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Why cars cost more here than in the US

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Our dollar is nearly level with the US but our cars cost much more...

AMERICANS pay about half of what we pay for new cars and we're not happy. It's not only the customer who's not happy - even the car distributors and dealers are spitting chips.

The enormous difference surfaced in the past few months when the Australian dollar reached parity with the US currency. Immediately we started asking why a Lexus LS460 costs an Australian a sizeable $191,200 - but an American pays $66,230.That's about a third of what we pay.

It's nothing to do with Lexus and the luxury brand isn't alone - all cars are cheaper in the US. We priced a Porsche Carrera S at $88,800 in the US - the same price as what we pay for a base-model diesel Land Cruiser GXL.But in Australia, the Porche costs us $282,800 - three times the US price.

As the words "rip off" resonate in our ears, we applied the same comparison to Mercedes-Benz and still we're looking at paying three times the price for luxury cars.

Mercedes-Benz Australia spokesman David McCarthy says there are crucial differences between the two markets and that flows onto the retail prices.

"Basically, we pay more tax," he says. "There is GST, luxury-car tax and import tax on each car.

"That's the starting point. Australia is a tiny market - we have a one-million a year vehicle market, the US is about 13 million. You get a discount for buying in volume.

"Australia is a small market but it is geographically huge and needs similar levels of personnel and nationwide support and service as the US.

"Then we have specific emission and design regulations which Mercedes-Benz at the factory has to engineer and comply. We, Mercedes-Benz Australia, pays for that - not Mercedes in Germany. So that gets passed on to the customer.

"Our geographical isolation means we carry cars on shipping routes that aren't well travelled, so that costs extra.  "The other important factor is model range. We sell everything from a Smart Fortwo to a 140-tonne truck and everything - cars, vans, trucks - in between.

"The US has a much smaller model range. For example, they have no four-cylinder engine versions available in the C-Class and E-Class and have no A-Class or B-Class models."

Porsche Australia spokesman Paul Ellis mirrors what McCarthy outlines. He says there's "about $100,000" in taxes in the Carrera S.

"The luxury-car tax is a high-end tax that's only applied to cars," he says. "It's not on yachts, jewellery or electronics - just cars - and I think that's because the government sees the car industry as a soft touch.

"The Australian Government imposes more taxes on luxury cars than any other economically established and mature market in the world."

Ellis says that's not all. He says that what we get in Australia is a far, far better product than the Americans. "In the US you basically get a cardboard box and steering wheel for your $88,800," he says. "Our cars have a much, much higher level of standard equipment."

McCarthy agrees saying the S-Class, for example, for Australia is the best-specced model in the world.

Ellis adds that buying power is a big contributor to the cheap US prices. "The US sells 30 times the number of Porsches we do," he says.

"So it can ask - and get - a better buying price from the factory. "Then there's market positioning. The 911 rivals are relatively more affordable in the US. You have to price your car in and around your competitors or you don't get on buyers' shopping lists."

The price differences also comes down to what people can afford. We did a check of average wages in Australia and compared them to the US.

Surprisingly, relative to the US wages, we are paid more. The average yearly earnings in Australia for 2010 was $56,950. In the US, it was $46,326.

More than 50 per cent of working Americans are paid less than $45,000 a year. "It's what people can or cannot afford to pay," says McCarthy. "It's interesting to note that the margins that we operate on - that is the profit to the dealer - is the same as other markets. So even though we pay three times more, the dealers are getting about the same."

Price differences

Honda Jazz 1.5
($A19,190) — $US15,100 (-21%)

Mini Cooper S
($A42,850) — $US22,300 (-48%)

Toyota Corolla Conquest
($A24,490) — $US16,520 (-33%)

Mazda3 Maxx Sport
($A26,320) — $US20,045 (-24%)

Toyota Prius
($A39,900) — $US21,650 (-46%)

Volkswagen Golf 103TDI
($A34,490) — $US23,885 (-31%)

Toyota Camry Sportivo
($A33,990) — $US23,590 (-31%)

Mazda6 Classic
($A31,750) — $US22,635 (-29%)

Subaru Liberty Premium wagon
($A40,990) — $US25,295 (-38%)

Honda Accord V6
($A49,990) — $US27,355 (-45%)

Mazda CX-9 Luxury
($A57,015) — $US32,445 (-43%)

Toyota Kluger KX-S
($A55,490) — $US34,750 (-37%)

Volvo XC60 T6
($A65,950) — $US38,400 (-42%)

BMW X5 35i
($A103,900) — $US46,300 (-55%)

Note: Some cars are built in the US. Specifications may not precisely equate.


Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 190 comments

  • When i went to china, everyone was driving around in Mercedes and BMW and they are not even that rich just middle class. Its because the cars are so much cheaper, while Aussies never get the opportunity to buy them because the tax is so damn high.

    Harry McLarry of Brisbane Posted on 21 April 2014 5:18pm
  • All the problems relate to the 'protection' afforded to the manufacturers who make cars here. The reason we can't have this and that an import things from overseas and have ADR is to make the home made and I do mean home made cars here more cost effective who allows this to happen? We do! American and European manufacturers aren't afforded this protection for products manufactured at home.

    Andrew of Perth Posted on 23 March 2014 2:48am

    J H Posted on 13 January 2014 11:42am
  • State Government Tax on a new car , called Stamp Duty. $1,800 on a new Holden Commodore. What a dam Rip Off. You would think they would reduce it to encourage Australian manufacturing. NO, all they think of is Ripping the Australian tax payer OFF. So much money sapping government in Australia. The country could not organize a Chook Raffle. Bloody Pathetic.

    Henry James of Perth Posted on 26 December 2013 8:02pm
  • If you folks in Austalia, accepted left hand drive, you could buy your car in the USA or through a US exporter for the cheap price and only add on the foolish taxes you folks acceded to and voila you would save thousands. You say our women don't like to be sitting on the wrong side when they are driving. Ok, then buy a Pick-up where you sit so high it doesn't matter which side you are on.

    Ralph Corsi of Sea Isle City, New Jersey, USA Posted on 13 December 2013 2:55pm
  • Where is the " fair go"?........Certainly not for the aussie consumer.

    Innocent Bystander of Brisbane Posted on 13 November 2013 8:23pm
  • Another comment I'd like to make is: who cares about try-hards and tossers who want to buy luxury or exotic cars? It's irrelevant to 95% of working Australians who just want an average vehicle to suit their needs. As mentioned in my earlier posting; what about the ridiculous cost of a Toyota Hi-Lux Twin Cab 4x4 which is essentially a workman's or commercial vehicle. AU$60k!!, are you for real? All this does is place average people in debt. Who the hell can afford to pay cash for an average car these days? Regulations and legislation are conceived by so-called experts who work for companies that profit from car imports. Insisting on special emission requirements is always a good one to keep the curious naïve at bay, and a great way to justify the higher cost of imports. This argument is irrelevant when applied to imports from the USA, because California has the strictest emission standards in the world - curiously the Australian 'special emission compliance requirements' excuse is still applied??!! As long as the government relies on industry corporate representatives for advice to formulate regulations, there will be serious question about transparency and corruption.

    Steve of Dubai Posted on 09 July 2013 7:08pm
  • The fact is that someone is profiteering somewhere in the supply chain. I live in Dubai and I can buy a Holden Commodore around 40% cheaper here than it costs in Oz. It's built in OZ and exported to Dubai as LHD Chevy Lumina. I can buy a fully optioned RHD Toyota Hi-Lux twin cab 4x4 turbo diesel in Dubai for US25k - the same car costs almost AU$60k in Australia!!!!! WTF! It doesn't matter how you look at it, it isn't tax hiking the price that high, it isn't customs duty, volume or shipping. Someone in the supply chain is taking a big cut and they are being protected by our government, otherwise our government would have something to say about it - I don't hear them making a fuss. Who are the authorized importers/distributors and how do they manage to act like monopolies in an apparently democratic and free country like Australia? They protect themselves by assisting the government in the formulation of regulations designed to give them every advantage as corporate entities and to relieve individuals of their power to effect any change. I have no problems with the taxes, it's the blatant protected profiteering I can't stomach.

    Steve of Dubai Posted on 09 July 2013 6:42pm
  • so why is it cheaper to self import the car e,g maserati granturismo .

    danny tocchet of Sydney Australia Posted on 29 June 2013 4:00pm
  • No one buy a new car for 12 months. Cuba can do it! Watch the prices plummet. If its too expensive stop complaining and don't buy it.

    Enus Penus Posted on 17 June 2013 7:19pm
  • australia is 20 years behind the car industry . you get cheap car s around the world only here in australia there want to make easy quick money . BULLSHIT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    mister t of gold coast Posted on 23 May 2013 2:39pm
  • Bullshit. But then you're part of the car industry so you would repeat their lies.

    Stephen Posted on 21 May 2013 4:49pm
  • What do you expect to be happening in the country where 1/4 of population thinks that Commodores and Falcons are the best cars in the world? We pay because we're dumb. Here are the solutions to get car prices to drop where they should be: 1. don't buy any new Australian built cars - let the domestic manufacturing go to hell 2. lobby as many politicians as possible to change laws on grey car imports 3. kick out our government and declare Australia an autonomous 51st State of USA 4. change the side we drive on (this is optional)

    Alex of South Australia Posted on 28 April 2013 3:26am
  • Toyota Camry Sportivo ($A33,990) — $US23,590 (-31%)???????????? That's 10 grand difference on a stupid Camry that has no luxury tax, no import duty and no shipping cost because it's built here. So, how do those morons explain this one?

    Dean of Adelaide Posted on 28 April 2013 1:57am
  • I can only think of one reason. CARTEL...!!!.

    Charles Jo of Sydney Posted on 27 April 2013 8:25am
  • Still doesn't explain fully why the difference is so huge because,when the US dollar was nearly 50 cents to our dollar the car prices were very similar in both countries. Our dollar almost doubled it's value but no change in price. The car Importers have to explain this. Tax factor alone doesn't explain the matter.

    Charles Jo of Sydney Posted on 27 April 2013 8:20am
  • Love the Finale., NOT So its not about whats a products worth its about what you can screw someone over for!

    Rusty of Adelaide Posted on 20 April 2013 3:22am
  • In the USA 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Starting MSRP $17,130–$23,550 In Australia Holden Cruze Price: $22,490 to $28,690 These are local production no luxury car tax yet $5,000 difference in price

    Rob of vic Posted on 19 March 2013 1:36am
  • This goes so much deeper than the auto indsutry... I'm finding myself growing more tired everyday of the general greed of Australia. With one of the worlds strongest economies and decent wages it just doesen't make sense that we pay more than just about anywhere in the world for goods and services, taxes etc.. People seem to remind themselves its just the cost of the country we live in, but its really not. Somebody made a really great point about Australia not caring to make stand about things. Its true we really don't do enough about these issues and just get raped by the government and all the corporate fat cats. Most of this article is absolute bullshit, I can't believe they didn't actually ask HOW exactly cars are better spec here. The spokesmen basically just shot their mouths off with a whole load of whimsical unsupported claims and the lazy editors of this site went through with actually publishing this tripe... Oh I guess it was just the price we pay to live in this beautiful country... What the hell is wrong with this country? More and more im seeing through the tired old excuses for the amounts of money we are raped for everyday.

