units, with the resulting cost higher per unit than would be expected for volume sellers.

Does this affect sales in luxury brands?

Performance and luxury motor vehicle sales are currently experiencing a period of strong growth in Australia. While total passenger car sales in Australia are down 1.6 per cent is in the first half of 2014 (compared to the same period in 2013)[iv], luxury and sports brands including Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche and Jaguar, are experiencing substantial growth:

  • Aston Martin sales are up 25 per cent.
  • Audi sales are up almost 20 per cent.
  • BMW sales are up by 9 per cent.
  • Jaguar sales are up by 12 per cent.
  • Maserati sales have almost doubled (increase of 92.5 per cent).
  • Mercedes-Benz sales are up by almost 15 per cent.
  • Porsche sales are up almost 50 per cent (increase of 47 per cent).  

I want to find out more about a particular model/brand, where can I find this information?

If you wish to find out more about a particular model or brand, you may visit the manufacturer’s website or visit a licenced dealer. 

[i] The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Motor industry Facts 2014
[ii] Australian government, Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, March 2013 Automotive Update.
[iii] Researve Bank of Australia exchange rate, www.rba.gov.au
[iv]Vfacts, June 2014