May 26th, 2006


cars and interest rates

Used cars are really quite cheap here. Most of the used cars come directly from Japan, and I understand New Zealand has no import duties on such things. Those cars are usually sold as "New Zealand new" or "ex-overseas". For example, my first car was a 1992 Honda Prelude which I bought new in Canada in 1992. A similar 1991 Prelude sold for NZ$2400 at a car auction we went to the other day. Newer cars are correspondingly more expensive but far from outrageous.

On the other hand, borrowing money is expensive. We asked various banks about personal loans and they quoted rates anywhere from about 15% to 20%, with most of them being on the high end. The car auction place offers their own financing at 15% or so. We are going to wait for a while until we can pay cash for a car, because paying such usurious rates isn't something we really want to jump into right now. It's just not worth it to borrow money even for just a few months.

On the third hand (are there three?), term deposit interest rates are over 7% if you can squirrel away $10k or more for six months. That's the kind of thing I'm looking forward to.