    Wayne Curh of Sydney Posted on 14 March 2013 12:47am
  • Australia is a car dealer's wet dream. They over charge, all of them do, because there's little or no comparison. Then they have the cheek to come to this website (probably funded by them) and have a spiel about how they earn the same as their foreign counter parts.

    Usman Ajmal of Melbourne Posted on 25 February 2013 4:17pm
  • The car companies are ripping Australian off. The actual taxes are not more than 100%. Import duty is 5%, LCT is 33% and GST is 10%. Even if you do double taxation a $100k Porsche with full option will only cost $153,615. Add all other misc cost and you can round that to $160k. Even with currency fluctuation of 10% it will not be more than 100% price difference. The car companies are making more than 50% in profit with maybe 5 to 10% to the dealers. All luxury car brands in Oz knows this and they want it that way. Their pricing strategy is how much the consumers are willing to pay. If BMW increases their price by 100% and it still sells the other brands will follow. If they reduce it by 30% and get 95% market share I guarantee all the other luxury brands will also follow. It's the market's fault. Supply and demand and where it crosses path.

    Vin of OZ Posted on 19 February 2013 5:11pm
  • pih i don't get it...I'm btw from croatia it's a super small market,luxury cars are significantly more expensive comparing to US market and EU,but then cost of this cars in Australia is a total rip off,especially considering you can't import a car you let's say bought over the ebay in US..Now my question is for you living down there,is it possible to drive cars having steering wheel on left side and having them registered in some foreign country (let's say tax heaven paradise) withouth paying taxes on imported cars..Btw,car would be having UAE plates wink

    fer86 of Croatia Posted on 17 February 2013 10:40am
  • The same applies to motor bike with us paying typically twice as much with very low real shipping costs and no right or left hand drives issues. I just wish we could bring them in directly via eBay!

    Iain of Perth Posted on 28 January 2013 7:06pm
  • What a blatant rip off. I will never buy a new car in this country again !!!

    Jari Periaho of Shamefully in Australia Posted on 19 January 2013 5:07pm
  • I already did submit it. Thanks

    Peter Wiseman of Sydney Posted on 09 January 2013 4:21pm
  • The two car company representatives acting as spokesmen for their car brand should hang their heads in shame, particularly after coming out with such a bunch of lies as an attempted cover-up. $30k extra on a $100k car is not three times the price. Well....where is the missing money. Do the math, if a 100k car sells typically for 300k and the government are taking 30k, there is a whopping $170k (gross) missing. Helloooo. Don't get me started on spare parts !! OK, who can make a suggestion or recommendation on how to pull these people into line and other than the government charges align ourselves with US pricing. Volume buying power by the way for the US is absolute BS. These two guys could get a job in the Labor government spinning BS each day. Bring it on and get our pricing aligned with the US now. Having geographic widespread dealerships is more BS. Makes little difference, they are all profitable or they wouldn't be there. By the way, I don't think you will find many Mercedes or Porsche dealerships between Sydney and Perth. Please, give us all some ideas on obtaining level pricing. Make some suggestions or better still, start the ball rolling to make it happen!! Thank you

    Prickly Pete of Sydney Posted on 09 January 2013 4:19pm
  • As a former Customs officer who was involved in import clearance, I have to chuckle at the "its all government tax" argument to justify a cost in Australia three times that of the US. Google 'Australian Customs Importing a vehicle' and the duty, GST and LCT rates are explained. A car costing $100000 overseas shouldn't set you back any more than about another $35,000 to ship, land, clear and pay all relevant taxes. The industry comment on shipping costs is also laughable. They arrive in a packed floating car park called a car carrier, and Mercedes are mixed in with humble VW's and the like , and guess what, they both pay the same freight of about $3000 each. My question is: Why do Holden utes attract a 40% duty in the good ol' USA when we have a free trade agreement?

    Twodoor Monarch of Woodville SA Posted on 07 January 2013 11:47am
  • Good try industry spokesmen but I'm not convinced.Maybe what we need to organize here is a buyer's strike. So, for example, let's agree that none of us should buy a Porsche 911 for the first three months of 2013. I could afford one but why would I at Australian prices?

    Stephen Tee of Mt Gambier Posted on 11 December 2012 7:01pm
  • I have to totally agree with the comment above that "people in Australia are so stupid and dont complain". Thats probably because they have it so easy here. The Gov nurses them from cradle to grave,and I believe about 1/3 of the citizens of the country are on some type of Gov hand out,hence the taxes here I guess,and yes not just cars,you name it,its cheaper overseas. The only cheap item in Australia is red or white wine,and it can be had for $2.50 a bottle if U shop carefully,Hic!! Personally I buy everything off the internet now,from light bulbs to Electronics,usually direct from Hong Kong or China and usually at a third to a quarter the local prices. I dont spend a cent here in Australia if I dont have to. I dont spend any money in motels/ hotels or restaurants here in Australia and take my holidays overseas,and do all my eating out overseas as well for a fraction of the prices here,and that includes budget air fares in and out. I are on an aged pension of $375 weekly,so can live quite well using the the above method. Oh! and my vehicle is an old Commodore worth maybe A$1,500,so dont have to worry about some idiot denting or scratching it at the car park.

    two wise men of Queensland Posted on 01 December 2012 10:03am
  • Comparisons like this story need to be better researched. These types of price comparisons are all defended on the basis of taxes and volume. Prices should be shown net of all taxes. This would clearly show that we are still paying twice the price for imported vehicles. As for volume - give me a break. Divide the number of say Mercs sold in Oz by the number of dealers. Do the same for the US and I bet you a new Merc that on average our dealers sell mor cars than theirs. Don't get me going on Dealer Delivery charges. For Mercs and Bemmers just under $3000 in Oz. $700 in the US

    Brian Strempel of Australia Posted on 27 November 2012 8:43pm
  • It's just that people are so stupid in Australia and don't speak up...they do no demonstration about anything and if the government tells you to jump,Aussies say how high.... Wake up and speak out,otherwise you will get ripped all you life in Australia..and not only in the car industry,virtually in everything

    Ande gamisou Posted on 20 November 2012 1:23am
  • I am American and my favorite part of this article is when they say their products are superior build quality. I checked this out with 3 car manufacturers, Consumer reports and Edmunds response reflected the other directly. Nonsense! They said.

    Keith of USA Posted on 06 November 2012 4:36am
  • Car companies overcharged Australians $3.5 billion in 2011 compared to to prices paid by overseas consumers. Now that's a rip-off!

    Tash Posted on 02 November 2012 9:43pm
  • All not true, and time to do something about it. Easy to prove it does not add up. Firstly : 5% here, 20 % there, 10 % etc does not turn into $100 k on a porsche, it is simply a lie. You can buy same Porsche retail,including taxes in the US, pay everything here, and still be half. Shipping ? get serious, a few hundred extra. Market size, no, plenty of small markets with low prices. It is just an anachronism from when the govt was supporting the aussie industry, and didnt want mercs outselling kingswoods. The luxury industry got used to it, and have played up to it. The govt supports it by preventing grey imports, that is all the protection they need now for this racket. Stop preventing grey imports, and the market will sort it self out overnight. Canberra is to silly to realise that it is a no cost vote winner, good for the economy, and only loser is the inflated advertising budgets and margins of the encumbents.

    Mark Kay of Bris. Posted on 26 October 2012 12:00am
  • How come then, the yanks pay less for a (US) Commodore then what we pay here, and that has to be shipped across the Pacific ????!!!!

    Where's my Bike ?? of In the Garage Posted on 12 October 2012 7:03pm
  • doesn't matter you drive left or right. The truth is less competitive here. ( no local car companies, Holden is GM).

    Andy Posted on 11 October 2012 11:01pm
  • What absolute drivel from the car reps! The fact that they are banging on about higher salaries here confirms that they are just pricing to what the market will bear. Oh and apparently 20% higher salaries means we can pay or deserve a 100 to 200% price premium. Also the reason we have more choice and many more manufacturers selling here is the profit margin is so damn high! People of Australia, wake up and complain loud and hard!

    Fangit Posted on 10 September 2012 6:59pm
  • I am an American Exporter of US cars to Europe. I read this story and it shocks me. You are being fleeced! There is no reason these cars should cost you what you pay. I have the solution and its certainly out of the box. Like Sweden did in the 50's, at 12:00 noon on a certain day, start driving on the right side of the road.

    Ralph Corsi of Sea Isle City, New Jersey, USA Posted on 16 August 2012 4:15am
  • Everyone is missing the point here. Forget LCT, forget import duties, forget GST, forget the freight arguments, the biggest issue is the new car industry lobbyists in nineties who lobbied for parallel importing restrictions and had grey import restrictions. Why cant I buy a right hand drive C55 AMG from Japan for $72k USD or same from UK at same price new or even a second hand one from Japan 2 years old for $50k. Unless I have lived in either of these countries for 2 years and personally owned the vehicles, I cannot do this. The car industry (spelt new car industry) has lobbied successfully to ban parallel imports over spurious safety issues. The luxury cars in the UK and Japan like the C55 AMG or M3 come out of exactly the same factories and their safety standards are in excess of Australian minimum standards. If one monitors the Federal Governments Grey Import list you'll see how new models like the GL55AMG have been added in last year, when it wasnt on the list 2 years ago. Manufacturers do this, it is anti competitive, but the government allows it. Lobby politicians, send a drafted letter to all Federal MP's, send one to the ACCC, it is anti competitive and is exactly the same issue that the industry had with CD's all those years ago, lift the grey import ban and bingo much lower prices. New care industry will lobby heavily against it saying its a massive safety issue. This problem can be solved by getting one of hundred's of authorised engineers to compliance plate. If the vehilce you import exceeds Australian standards, then compliancing is not an issue. The new car industry will also not cover warranties. So what I say, take the risk and get it done at a European specialist and guess what dont buy your parts from BMW, Mercedes or Audi Australia, but them off the internet from US BMW, Mercedes or Audi suppliers, they are a 1/3rd of the price. 95% of the parts are common, except for particular left hand drive differences. Lobby all Federal MP's. The New Car Industry has lobbied an extremely restrictive practice, e.g.: Grey imports. Let the Australian people choose how they buy cars as the masses are doing on the internet with clothes etc. dont us let us be ripped off anymore. The New car industry arguments are an insult to the intelligence of most Australian's and most car journalists accept it. if they didnt then car companies wouldnt give them new cars to test drive, there is a massive conflict here.

    Brett of Perth Posted on 11 August 2012 3:09pm
  • We are being fleeced by the government to prop up a most inefficient (by world standards) car industry. The taxes levied cannot be justified and are clearly a money grab rather than an economically responsible policy.

    Michael of Adelaide of Adelaide Posted on 25 April 2012 8:53am
  • The Porsche dealer said there was A $ 100,000 luxury tax on the car in Australia If the base price was the same as the US $80000 .Don`t trust A cars sales man they know the truth. At $80000 the luxury tax would be minimal Its A rip of and time we the purchases did something about it I just brought A brand new outboard in from the states and after all the cost incurred I payed A lot less than half price of what I would have payed in Australia So who makes all the money.?? For sure the importers make heaps and the government protect them by not allowing us to import our own or allow us to get A good deal through A local importer . All the old cars on road would disappear. like Japan Sims metal shares would ski rocket .and we would mostly have cleaner newer safer cars that we can enjoy.We Australia have to buy and sell our products at world prices how did cars get left out? We know we are being ripped of but how do we change the system?

