Can you afford a car in Australia?

Welcome to part 5 of my living in Australia or it’s every evolving series title, can you live in Australia on the Australian weekly wage. This week I’m looking at the price of cars and what you can buy if you are earning the average weekly wage. You see, unless you live and work in a small town or in the city where there are buses and trains you will need to have your own car or access to a car or motorcycle of some sort to survive

I always review the motorcycles that I’m actually interested in and usually include the list price or recommended retail price of that motorcycle at the time of the review.  I don’t really do car reviews except for when there’s something I really want to say about it.

On the average Australia wage there are still many car choices for new and used cars.  Prices vary from he cheapest 12,990 currently to the millions. In this scenario As with prior posts I’ve picked the single person living in a location within 20Kms of their work in neither shared or solo housing. Sure the scenario may not apply to you but this is just an example.

The budget is $100 a week or $400 a month (car loan calculator) with any difference taken up by the deposit to buying a new car. The current car loan rate is 8.5% per annum over 3 years so the approximate weekly loan payment is $100 the approximate $12,500. Assuming you have a $5000 deposit the most you can spend on a car is $17500. Sure you can go for a long term say 5 years but the amount rises to approximately $19,500 at the current interest rate.

Going for a 3 year loan with a $5000 deposit you have roughly $17500 to spend on a new car. So what sort of car can you buy for this sort of money? The answer is a basic new and smallish car. Basic doesn’t mean an uncomfortable ride it just means it is satisfactory equipment levels and safety equipment due to government requirements. Furthermore safety ratings are an important consideration for car buyers in Australia.

Now before you object and say what about all the various deals offered by car dealers offering a much better car for the amount as the loan? Well that is a bit of a joke as the deposit and loan amounts are essentially rental and at the end of the term usually 3 years you have to give the car back. The standard car loan means you own the car at the end where these schemes you lose he car or perhaps get another loan to buy it.

So what new car you buy in Australia for $17,500? The most obvious choices are the Suzuki Swift, Suzuki Ignis, Toyota Yaris, Mazda2, Hyundai Accent, Mitsubishi Mirage, Honda Jazz. These will be entry level models and expect a maximum 1.3 litre engine and a manual for some models!

The conclusion: The single person on the average wage is probably going to think twice about buying a new car unless the cars listed above meets their needs. The alternative is to buy a used car.

Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 Tyre review

Bridgestone Ecopia EP100

Welcome to the review of Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 size 185 – 60- 15 tyre review. Since I haven’t read a decent review on these tyres here it is! I bought these during the Bridgestone 4 tyres for the price of 3 offer at Costco although other tyre places may offer the same deal. Price for 4 tyres, balanced and fitted was under $400 AUD which is a pretty good price at the time.

The Bridgestone EP100 like my prior tyre choice is for those interested in fuel economy. I think that’s a more marketing friendly name for a cheap tyre model, which the Ep100 isn’t when not on a special pricing deal.  That said I did buy them on price and that they have been superseded by the EP300 model.

Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 ride quality: The ride quality of the Ep100 is best described as good or as expected. With harder compound tyres you expect a bumpy ride but this tyre provess otherwise, especially compared to the Roadstone N’Blue review previously.  Ride quality at all speeds is pretty much acceptable, which I am happy with.

Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 noise level: The noise levels of the Ep100 is best described as acceptable on city and suburban roads. Noise levels generated on country Australian roads are best described as loud. They are better than the Roadstone N’Blue tyres which was expected.

Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 handling: At suburban speeds the Ep100 handling is pretty good. They felt the same regardless of hot or wet conditions and most of all they resist squealing. Yes they will scrub if you corner to aggressively and you can hear it but they won’t squeal most of the time is good. The rolling resistance if the best part of the EP100. Throttle off and the car will coast, not losing any speed for reasonable a distance which is great in traffic. That said these are not sports tyres so should not be compared against them, these are normal tyres for a normal car for commuting and definitely no complains, besides a Yaris is not a sports car.

Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 tyre wear rate: I can confidently report that the Ecopia EP100 tyres will do at least 40,000kms if you maintain them every so often.

Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 tyre price: The price for these the EP100 varies significantly and note that they have been replaced by the EP300 series. Based on historical quotes their retail price is around $150 each and often cheaper if purchased more than 1 or 2 at a time or when there are special deals.

Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 tyre review conclusion: The EP100 are very good affordable tyres. They handle and ride well despite being ‘Eco’ tyres. The EP100’s work consistently in dry, wet, hot or cold conditions . Sure they aren’t really quiet tyres but but at east they don’t squeal often and they are better than cheaper ones like the prior Roadstone N’Blue.  Finally the disclaimer that this is the review for the specific model which I bought and your experience may vary.