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Auto lingo explained

Buying a car is a big investment and if you’re buying for the first time, things can be a little bit confusing. Having to think about which type of car to go for at what price, the safety ratings, the practicality, etc.

This is where a good sales consultant can really help, but there may still be some terms you’ll hear that you may not quite understand, so here’s a quick guide to some of the most common auto lingo.

Capped Price Servicing Capped Price Servicing sets a maximum price that a brand’s service centre can charge for a scheduled service. Ensure you check the Capped Price Servicing plan of the car you’re interested in, before buying.

Drive Away Means the price of the car covers almost all your on-road costs. These usually include dealer delivery, registration, new plate fees, registration transfer fees, etc.

If you’re buying a demo car, you’re buying a new car that has been driven by the dealership’s staff or as test-drive vehicles by interested customers. The car can have a few dozen to a few thousand kilometres on them. The price will be lower but keep in mind that warranties have already started on these cars.

On-Road Costs
On-road costs include those pesky little extra costs you normally wouldn’t think about when buying a product such as stamp duty, registration, compulsory third-party (CTP) insurance and dealer delivery charges. If a dealer advertises a car with a ‘no on-road costs’, or a ‘drive-away price’, then you won’t need to pay for these on-road costs.

Plate Clearance
One of the best times to buy a new car is at the end of the calendar year when dealers want to move as much of the current-year stock as possible. This is called a plate clearance because it relates to the date stamped on the car’s build plates.

This usually occurs when manufacturers are ending production of a model, and introducing a refreshed model, or basically ‘running out of stock.’

Hopefully this will help you next time you go into a dealership or see some ads on TV.

Debbie Clark is the Dealer Principal at Nepean Motor Group. Visit