    Alan Snowden of Sydney NSW Posted on 14 March 2012 9:00pm
  • This justification is just rubbish. Of course a Benz dealer will heave out that GUNK. Cars in the USA are actually almost always of higher specification. In every way. No wind up windows in the back in the USA. The real truth is that Australians are just too ignorant and think that the lucky country is the reason. NO its just that you take there rubbish and eat it. Cars from California have the strictest emissions and safety lays on the planet. But Australians don't realize that the world outside the little island exists. Parallel import laws anyone. The main point of this infotainment from some car company is to again mislead. It makes no difference if Americans earn less money. A free market determines that you can buy from where ever you want. Wake up. If a car is 200K cheaper in the USA what is to stop the greedy manufacturer from sourcing there product from the USA. Pay the full retail amount with sales tax, have it overnight air freighted to Australia and you will still save 180K. Heck buy 2 of them as gee there might be a shortage of the exact same parts to repair it. Really .. Wake up. This whole rubbish about the markets are different and so we rip you off instead. ???

    Brett Jones of UK Posted on 16 February 2012 1:27pm
  • I can understand, Australia is a less populated country and geographically bad, thus the higher in price.. but having the government taking all the money from Luxury Car Tax is ridiculous! No wonder people are still driving an old 1980 car that produce bad carbon..

    Guten Morgen of australia Posted on 11 January 2012 3:58pm
  • It's better specced? For three times the price I would expect so. You think Im going to justify an extra 100 or 200 grand for a lousy stereo system and some leather?

    David of Australia Posted on 03 January 2012 2:36am
  • USDM stuff is almost always better than ADM stuff. For example, they have Launch Control in their GT-Rs.

    A person Posted on 16 December 2011 8:11pm
  • Any response Carsguide???

    Wazza of Brisbane Posted on 03 December 2011 3:38pm
  • I’ve been searching for vehicles overseas and I’m very shocked of how cheap vehicles are. I’m in the process of purchasing a Chrysler 300C 2006 model you’re looking between 45,000 to 60,000 second-hand in Australia. In the UK I found the same vehicle 15,800 AUD including tax 10% of what vehicle is worth on top, GST 10% and some custom tax thing with is $3,000 and shipping $2-3,000. Now adding that up $24,000. Don’t you think it is shocking on how much Australian governments are rip off's? Shame on you. ----------------------------------<b6><strong> Hi all, we'd like to dip back in to this conversation, and keep the discussion going with the industry. Yes, the 30 million quoted for US sales was wrong (and will be rectified in the story), as they've been below 20m for several years as the US continues in economic doldrums (we will resist using the G-- acronym). we believe that David McCarthy actually said 13 million, but it was transcribed from the tape as 30 million. We're trying to get more information about the costs behind the scenes, but can tell you that the remarks on the White Ribbon Day story on Facebook were a bit off the mark regarding dealer mark-up. Dealers can expect to make 10-15% profit on a car IF they can sell it at full MLP ... and you know how seldom that happens. After that, you also subtract their business costs: dealership infrastructure, wages, commissions, advertising etc. On the question of volume and how that affects import prices, I've asked Paul Ellis from Porsche to get back to you with comparative figures on the number of, say, 911s being sold in the US compared to here. Also, the reporter, Neil Dowling, is going to revisit the story and we will have an update for you very soon. - editor, Karla Pincott

    kiya of darwin Posted on 13 November 2011 4:04am
  • Good, I'm personally not a fan of imported good. Bring back tariffs IMO. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi

    patriot Posted on 07 November 2011 3:36am
  • Sure, Australia has more taxes, regulations, inefficiencies due to a small market and geographic isolation, and our cars have more features... therefore our cars cost up to 3 times the US price... Who ever heard of a 200% tax? (You didn't like the 10% GST?) Who ever heard of features worth twice as much as the rest of the car itself? Australian shopping is a rip off and Australians are chumps.

    Iconoclast Posted on 03 November 2011 5:23pm
  • I do not agree with the tax/luxury tax comments. This is directly from Mercedes Australia vs. Mercedes UK websites for comparison of Sl350 prices: Australia: Manufacturer's List Price including GST $200,015.00 Recommended maximum dealer delivery1 including GST $3,038.46 Luxury Car Tax (LCT) $43,676.24 NSW Registration $486.00 NSW CTP2 $544.66 NSW Stamp Duty $11,440.00 Drive Away Price $259,200.36 UK: 68,360 Pounds (drive away price) = $90,846 as of 3.11.2011 exchange rate I can understand the comments about how it is more costly to bring a car to Australia and the market is smaller etc.but when the manufacturers list price (before any non GST taxes, including the luxury car tax) of $200,015 is more than double the price to get the same car drive away at $90,846 in the UK, there is something wrong with the system and the price of the car. I can only say that we are being ripped off big time in Australia. What a shame they take advantage of us like this. What a shame.

    Ralph of Sydney Posted on 03 November 2011 9:28am
  • I'd like to see that do you crush them first?

    ron of australia Posted on 30 October 2011 12:00am
  • We are clearly being ripped off nothing else to it. With the $AUD hitting record high and higher than $US in FOREX for example whilst surfing the net for photographic equipment i could not believe price difference to those in the US even after including the GST. As you are well aware most of the higher end professional cameras are made in Japan followed Canon and Nikon followed by Thailand for their entry to pro consumer gear. So with shipping, Japan and Thailand is obviously closer to OZ than the states and the high $AUD beats me. "RIP OFF" is the word. Sorry nothing to do with cars just using another example of how we are being taken for a ride. Spend wisely is all I can say.

    Marcus of Melbourne Posted on 14 October 2011 6:04pm
  • I want to purchase a 2011 WRX but after seeing that you can drive one out of the showroom for under 26k US in comparison to over $AU40K I've changed my mind. Money stays in my pocket and I'll drive my car until it dies and than most likely purchase and second hand with low kilometers. "RIP OFF" is the word to describe it. It would be a totally different scenario if people stopped buying new cars and purchased second hand vehicles, then maybe things will change. So much for the lucky country.. It's becoming the "RIP OFF" country if you ask me!

    Marcus of Melbourne Posted on 14 October 2011 5:14pm
  • Shipping costs? What a load of crap, it costs average less than 1k to ship a 20 foot container to Melbourne from wherever you can fit about 4 cars in that, so about $250 dollars a car, shipping costs. So my 83k Carrera has 200k worth of accessories? What a joke. Dealers just charge more because they can. And our vehicle registration and import laws stop us from going around the dealers. So they can just charge whatever. So we are stuck driving around crap old cars because of taxes and $$$ cost.

    Jake Le of Australia Posted on 27 September 2011 12:25am
  • The American market was around 13 million last time I looked.

    Tony Chung of Sydney Posted on 05 September 2011 12:35am
  • I don't really have a problem with the LCT but I do object the threshold at $57k. If you need a decent sized 4x4, these start around the threshold so why should you pay LCT for a necessary evil to tow your boat or van. Not every one uses a 4x4 ute as these are impractical for every day use. I agree that there needs to be a bit of protection to the local car market but to what expense. How long can the average Australian consumer support an industry that is not competitive in its own right? I think it is time that the government stopped ripping the 'Average Joe' off and started to support the people who help sustain our government and encourage us to buy locally by producing a product that can be competitive at a competitive price and satisfy our needs in a realistic way.

    Ockamura of SA Posted on 27 August 2011 4:14pm
  • These arguments by Ellis are an insult. To say that America buys more Porsches, therefore gets a volume discount, is absurd logic. It?s all Porsche! The Australian distributor and Porsche, Germany, are pocketing an extra $200,000 profit on every car they sell in Australia. Why shouldn't they do it if they can get away with it? Our cars are the highest specced in the world? Why, so we can justify the highest prices in the world! I want to vomit. Why don't these car distributors just tell the truth - they rip us off because they can (and we are stupid enough to pay). It?s all about protecting the resale price of the poor suckers that have just paid these too high prices. Ellis, tell the truth! Why don't auto journalists expose these arguments for the rubbish they are?

    jonathan harris of Oatley, Australia. Posted on 17 August 2011 10:46pm
  • Luxury car tax is 33%, not the > 100% that the article implies. GST is 10% on top, but that ignores the fact that some sales tax is also paid in the US. The shipping argument is just crap - to have a saloon shipped from Southampton to Sydney costs just GBP1050. There is just no denying that car companies are gouging. The real question to ask yourself is why does the Australian government do nothing about it? It would be easy to remove some of the restrictions on personal imports that make it impractical to. OK, so you would lose the security of an authorised dealer network but with the savings on luxury cars like the Lexus being > 50%, if your car breaks down you could buy another and still be better off. Of course, there would be consequences: (1) The car manufacturers would stop supplying the dealers who allowed Australian buyers. (2) Second-hand prices would collapse. (3) The government tax take would more than halve, not only because of the drop in the pre-tax prices on which the tax is calculated, but also because more cars would fall below the luxury threshold ($57k pre-tax). (4) No-one would buy an Australian car. I think the last two points answer the question.

    Mick O of Melbourne Posted on 15 August 2011 10:14pm
  • That is utter bull! Our country "South Africa" has the exact same problem. The governments are raking in millions each year just on tax alone. We are back in the castle days where kings and queens rule over their flock. I say lets be-head them all!

    Jacques of South Africa Posted on 13 August 2011 9:48am
  • The real issue with the price differences with the cars is tax, tax and more tax. Not sure what the Luxury Car Tax threshold is nowadays but it is there, and GST, then there will be the stamp duties on a state level. As Adelaidepaul said we are being ripped of big time, but by the governments who are put in place to SERVE US. Yeah, right.

    Eric V Posted on 12 August 2011 11:14am
  • On a 6 month visit to the UK last year I tried to order a 5 series BMW with Australian design rules and use it while over there, thinking that if it complied, there should be no problem in bringing it back home. How wrong I was, I was told there was no way they would sell it to me. I was told buy one when you get back home. I will not repeat what I said, but you can imagine.

    Val of Perth, WA Posted on 09 August 2011 6:19pm
  • It is simple really, stop paying stupidly high prices. If you idiots would stop wanting new cars and selling second hand for half price then the dealers would stop gouging. You only have yourself to blame.

    Wester Federst Posted on 09 August 2011 12:00pm
  • What a load of c**p. The USA gets a cardboard box with a steering wheel, that's why their cars are cheaper....hmmmmm. Then why was Holden selling the Holden Monaro (Pontiac GTO) and the better equipped Holden Commodore/SS/Calais (Pontiac G8) for half if not less than what we were paying. Cardboard box I think not. They were the same or even better equipped (the pics of the G8 looked a s**t load better than any of Holden?s line up). I sent a letter to Holden when the Monaro?s were being exported and asked why are they cheaper and id update my car every year if i could get it for that price and unbelievably they replied saying the USA was a special market and didn?t control the prices. We are being ripped off big time.

    adelaidepaul of adelaide Posted on 03 August 2011 10:50pm
  • Australians are sick and tired of the BS. I have lived in the USA and we are being ripped off big time. The extra taxes here don't add up to the price. Same with spares. It's time the car companies were made accountable and sell their products on a global market.

    Robert of Northern Victoria Posted on 31 July 2011 2:14pm
  • This article is garbage. I don't believe that Australian taxes or the size of our market are the problem. We are clearly being ripped off by the importers who have been given a license by the Australian government to do so. They have no competitors and can therefore charge whatever they think the market will bear. This can only change when competition is introduced. The big screen TV prices plummeted when the market was swamped with cheap imports. The protected car market needs a long overdue real wake up call. Why is it illegal for me to import a Jaguar from the UK at less than half the Australian price? This is protectionism on a grand scale. I'm just not sure who is being protected ... maybe the importers.

    Alan Duncan of Perth Posted on 24 July 2011 1:08pm
  • Tickle me! So Australian cars have 3 times more (better) specs than US cars? US cars must be crap!

    min of melbourne Posted on 26 June 2011 2:00pm
  • Don't forget accessories.......a boot liner for a particular Euro SUV has an asking price of $580, mud flaps $490 in Australia. In the US these are both $90 (or around $240 delivered to Australia via UPS). What's a stronger but more polite word for GOUGING ???

    Mark G of Sydney Posted on 21 June 2011 9:51am
  • I agree with the comments before me. Cars are priced to a point that the destination market will stand. If Australia had a lower average wage our imported cars would be cheaper. A bit like a government subsidy that will raise the retail price of anything it is applied to, when the subsidy is removed the retail price will also drop.

    Rigor Mortise of Brisbane Posted on 14 June 2011 10:34pm
  • dealer margins may be the same as the USA but the importers are making a fortune at our expense! Our cars have no more, specific emission and design regulation, than California.

    peter robertson of melbourne Posted on 31 May 2011 9:56pm
  • What a weak story you have published. Is the government really taxing $100k on a Porsche? was this comment checked? Do the cars really have to travel on special routes to get here? Aren't we part of Asia and probably the biggest market in the world? This article smells like it was written by a car salesman and handed to the publisher to simply print without checking the facts. Am I wrong?

    flaxtonbumpy of Toowoomba Posted on 31 May 2011 9:35pm
  • These guys from Merc and Porsche sound like their spent too much time in their car sales rooms! The crap that flows is amazing but I simply don't buy it! I have access to the American market through the internet and I have been reading roads tests and comparisons of cars for many years and I don't see Australia getting 'up spec'd' anything, just simply ripped off. Sure we have higher taxes but so does the US and many other countries. Also we are a stones throw from Asia, which I would argue is the biggest market in the world and getting bigger. In stead of listen to these guys spruik their stories of woe and fable we should, as I have, refuse to buy another overpriced imported car until they rationalise their prices to reflect how lucky they are to be able to sell in our country! I must remember to wear my gumboots next time I go into a car dealer showroom!

    flaxtonbumpy of Toowoomba Posted on 31 May 2011 9:30pm
  • What a load of crock. Recently returned after a few years in the UK and Europe, was shocked at the prices we pay here. If you take away luxury tax, gst, freight per car, dealer delivery etc etc we still pay 3 times more than the UK, French, German, Italian markets etc. And cars in the UK DO come with everything we have in ours, including safety features equal to us if not better in some cases. Fair comparison the new ford focus 2012 model. Comes with all the bells and self parking system as in the VW. But that feature is NOT to be offered in Australia. The new Mercedes S class (UK) has the lowest emissions etc in the World, so stop gloating Aust, compare apples with apples, not the US market. The big two cars companies in Australia ( Holden / Ford) are being protected by the government, clear and simple. It goes way back to the 50s and 60s when Ford threatened to shut its factories in the UK and this part of the world, if they weren't protected from competition, so it continues today. Guess what some models from top brands are rumoured to be built in China? Price drop NO quality YES

    Barry Irvine Posted on 16 May 2011 5:59pm
  • Everyone who asks this question please remember the government who installed the gst in australia was and promised to get rid of the other taxes, those theiving swines should pay the penalty and both sides should lose their jobs for lying to us. Why don't we just send a letter to canberra or start a honest government party ourselves.

    Bob Pearson of NSW Posted on 08 May 2011 12:35pm
  • Paul Ellis's comments that we should pay more because Australia has a higher average wage is like saying that a university student should pay less for a car than a person who works full time, simply because they earn less. Please also remember we have the highest food prices some of the highest personal tax rates and GST. Additionally, card board cutout? Rubbish, a Porsche is a Porsche. Other comments about Tax just don't add up. What about those cars under the LCT limit and GST is not 22-55%. We are ripped off, simple as that!

    MikiG Posted on 06 May 2011 10:23pm
  • What a bogus article. How would you explain, then, why it is outlawed to purchase a car internationally and import it? The real reason foreign vehicle prices are so high, is because if they weren't, no one would buy a falcon or commodore!

    nathan r Posted on 03 May 2011 10:24pm
  • Thieves!

    Neal of Cairns Posted on 01 May 2011 8:10am
  • BMW lost a customer.

    Danny Posted on 20 April 2011 1:45am
  • The replies from the industry justify the Australian pricing is a lot of garbage. Many of the lower end BMW, Merc, etc.models would not have the luxury tax on them. The only way to beat them is not buy them that will force them to lower prices.

    Phil Smith of Caboolture Posted on 16 April 2011 1:57pm
  • I think one point was forgotten, the price of something has not got much to do with it's value, but what you can get for it. if we weren't so passionate about buying new cars, and keeping them for so short a time, they would be cheaper. The flipside is that the second hand car market is the best value it has ever been.

    martin of newcastle Posted on 13 April 2011 3:04am
  • If the factory price argument were solid, how can it be the the local Porsche prices have increased at the same time as our dollar has strengthened against the Euro over the past few years (by around 25%)..?

    Rod of Melbourne Posted on 07 April 2011 12:49pm
  • "Ellis says that's not all. He says that what we get in Australia is a far, far better product than the Americans. "In the US you basically get a cardboard box and steering wheel for your $88,800," he says. "Our cars have a much, much higher level of standard equipment." That's a crock of !!! If the US spec cars are so bad there would be a consumer revolt, what he fails to tell you is in the US we can still order a lot of options, unlike Australia where we get one trim level and that?s it. The Monaro was a classic, twice the price in Australia as the US, they went for $29,000 at the end of their model life! And the dollars were on par. The wage structure in the USA is less than ours and add to that there is no universal health care, which in the US health care costs cause the majority of household bankruptcies. Hard to feel secure with a mortgage and a car loan! But its the job killing taxes in Australia that harm everything, it's only $56.00 to register our Suburban and Chev pick up here in Texas!

    Richard W of Sydney-Dallas Posted on 06 April 2011 10:08am
  • I'd love to know where all the taxes go ( $100,000 on a Porsche Carrera S, then a tax to rego it, almost half in tax when you fill it up, plus a tax ( or a levy as the government has cunningly called some of the taxes now ) on everything you buy for it. Most of it to protect our car industry. i didn't know Holden made a competitor to the Porsche carrera s.

    Book another poly on a junket trip of australia Posted on 04 April 2011 6:17pm
  • Oh what a lot of bull crap this report is. How do you explain the cost of the latest Jeep with all the same safety and specs, and then say they get a less superior product and they?re paying up to 15k less than us here in Australia. And what about our export Holdens? We pay more for it here, they got the same quality we did, well didn?t they? Hmmm, get bent, go do some homework...

    WHATTHEFAARkKK of melbourne Posted on 01 April 2011 11:25am
  • Sounds like a lot of feeble excuses to me. Not one solid reason. Car quality ? pahhh ? A car sold in the US made in Stutgart will be the same quality as a car sold in Australia, also made in Stuttgart. They don?t build the same car with double standards - didn?t think Merc or Porsche has a slight seconds line. Government tax is a killer, but the car makers still make a very pretty penny.

    Graham of Gladstone, QLD Posted on 31 March 2011 5:39pm
  • Haha. Hilarious comments from Mercedes Benz spokesman David McCarthy. Yes we pay more tax for cars in Australia. We also have a public health system that means when you prang your car you don't have to pay $45000 to spend a night in hospital. But at the end of the day, car companies price cars at what the market will pay. Mercedes, LExus and BMW are all making very nice profits by charging exorbitant prices for their vehicles in Australia. If Australians said, 'stuff it, we're not going to pay that', we'd soon see much cheaper prices on these cars

    Steel of David McCarthy's bank balance Posted on 28 March 2011 10:04am
  • Did you people all read the same article I did? I think the explanations provided are all perfectly reasonable. It is basically the same reason that fleet buyers pay at least 20% less than private buyers - they buy in bulk and they go for low-spec models. If you read a little about the industry, you will understand that no-one is setting out to gouge Australian buyers. Local arms of foreign car companies bust a gut to negotiate the best prices from the factory they can. You read about it all the time but the reality is that without significant volume, they have very little leverage. You should also realise that advertised prices in the US do not include any state or government taxes, so they look much cheaper than they are. I doubt the comparison prices shown above have taken that into account. And we are not alone. A few years ago I bought a UK Top Gear magazine and was horrified at the prices they pay for some mass market cars. e.g. The only spec I could match between here and the UK on a Focus was the Zetec model (the only 2 litre model they sell there). We pay 30 grand for it here but in the UK it was the equivalent of almost 40 in 2008.

    MotorMouth of Sydney Posted on 26 March 2011 3:44pm
  • whats sad is the Holden R8 is made in Oz shipped to the USA and sold as a Pontiac at half the cost of buying 1 here!

    Mark Coker of Brisbane Posted on 26 March 2011 10:40am
  • Commodore SS, Built and sold here for just on $50k. Same car, built here and with full options included, plus international shipping then sold in the states as a Pontiac G8 for under $30k. Please explain that.

    George of melbourne Posted on 25 March 2011 7:46pm
  • About time... but who is going to do anything about it..? Can TOP GEAR (the UK version) run a story about this (lets face it no one watches the Aussi version!) at least some Polly will jump on it for the popular vote (Nick Xenophon are you listening!!)

    Jonathan of Wodonga Posted on 20 March 2011 10:19pm
  • I wonder what will happen when Ford & Holden close their factories and we rely soley on imported vehicles. We either have to buy Korean cheap low quality cars, or get ripped off with european safer higher effeciency cars. There is no comparison between the two, drive them and you will know what I mean.

    Frank of Adelaide Posted on 05 March 2011 10:20pm
  • Having just returned from the states, an RV with all the bells and whistles cost around $30 - $45,000 for a 1 year old model. In Australia, cost exceeds well over $100,000 for 2nd hand. We have been getting ripped off for years, not with only vehicles.

    Vincent Goodwin of Melbourne Posted on 01 March 2011 10:43am
  • If that is the logic behind the price difference then why was the Pontiac G8 aka SS Commodore with higher specs different panels, leather etc and modified to US standards priced at around $36,000 in the US? Sounds like B/S to me. And while we are on the subject of price difference, work out the cost of fuel too. Aussies are always being ripped off by everyone and nothing is ever done about it. ACCC is useless and a waste of money.

    John of Melbourne Posted on 27 February 2011 11:26am
  • It's a good way to make tax-dodgers and criminals pay tax. Its an ego tax.

    Dirk of Australia Posted on 25 February 2011 9:15am

    Dave Posted on 22 February 2011 7:39pm
  • Just one more reason why we need tax reform now, (or it could time for us to get all egypt on canberra)

    d33j of perth Posted on 21 February 2011 1:41pm
  • Just one more reason why we need tax reform now, (or it could time for us to get all egypt on canberra)

    d33j of perth Posted on 21 February 2011 1:36pm
  • You, the Australian car buyer, are to blame! If you could curb your enthusiasm to blow your money on a new over-priced toy every 2-5 years and simply looked after your car for another 2-3 years, the industry would have to face reality and prices would drop! We are the laughing stock of the developed world thanks to your profligacy! Most people in Europe and the US have moved on from the childish Australian consideration of the car as a status symbol. They are far more pragmatic and demanding of value. Don't give me the nonsense about the "Australian" car industry, which we subsidise at the rate of $200,000 per worker a year, only to see profits disappear over the horizon to the foreign owners. Most galling was to see the Australian built Holden Monaro, re-badged as a Pontiac G8, selling for less in the USA than we could buy it here! Please explain! Our business FBT (fringe benefits tax) is a scandal, and sheer hypocrisy from a government supposedly concerned with the environment. It actively encourages people to drive more to very significantly reduce their FBT liability!

    Darcy Posted on 21 February 2011 12:47pm
  • What absolute rubbish this is. The US car market is NOT 30 million sales per year, it's about 12 million. Our taxes aren't 300%!!!! And the US customers pay sales tax too. We are Just ripped off as usual. They know one day the $ will fall again, and they don't want to be caught short. What rubbish that a Porsche is a "Cardboard Box with Steering wheel", in the US....It's the same Damn car we get!!! Tossers. We have the Dearest Houses IN THE WORLD, crappiest Roads, Crappiest Politicians etc etc. Everyone in Oz is in it for themselves, to rip each other off. Sad but True.

    Con-Strained of Adelaide Posted on 20 February 2011 10:05pm
  • Thoughts on possible sale volumes due to over priced cars?? ... perhaps if we got the cars at the same price as the Americans, perhaps our sales would improve = "better buying price". Then yes, you do have to deal with the taxes, import costs etc.. surely that CANNOT justify 100's of thousands of dollars on particular models. I'm a car lover, yet, even in our "higher earnings" bracket, I simply CANNOT afford nice cars in general. It's a simple cop out saying that our average wage is higher than theirs yet attempt to justify in excess of 50% price difference in cars. Last I heard, their wages may be lower due to the impact that the US received in the "global financial crisis" .. just a thought anyway..

    Adam of Australia Posted on 20 February 2011 12:11pm
  • Why Australia pays more has to do with currency history, and greed by the car importers (wholesalers) nothing else. Don't blame the retail dealers, or Australia's market size. Every imported car (apart from maybe Korean and Chinese) brand cost excessively more in Australia. Example..Mazda MX-5 Roadster USA $27,150 UK $36,250 Japan $31,500 Australia $51,416 No Luxury Car Tax on MX-5, only 5% Tariff and 10% GST. Both the USA and UK have a Higher Tax VAT/Tariffs than Australia. USA and UK have higher specified MX-5's than Australia. Car made at same Japanese plant. Shipping cost is less to Australia from Japan. There are no extra costs associated with Importing Vehicles to Australia provided they are under $57,123 AUD. If the Australian dollar remains high the tide will turn, Australia can not sustain record new car sales year after year as it has over the past decade. While "the people" pay these exorbitant prices why would the Importers change their pricing policies. "Watch Out" your greed and stupidity will come back to severely bite these brands and their market share. Korea and in a few years China are about to walk all over you.

    Grant Posted on 20 February 2011 10:18am
  • Hit them where it hurt people which is the next election commanding lower taxes on car, petrol and your salary. Stop the waste and demand more from your federal and state government. Stop the bullying tactic from big brother and it is time to fight back.

    Raiders of Canberra Posted on 19 February 2011 7:18pm
  • The U.S. doesn't tax cars! It's really that simple. There aren't hefty import duties or anything of the sort. You pay a sales tax in most (but not all) states that adds as much as 10% to the price of a car, but that's it. We don't have luxury car taxes, car import tariffs (with the exception of a 25% tariff on imported, 2-door trucks), etc. Plus its cheap to distribute in the United States thanks to volume and a very integrated and high volume road/rail system. It takes a moron not to realize why cars are cheap in the United States, where taxes are low and the government does not apply rip-off consumer taxes on top of regular sales tax.

    Simon of Melbourne Posted on 19 February 2011 10:54am
  • Don't we make Camry in Australia and send to the American market? I had a friend working for the Toyota factory and they were making left hand versions for their market. So why are they dearer? Should they not be more expensive because of shipping? By Porche's and Mercedes Benz's logic. That then means also the Japanese made econo-box's should be cheaper as there is no luxury tax and the shipping distance is shorter.

    ADThomas of Melbourne Posted on 18 February 2011 6:43pm
  • Why then can Holden sell the Caprice as a cop car in the US, for cheaper than we can buy a commodore here? We're getting excuses, not solution. Typical corporate speak.

    Tim Posted on 18 February 2011 4:28pm
  • Neil Dowling, we need better journalism than this. You have been conned rotten by the car company's. The facts don't add up as described by many others. The companies will charge what they think we will pay. If we are silly enough to pay enormous amounts for a Porshe they are very happy to take the money.

    peter webb Posted on 18 February 2011 9:05am
  • Simple. Australian people are pushovers IMO. Government implement it and the people will just say YES YES MORE TAXES PLS. I don?t get it; AUS people are too rich IMO. No wonder they like taxing you guys. It?s easy money and no one complains. WAKE UP PEOPLE.

    Guest Posted on 18 February 2011 12:42am
  • And the list price for a base model Camaro is $23,000 before taxes. Go figure, as they say in the USA.

    Phil the Greek of b Posted on 17 February 2011 8:29pm
  • In LA over Christmas/New Year. The Ford sale ending 3 January included 2011 V6 Mustang GT convertibles for $27,990. That's before tax, but very tempting if you were living there.

    Phil the Greek of Blue Mountains Posted on 17 February 2011 8:25pm
  • We are getting screwed by the dealers who then finance their expensive showrooms from how much they rip you off for servicing. The European models being the main offenders. The car maker that will slowly change this situation is Hyundai (and supported by other Asian manufacturers) in the level of equipment they offer as standard (not options) and for their belief (proper warranties not 3 years) in their product.

    Les Howard of Gold Coast Posted on 17 February 2011 6:58pm
  • I am an American who is working over here at the moment. I feel so bad for you guys, it saddens me to see what's is going here. EVERYTHING costs between 2 to 5 times less everywhere else in the developed world. Only third world countries run by dictators are in a similar situation to Australia. You guys really have to rise up and overthrow your corrupt government that's steals so much for you. Hopefully what's has happened in Egypt will inspire you guys. I wish you all the best. Other than the theiving government you have here, Australia is such a beautiful country. You all deserve better than this, but you are going to have to fight for it.

    Justin of Perth and Boston Posted on 17 February 2011 12:48pm
  • Australian Government sucks

    guest of sydney Posted on 17 February 2011 11:50am
  • The price of cars in Australia is quite reasonable in comparison to some other countries. Take Denmark, for example. It's simple to make the conversion: multiply the price of the car in Australia by 10 to get the equivalent amount in Danish kroner (DKK). A $30 000 car in Australia would cost 300 000 DKK. Using today?s' exchange rate that's $54 500.

    S J Posted on 17 February 2011 5:04am
  • The volume discounts are the taxes; US taxes are cheaper because they have a greater transaction volume. More cars are imported and sold so they can revenue more from lower percentage taxes. Same for fuel, more litres are consumed so more revenue possible from lower tax per litre. However none of this explains why a 30% rise in our dollar value doesn't result in 30% drop in prices. A $33,000 Ducati costs $18,000 in USA, no left to right conversions, no difference in specification or safety compliance. You could have argued that the 30+% in price difference 'was' due to exchange rate. The only reason, and it has been mentioned, is the pricing is propped up 'somewhere' to prevent instant devaluation of the used price. Same reason I believe causes the high price of land in places like Perth, have a look around Perth, there?s nothing but bush here, no shortage of vacant land. It?s a false economy, a bit like diamonds, the rarity is fabricated. Also let?s not forget the US population is heavily armed so they are less likely to be screwed and tolerate it.

    Sean of Perth Posted on 17 February 2011 2:32am
  • It would be interesting to compare prices of models in the Japanese market with Australian equivalents. Japan is right hand drive, just like Australia. Japanese consumers expect high equipment levels similar to Australians. Japanese cars are engineered to similar safety standards as Australian cars. Let's look into that.

    Colin Spencer of Kangaroo Ground, Victoria Posted on 16 February 2011 3:18pm
  • There is no justification whatsoever for such a huge price difference. Its a business partnership between the Australian Government and the dealers "make as much as you can". Only consumers can make a difference, stop buying new cars for 3-6 months and watch the prices falling!

    Drew J of Melbourne Posted on 16 February 2011 2:49pm
  • Just like everything else, Australia always pays more. It's a combination of high taxes, deliberate protection/barriers (eg requirement for LHD-RHD conversion on newer cars, while exempting those over 30 years old) and bloated middle man structure with everyone taking their cut for doing zinch. Is it any wonder Australian retailers want ALL goods bought over the Internet taxed! The Australian retail sector in general still profits well despite people "waking up" to the fact that they have been truly ripped off over the last few decades and starting to get some value for money on-line.

    Brett of NSW Posted on 16 February 2011 1:51pm
  • Yes its true Australia is the highest or one of the most ridiculously high taxed country in the world. That would increase the price tage but not to make it go up nearly $100,000! Yes it does cost to import but that only costs about $3000 if you do it privately. So really these dealers are spinning krrap to justify the high costs. Yes buying in bulk makes it cheaper.. by what, 10%? Electronics is the same situation - iPhone in USA is so cheap compared to here. A 2010 camaro about $30,000 in USA but to buy one here its $140,000. Thats because so little is made for right hand drive and the law says all cars less than 20 years old (give or take) must be right hand drive so the Camaro MUST be converted and that for some reason costs so much... This however does not explain why more mainstream cars such as Lexus etc is so overly priced. Cheaper to buy a merc car in germany and keep it there for a year and then import it? These high taxes are just to keep these politicians pockets FAT.

    Juancito J of Australia Posted on 16 February 2011 12:32pm
  • This report is a load of BS, for a start, OZ is closer to Japan and Korea than the US, and there is no discount if you don't earn much, what a joke. The biggest thing is the triple whammy impost the govt puts on us, excise, GST and luxury car tax.

    Matt12 Posted on 16 February 2011 12:19pm
  • Well 'Hello America of Unfortunately Australia', you criticise the Australian tax system but the USA is a staggering $14 trillion dollars (that's 14,000 billion dollars) in debt. It doesn't sound to me like they've got their tax system properly sorted......

    Jim C of Sydney Posted on 16 February 2011 11:50am
  • How about the reverse. Why are Australian made cars cheaper in the U.S.?

    Italo M of Melbourne Posted on 16 February 2011 11:14am
  • Well well well what a load of crap from the importers, last year I spent 2 months in Hawaii and believe me I came back so angry with the way we are ripped off in Australia, Hawaii (pop 1 million approx) is the remotest island chain in the Pacific yet their cars, 4x4 utes etc are at least $20-40,000 cheaper than we pay and believe me specced more than the same here. Talkin to a local he could not believe the prices we pay here in Aus. My wife purchased a new Nissan here in Aus and when I showed the dealer a newspaper from Hawaii with prices for new Nissans he could not believe what he was seeing and could not explain to me why the same in Aus was so much more expensive The government also tells us our fuel prices are much the same as in America's but I can tell you they are telling lies, filling up at the local servo and doing the conversion it worked out to Aus$0.88/ltr while the price in Aus at the time was around Aus$1.25/ltr go figgure. Paint in the hardware store's was around $30/gal here it is around $60+/4ltr, a kitchen bench top 3m long x 600mm wide with a 150mm splashback and rounded front was $99, here around $300 and they come from China. WE ARE SO RIPPED OFF GET ANGRY

    Steve Murray of Springfield Queensland Posted on 16 February 2011 11:08am
  • Yes we are NOW (that our dollar has almost doubled in value to the U.S/GBP) being royally gouged by most of the Euro importers...... BUT I want every person who reads this to think what would happen to the car/s currently in their driveway, specifically at trade in time, every lease, and every personal loan. The banks would be making tens of thousands bankrupt by asking for the money NOW as your 180k GTR/Merc/BMW's value has PLUMETED as new they are now 95k NEW so your 2 yr old is now worth 35,000! The only reasonably honest ones at the moment are the jeep Oz mob who are offering for free option packs(+up specs) worth about 2.5-6k and have held the price the same for over 5 years.(do the inflation maths and this is about 25% off in real terms). This will not hurt the trade-in prices anywhere near as much as a massive price fall.( anyone remember the Mitsu Magna from the late 80's and how good it looked for all the current owners when the new price was discounted by almost a third?)

    Frantic Posted on 16 February 2011 12:02am
  • (1) Cardboard box eh? Go to the Porsche USA site and check for yourself. Utter rubbish .I counted 3 items their cars did not have, all of 5k worth! (2) Shipping lanes, more bullsh*t! Enquire at transport companies yourself. (3) Priced to competitors eh? Ok well Porsche competes with Nissan GTR in USA and Europe on price, so Porsche Carrera?s should be 170k here. Check price of BMW 325i in USA and Europe and South Africa, vs Lexus etc there vs in Australia! 325i (160kw motor) is same price or cheaper there vs Lexus, but here is 82k vs 66k for Lexus! Check the various websites in the countries. Please explain, not with lies but with the truth - we get taken for a ride!

    peter c of perth Posted on 15 February 2011 11:43pm
  • "Support the Australian vehicle manufacturing industry", why would something so terrible? If/When Australia starts making decent cars THEN i might support them

    wharrgarbl of Adelaide Posted on 15 February 2011 10:29pm
  • Sale volume differences can't possibly justify the 3-fold difference in prices. Government is getting 20% GST + import duty, LCT not sure, say another 15%. It is easy to work out that the supply chain from wholesaler to the retailer is getting the bulk of the profiteering. I am trying to import a VW now and cut the non-sense.

    concerned of Chatswood Posted on 15 February 2011 10:12pm
  • It is a total farce in Australia with the pernicious methodology adopted by our Government, through taxes, that financially bully us into driving more dangerous and less fuel efficient Australian built cars. It is this wanton behaviour of Government to line their 'travel expenses' pockets, gratis of the few who can afford safer and more fuel efficient cars from overseas such as Mercedes Benz and BMW. The affordability of these cars comes after many years of hard work, sacriifice and paying of taxes. Shame on you then, Australian Government, for putting lives in danger and in the midst of it, forcing us, the tax payer, to give our money ($200 million +) to failing local car companies. There should be a points system in place as is for us the motorists on the road for the Government officials who still condone this high rate of car tax and gifting of money. A Government official reaches a certain amount of points and they are out of office or better still, prison! Mmm...we would have no Labour Government remaining and barely that of the other thieves.

    Mitch McNamee of Darwin Posted on 15 February 2011 9:37pm
  • My question is: why we need only pay extra 21% to get Honda Jazz here? One side Honda take a reasonable income - consider the low quantity and should able to have dealership across Australia. On the other side, the other car maker make to much money. I like Honda then, they're genuine to us...

    Ernest S of Auburn Posted on 15 February 2011 9:13pm
  • Do you honestly believe that if the local Falcon and Commodores were no longer available, importers would lower their prices? The opposite would happen. The medium sized cars would increase in price leaving more room for smaller cars to push up market. The euros would not have well priced local cars to benchmark prices against so your 5 series and e class type cars would simply go up more. I believe the locals actually help keep prices (more) reasonable. A $50 grand G6e makes a 120i at the same price seem expensive.

    bluey of toorak of toorak Posted on 15 February 2011 8:20pm
  • I'm seriously becoming disillusioned with this once great country. I never thought living in the US would appeal to me but suddenly it does and all becasue of our BS government and tax system. Not only do we pay one of the highest income tax rates in the developed world but now its luxuary car tax here capital gains tax there. Basically punishment for success. All we get these days is tax tax tax. Screw you Aust govt you assholes. Pity we wont ever do anything about it like the Egyptians just did and say enough is enough............Oh yeah reading this article and seeing how badly we are being scammed did really piss me off.

    Hello America of Unfortunatley Australia Posted on 15 February 2011 8:17pm
  • Thank you Neil Dowling - I have long wondered about these price differences. I've never seen it described in such detail and so clearly. Thanks for a valuable and great article! Further, it would be fantastic to see the detail on what the various components cost (tax, shipping, ADR's extra cost stc) and even a run down on various component costs in putting a Falc or 'Dore on the Aussie showroom floor. that would make even better reading. Any chance of THAT followup story? Please?

    AussieCarLover of Sydney, Australia Posted on 15 February 2011 7:52pm
  • And as for there being specific requirements for Australian regulation, the same goes for the USA. If what the car makers tells us is true then they would not object to us bringing in cars from overseas, but they do. That is why the grey imports have dried up. Don't let anyone tell you it was the government. The major car makers got together and lobbied the government to stop importers (particularly from Japan) There is no way in the world that there is 100k of tax in a Porsche. That would mean the combined tax was about 140% of the import price. That is simply ridiculous.

    alanz of sydney Posted on 15 February 2011 5:15pm
  • I have been asking this question for many years and have never had a satisfactory explanation. A car costs the same to manufacture no matter where it is sold. A car costs as much to transport to Australia as it does to the USA from Europe and tax does not account for the difference!!!! We are RIPPED OFF!

    alanz of sydney Posted on 15 February 2011 5:07pm
  • Like everything in Australia, we get ripped off. For example power tools, they are made in China, for example Makita, and yet we still pay top dollar. When Woolworth's starts up in the hardware market, there will be a lot of parallel imports going on. The price will drop, or it should. This is good for the consumer because it shows what the real price should be. We get ripped off too much. Shipping is expensive, but not so much that it is an extra 55%. Yes Mercedes Benz cars in Europe are cheaper, and yes they are not equipped with as much gadgetry, basically they are like Falcodores to them and priced the same, but that still does not explain the massive increase in price for Australia. Someone along the line is ripping us off, probably not the retailer, it is more likely the wholesaler / distributor. Parallel imports is for example, a retailer decides to not buy from the local wholesaler and instead imports the same product from another country or wholesaler from another country. This then means that the local wholesaler / middleman is by-passed, therefore reducing the price. This should be good for the consumer, but not good for the wholesaler and associated jobs.

    MightyTriby of Sydney Posted on 15 February 2011 5:06pm
  • I live in Namibia - next to South Africa - and we pay way much more for cars than in the US. We are also told it's taxes + transport and imports and blah blah blah. Our Namibian government also takes a part. We are also ripped off here.

    George Thiele of Windhoek, Namibia Posted on 15 February 2011 4:26pm
  • Sorry I still think we are being ripped off.

    John Green of Brisbane Posted on 15 February 2011 3:53pm
  • The one overriding factor in pricing any product is not adding up what it costs to make and bring it to market plus a reasonable markup, its marketing the product and working out the most amount money you can charge regardless whether this reflects it's true value or not. Granted that there are taxation imposts in Australia, but we are stupidly conditioned to pay exorbitantly extra for the cars that we desire. These cars for many people are nothing more than status symbols and will continue to lust after and pay whatever is asked to ensure that they drive anything other (or better) than their neighbour or at the very least, whatever is commensurate for people living in their leafy suburb. So in a sense we are our own enemies. If they are too expensive, then simply don't buy them and support the Australian vehicle manufacturing industry. However, I don't suppose this would happen as some people would not stoop so low as to buy a quality (and reasonably priced) Australian vehicle.

    Joe Sarkozi of Sydney Posted on 15 February 2011 3:39pm
  • the luxury car tax does apply to all cars including 4x4s

    herro of adelaide Posted on 15 February 2011 3:15pm
  • The big money makers in the Australian car market are the local branches of the vehicles manufacturers, i.e. Porsche Australia, Mercedes Benz Australia and BMW Australia. In fact their German parents cannot believe what we will pay for their cars here, but they're not about to change it, after all they enjoy a monopoly as they are the only ones who can import their brand and why upset such a huge money spinner. To blow their pricing arguments out of the water, look at Volkswagen pricing here, which is line ball with European pricing, whereas the other German brands are 2 to 3 times dearer. The solution is to get rid of ADR's which are simply a form of import restriction (why do we need cars built to different specs than Japan or the UK?) and remove the monopoly status of the importers. The UK did it when they faced the same situation in 2000, a rising pound and sky high prices. The Rip-Off Britain campaign forced the vehicle manufacturers to drop their UK pricing substantially, Mercedes UK dropped prices by over 20%. We need a similar grass-roots campaign here to force change and embarrass the car companies into playing ball.

    John of Brisbane Posted on 15 February 2011 2:35pm
  • Import duty at 10%, luxury car tax at 33% if it applies, and GST only adds 60% to the cost of a car. Import duty does not apply to AWD; luxury car tax only applies to luxury cars over $57466, and to fuel efficient cars - no more than 7 litres oer 100 km combined cycle - over $75375. None of the cars listed above would incur LCT. Without LCT import duty and GST increase prices 21%. So in every case above where the difference is significantly greater than 21%, it can be argued the suppliers are looking after themselves by earning extra margins.

    John Lambert of Geelong Posted on 15 February 2011 2:26pm
  • You can thank Portugal for this. American initially drove on the left side of the road as we did, until Portugal changed from left to right and all the neighbouring countries followed suit. If America still drove on the left then cars would not need to be redesigned for a smaller market for RHD!

    mt of Wheelers Hill Posted on 15 February 2011 2:05pm
  • Dear Porshe and Mercedes Your arguments are unfounded and baseless unfortunately and have let me down..Thank you for treating the Australian customers badly... Australia is a small market unfortunately case in point but not to teh tune of $100k...I think we are subsidising other countries costs...At least have the guts to admit this to us..

    Dav of Syd Posted on 15 February 2011 1:58pm
  • The options lists on cars for sale in America are huge, we have much fewer options on cars. Some cars need very little change to meet ADRs that are already being made for other countries. The range argument is a joke again, far more choice in America even among single brands. The only reasons they are more expensive is Transport, Taxes and Market size

    Ollygt of Brisbane Posted on 15 February 2011 1:42pm
  • If I may add another item to the car ownership debate, then I have to ask why we are paying up to $1.48/litre for petrol when a barrel of oil is selling for $US87.00? In mid-2008 when oil was $US147/barrel & a US Dollar bought $1.06 Aussie, petrol was around $1.50/litre. The Aussie dollar is now slightly stronger than it was then which should result in cheaper petrol in itself, but we are always told that a $1US rise in the price of a barrel of oil adds 1c/litre to petrol, then how come oil is $60US cheaper than it was in mid-2008 but petrol is only about 5c/litre cheaper - Where has the other 55c/litre gone? We should only be paying around 90-95c/litre because of our stong dollar! And whilst I'm on the subject, for years, premium unleaded was 3c/ltr dearer than regular & 98 Octane was 6c/ltr dearer than regular, but now premium is 9-10c dearer & 98 Octane is up to 15c dearer. I thought we had a Petrol Commissioner to stop this price gouging?

    Derick of WA Posted on 15 February 2011 1:01pm
  • Maybe All Australians need a wake up call on what we pay for cars and bikes (Harley Davidsons) and how much the government has it's grubby little hands in our pockets. We should also look at all the costs of living in Australia as it is much cheaper for almost everything these days overseas. Are we really the lucky country or are we just over regulated by our lazy public service and the cost it imposes on society! Maybe thats why we pay 3 times more for everything not just cars!

    Marcus Eichhorn of Ulladulla Posted on 15 February 2011 12:42pm
  • I bought a 2009 Nissan GTR for $175,000au. I then went to the States and saw one for sale new at Nissan for $80,000. That's a $95,000 difference for the same car. These cars don't have any options so the different specification level argument does not apply. The right hand drive conversion argument does not apply either because they are right hand drive in their native country so no special coversions are required. So why the extra $95,000. I honestly came back home and felt a little sick thinking I paid such a high price.

    BH78 of Melb Posted on 15 February 2011 12:38pm
  • It does seem odd to me that even Japanese cars are more expensive here. I'd have thought that they would be cheaper given our proximity to Japan, etc., however, I do see that we have a massive country over which to distribute these cars. I absolutely agree that if car makers sold cars at comparable rates to the US here that there would be considerable sales increases, and more of our population would be able to afford newer, safer cars. However, we do have approx. 20% tax on cars here (plus 35% Luxury Car Tax on cars over $50k), which in my opinion is quite excessive, given the Income Tax, etc. we already pay. But at the same time, we must remember what that pays for. We have alot of roads to maintain - comparable to the amount of roads the US must maintain, yet we have a considerably smaller population over which to share the cost. Our taxes also pay for schooling of many children, students & families on Centrelink, and many other things. So before you scream at the government and car makers for screwing us over (which I think they are, to an extent!), just remember where that money goes.

    small-car-dude of Perth, WA Posted on 15 February 2011 12:36pm
  • David McCarthy is talking nonsense when he says: "Our geographical isolation means we carry cars on shipping routes that aren't well travelled, so that costs extra." Australia is a trading nation served by highly competitive international shipping services. Container ships and roll-on, roll-off car carriers link our key ports with major global ports with liner services that run to timetables like buses in their regular port calls. Rivals Wallenius Wilhelmen and Hoeg Autoliners between them moved over 76,000 cars from Germany to Australia in 2010 (see VFACTS), picking up at Bremen or Bremerhaven and dropping them at our major ports. Over 15,000 of these were Mercs. Hoeg calls here three times a month. So we're hardly off the beaten track. Prices are high because they can get away with them and include high promotion and advertising costs.

    Peter Wilson of sydney Posted on 15 February 2011 12:23pm
  • That is pure unadulterated rubbish, and as its the same rubbish from all of them, perhaps the manufacture of the standard excuse would come under cartel prohibitions. GST is paid on the CIF + Duty value at import. Cost of the car, insurance and freight plus duty, in Australian dollars. That is before LST and Stamp Duty. Eg. on a AUD 60k (CIF+D) import is $6k, Then the dealer claims that $6k back on his BAS. However once it gets to you it has 30% LST added, (plus stamp duty), then GST is applied again. You pay $8.5k in GST and on a private sale you can't offest or claim back. Truth - you just paid $28,300 in tax..on a $60k car!! BUT..does the $60k car (Porche Boxter manual) cost $88,300 after tax is added? No it does not, the dealer margin has to be added in first. Which, if a previous poster is right, ends up as $115k. About $30k profit after tax, although the GST would be about $3k higher again at purchase. Simply, the Govt makes about $30k and the dealer about $30k. The old 50-50 win win split - on a $60k car. The spec argument is as baseless in reality, and it costs no more to ship a car per unit to Australia from Europe as it does to the US (or to the UK from Japan).

    Harry Hoo of Melbourne Posted on 15 February 2011 12:06pm
  • What a load of bull. Lets work out how to buy our cars on the internet from overseas then the importers will learn to become competitive. Laws protecting importers need to be changed in favour of the consumer. You should be able to import a vehicle regardless of whether that model is available here or not.

    greg Posted on 15 February 2011 11:58am
  • Wow: "The average weekly earnings in Australia for 2010 was $56,950". I have to get a new job.

    Aaron of North Sydney Posted on 15 February 2011 11:54am
  • Why are you comparing the high end cars ! 5/8ths of Australians drive general cars. $60,000 for a Hilux in Aus. $30,000 for a Tundra in US. Twice the Pickup. $45,000 for a Dodge 3500 RAM. Holden SOLD the Monaro in the US as a Pontiac for 1/2 of what it sold for here, now there were shipping costs to get it there, converting it to LHD here, and then Pontiac had to make a margin on it. So why was it cheaper in the US ? Did Holden make an absolute motza on it locally ?

    Griffo of Canberra Posted on 15 February 2011 11:47am
  • Government have to rip us all off with taxes to prop up an economically failing local car industry. We're also paying for their subsidies. Is this really sustainable?

    Never_buy_new of Melbourne, Australia Posted on 15 February 2011 11:46am
  • "The US sells 30 times the number of Porsches we do," Sell them for $88k here - I guarantee you'll sell a whole bunch more....

    Confused of QLD Posted on 15 February 2011 11:46am
  • I sent an email asking both Australian car magazines to report on why there is such a difference, but nothing happened. BOTH the car companies and the Government are screwing the public. Car prices have not gone down with the increase in the exchange rate - so car companies (not dealers) are making more money. The Government has an excuse to steal more money from us (we already pay over 30% income tax, plus 10% GST, plus 1.5% Medicare levy, 4-6% plus stamp duty, plus 5% import duty, plus 35% luxury car tax). We are living in a socialist state where everything we do is given to the Government. We need to do something about this or we will end up having a revolution like Egypt. I am sick of getting ripped off. Why can't I buy a car in England and import it (it only costs $3,000 to ship a car from Europe to Australia). Oh - why not - because the Government and all of its minions would get their "tax" out of my hard earned income and I might actually have some choice - we could not allow people to choose could we - Government knows best. Socialism is alive and well - it is now called Democracy in Australia.

    Craig Woodman of Central QLD Posted on 15 February 2011 11:29am
  • What about comparing the price of an Aussie built Holden in Australia and in the USA and other countries? I think that the Aussie GM "police special" with all of its extras and modifications is significantly cheaper than the Commodore on which it is based.

    pj of waitpinga of S.A. Posted on 15 February 2011 11:25am
  • " The average weekly earnings in Australia for 2010 was $56,950. In the US, it was $46,326." The average YEARLY earnings perhaps? That aside, we are being price gouged here. Even if you factor in government charges/taxes, there still is a huge margin that goes to the dealership. To argue that they pay 1/3 and are only getting a box with wheels is a weak argument - how much more to spec it up? It's still only a couple of grand, certainly not 3x the price. And costs of shipping? I have personally imported cars to Australia, and international shipping does not cost much, and that's for a single car. If I could personally import ANY car to Australia, I'd be paying a mere fraction of what the big boys are gouging us. But big brother walks hand in hand with big gangsters, so the red tape strangles us. It's all a rort at the expense of the every day Aussie. Whatever happened to a fair go?

    Lord Dianabol of Perth, WA Posted on 15 February 2011 11:24am
  • The average weekly earnings in Australia for 2010 was $56,950. Well it looks like I am getting underpaid, I only earned about $2000 last week!!!

    Potedude of Perth Posted on 15 February 2011 11:12am
  • Stop complaining about car prices in Australia. Check how much people pay for cars in South America for example. Places where they earn AUS$1000 p/month at best charge 3 times what people are charged in Australia for a brand new car. And these are places with a much larger population.

    CzR of Adelaide Posted on 15 February 2011 11:04am
  • So we have uncovered yet another government and retailer rip off.They want to impose all sorts of levies on the ordinary hardworking tax payer, yet where are the squillions of dollars going from all these taxes.Probably into some fat beauracrats overpaid superannuation fund or junket trips.Hang your head in shame yet again Federal Govt, you are an absolute bloody disgrace and don't deserve the time of day.

    Pissed of ripped off consumer of Geraldton Posted on 15 February 2011 10:56am
  • Yes we get shafted in taxes to protect our local car makers, but take a look at the cheap as chups used Jap & Korean junk flooding NZ roads because they have no import protection. The Euro brands are still very expensive over there, we don't want to end up in that situation.

    Ross Posted on 15 February 2011 10:52am
  • Why not compare luxury car prices to the UK for example who are very highly taxed. Obviously their volume is still higher than Australia and shipping prices a lot lower as virtually the whole trip is over land but why does a BMW M3 cost ?53,075 on the road in the UK or approx $88,000 using the current exchange rate and the manufacturers recommended price here is $124,799 plus taxes which takes it up to $156,990 on the road in QLD? I feel there is too much of the 'product positioning' - pricing it similarly to your competitors. Whatever happened to making a product, applying a fair markup and selling it? If you can do it cheaper than your competitors then they need to look at why. Basic Porsche Boxter manual ?36,572 incl VAT (at 20%) or around $61,000 at the current exchange rate vs $115,790 on the road in QLD. Mercedes S350 Bluetec $60,140 incl VAT or around $100,000 at the current exchange rate vs manufacturers retail price of $181,569 plus taxes takes it to $231,358 on the road in QLD. Mazda CX7 diesel ?27,560 on the road or approx $46,000 at the current exchange rate vs $47,481 on the road in QLD. If Mazda can have similar pricing why can't the others?

    Bonester of Brisbane Posted on 15 February 2011 10:49am
  • what a load of Sh#T... one bit mentions its all the taxes and then it goes onto saying its because we don't buy enough!? Its because of all the taxes, we don't buy many because its 3x the overpriced price!! I hate the government, they are thieves and whats the lies about the standards in the cars, look at the NISSAN GTR $70,000 US there a good $180,000 here... SAME SAME!!! IDOITS WE ARE JUST GETTING TAKING FOR A RIDE BY THE AUS TAX DEPARTMENT!!!!! oh and its probably WIN WIN FOR australian cars holdens n fords, if BETTER cars where selling with lower taxes, no one would by CHEAPLY made australian cars...

    gary of perth Posted on 15 February 2011 10:49am
  • Yeah not happy about the spin the manufacturers put on the cost justification. even if there is additional R&D, and better options in the car, it can hardly justify $100K more for EVERY CAR!! i mean seriously, how many times over do the R&D costs need to be recouped? @ Peter of Sydney - South Korea does have high import taxes which significantly overprice imports but you can kind of understand that as a protectionist measure, because they have their own massive domestic car offering and want to differentiate that. The thing is, Hyundai, Kia, Ssangyong, Daewoo (partly GM) and Samsung (partly Renault) make a pretty decent range of cars and local manufacturing prices are reasonable, which keep the end product price down. What do we have in Australia? Holden which is mostly foreign owned, cant be considered to be in the same league as the above surely? Admittedly Holden is raising the bar but its still a long way off the mark. Resale value speaks for itself. So why the protectionism in Australia for a non existent local car market? How about government cash cow? Here we seem to tax everything that you can live without, but more often than not will choose to buy at some stage. Smart!!

    Drainus of Melbourne Posted on 15 February 2011 10:45am
  • Compare US to AU, you might want to live in AU then spend in the US, you can buy stuffs over there and bring it back to AU and use it here, can we ? GST on nearly everything still no enough for our gov to spend, it's a lucky country but not a lucky citizen.

    Den of syd Posted on 15 February 2011 10:38am
  • Yes we get shafted in taxes to protect our local car makers, but take a look at the cheap as chups used Jap & Korean junk flooding NZ roads because they have no import protection. The Euro brands are still very expensive over there, we don't want to end up in that situation.

    Ross Posted on 15 February 2011 10:38am
  • There may be some justification for higher prices - i have to at least partially agree - but then we don't earn $120,000 - 3 times the US wage - either we can all imports or open the thing up and get rid of the money sucking government. And most of the support is rubbish anyway. Think i'll go back to my 76 mini SS - 5% CO at idle, 3.5 litres/100Km and a fun little thing to drive (and cheap to repair too). Just check the bottom line of Mercedes et al - bet you it's not too shabby !

    cmos of Brisbane Posted on 15 February 2011 10:38am
  • What about the entry level cars from Koreo we have very low driveaway prices for the chepest Kia, Hyundai etc what do they pay I believe it will be very similiar over there!

    Michael Hough of Canberra Posted on 15 February 2011 10:31am
  • Can someone explain then why the special US police version of the Holden Caprice sells for about $30k there while the standard model is at least double that here? Transport costs should work in our favour on this one. No import taxes either.

    John of Australia Posted on 15 February 2011 10:27am
  • It's like every thing we buy in Australia or New Zealand we pay up to double the prices in the USA. Cars, clothing, electrical goods are or more expensive. We get ripped by our governments and the distributors.

    Mark Gardner of New Zealand Posted on 15 February 2011 9:31am
  • Good to see other readers picked this article for what it is: a disgraceful attempt to justify the ongoing shafting of Australian car buyers. The lines from Porsche and Mercedes were pathetic and insulting.

    Ben Posted on 15 February 2011 7:50am
  • Carsguide ... the Subaru Liberty isn't sold in the US, only the saloon and the Outback version.

    Jake02 of Sydney Posted on 14 February 2011 7:04pm
  • Since when did parity of dollars mean they should be of equal value? No, Americans earn less of their dollars, so their cars are not necessarily cheaper for them. We have dollars, but they are not the same dollars, ours are Australian!

    MARTIN of newcastle Posted on 14 February 2011 6:55pm
  • Market competitiveness, volume, RHD are examples of factors contributing to the price differential. Apart from US, there is some other countries are getting cheaper import cars than us such as South Korea, which has similar import tariff system with Australia. In Korea you can get BMW 320i Exec for A$45k and 520d for A$62k. Merc S500 is for A$190k, E300 Avantgarde is for A$82k. Due to the market characteristic, even the base model for Korean market has additional standard equipments that are, in fact, options in other countries such as AUS, US and even Germany. The price is M.R.P so you can negotiate further with the dealer. This market is strategically not that important to manufacturers and surely we are being ripped off.

    Peter of Sydney Posted on 14 February 2011 3:48pm
  • if you want to complain about car prices, look at Singapore. A ford focus hatch 1.6l auto is $98,000 sing dollars - converted back to about $77,000. corollas, cruzes, etc all around the same price.Yeah, our prices are high compared to the US, but what isn't? it's the same with clothes, shoes, books, computers, watches etc etc.

    jay Posted on 14 February 2011 2:02pm
  • Nissan GTR is 90k in USA (same price as a Carrera S) and 180k here. Carrera is 280k here= 100k profit to Porsche! Here is a really novel thought, if you sold them for less you may sell more therefore make more profit?

    Woolfe Posted on 14 February 2011 11:40am
  • Oh, and the WORST thing the AUS government can do is change the laws, if they make imports cheaper [and they easily could] it will TOTALLY destroy resale of cars already sold, our own home made models, and profit in the industry. Just grin and bare it, a C Class and 3 Series are excellent value and really no more expensive than in Europe, spec. for spec. Finally, other than Chrysler group products, nobody uses USA$, its Euro or Yen, so not a really big improvement like US $$

    FrugalOne of AUSTRALIA Posted on 14 February 2011 9:20am
  • Why are Italian made guns and cheese of all things cheaper HERE than in Italy? Its NOT just exchange rate, far from it, you need to consider that some markets are more competive than others and need lots of money and support, Australia is NOT one of those, its the opposite.We are paying more so that the goods can be supported on tough makerts with low interest finance, deep discounts and cheaper prices., yes more often than not we are supporting USA market. Also, our cars are not only RHD, but have bizzare specs., more expensive to build and freight is far so more..Finally car importers are in business to make money, as much as they can, nothing wrong with that, if you dont like it dont buy it.! F.W.W a C Class Benz is hardly any more expensive in Germany same with a Golf, the only market that is spoilt is the massive supported one, USA

    FrugalOne of AUSTRALIA Posted on 14 February 2011 9:14am
  • What a load of rubbish from Mercedes. A rough work out with the taxes would add 15% (they do have taxes in the USA as well) and as for volume being lower making purchase prices higher. Sure perhaps 25% of the cost price not the sell price. They have been ripping us off for years and now with parity it is clear for all to see. How about the government takes away the private import restrictions and let?s see what happens to prices then.

    dingomm of Ballarat Vic Posted on 14 February 2011 8:11am
  • This doesn?t explain why we pay around $50,000 for a new SS commodore, and Americans pay $30,000 for the twin Pontiac G8 model (which is even better equipped). And this includes shipping to the other side of the world. The Commodore is made in this country and we pay close to double what the Americans do for our own car. Oh and the luxury car tax does not apply to this car. How does this seem right? I am better off buying one overseas and importing it back over here.

    kaygas of melbourne Posted on 13 February 2011 9:06pm
  • What about the GMH Commodore when it was exported to the USA as the Pontiac G8. Why was it cheaper to buy in the US than in Oz?

    f6typhoon of Melbourne Posted on 13 February 2011 8:31am
  • The main reason there is more equipment on cars in Australia than the US is because dealers here make a choice to only import cars with a high level of optional equipment. I was recently quoted $40k more than the advertised special offer price on a new Mercedes because there wasn't a standard car available or even scheduled for delivery! (I bought a demo model in the end). I suggest readers always look to the demo or almost new second hand market and avoid paying the new car dealers' premiums!

    AJ of Melbourne Posted on 13 February 2011 7:12am
  • What about in the UK where the new VXR8 (uprated HSV R8), when it goes on sale in May-11, will be $5-$7,000 less to buy than in Australia! and that is before the massive discounts that Vauxhall dealers offer.

    Mr Seen of London, UK Posted on 13 February 2011 6:06am
  • Ok so if the car manufacturers wish to blame import taxes & the luxury tax, then why does the Australian built Camry have a 31% disparity???

    The Big Fella of Forster Posted on 13 February 2011 12:34am
  • What a great country we live in. NOT. Why would I want to buy a piece of Aussie crap when I could buy a German car for a third of the price in the U.S.? Mmmm.. Let?s see $320,000 for a SL 550 here or $110,000 in the U.S and guess what I'm sure I can buy a nice house with the $210,000 change left over. I'll never buy a luxury car here in Aus and give the government $200,000 in taxes. I don't care how rich I am.

    JR of Melbourne Posted on 12 February 2011 3:04pm
  • The ongoing protection of the Australian automotive industry is the primary reason for us paying more for vehicles here. The taxation regime put on imported vehicles (and some of that to pay for the massive subsidies the 'locals' receive) is the reason why we pay so much. It also helps a $40k Commodore or $30k Camry look competitive in the market. Without the subsidies and benefits afforded to the 'locals', we would have Commodores and Falcons now costing around $50k directly competing with the German mid-level prestige makes like the 5-class or E-class or A6, currently 80-90k which without LCT and import tax could come down into the 50s. Do you think anyone would buy a local product then?

    DJCJ of Melbourne Posted on 12 February 2011 2:29pm
  • What a load of self-serving rubbish from Mercedes. The majority of our ADR's have EU equivalency clauses in them. So any car that meets the EU standards automatically passes the ADR. Any EU built car sold in the UK, being right hand drive, is therefore mostly compliant with our ADR's- certainly the expensive ones like crash safety and emissions. As for Porsche's comments about it being all tax, that?s only because the landed cost here is so high. If they landed a Porsche for $80k (US price less dealer profit) it would only attract $4k in duty, $8100 in LCT, $9200 in GST and with the same 10% dealer margin, should sell for around $112000- not $282k. As the importer/distributors for all the top end European brands are factory owned, the point about being able to negotiate a better price if you buy more is pure crap. The price can be whatever the company decides. The real reason is the last one - they price vs the competition, and as all these companies are ripping us off, no one would dare be the first to break the highly profitable model by selling them at more reasonable prices. The govt can fix this by allowing private imports of new cars, but it is too addicted to their taxes.

    deano of Macau Posted on 12 February 2011 12:34pm
  • The above article did not explain "Why cars cost more here than the US", it just served to justify the price gouging we experience in Australia. One should note imported cars into the US have 2.5% duty applied instead of 0% ( from Thailand ) to 5% applied here, and dealer delivery charges are a fraction of Australian costs. Charges for paint of around $500 which are not charged for in the US for the same brand. An automatic for example the Jazz above, in the US is US$800, and more than AU$2000 here. Why? The Australian model comes tariff free Thailand... Oh that's right we earn more and can afford it ... True. But we need AU$1.52 to buy what the US pays a dollar for ! ( source wiki ). So in effect the high average Australian wage quoted above is only worth about $38000 in spending power compared to our American cousins. Someone is getting fat on the prices charged for Australian cars, and its not the consumer... New emerging Chinese brands will hopefully bring much needed competition to our market.

    David of Adelaide Posted on 12 February 2011 12:26pm
  • This article lacks credibility in that it states the USA market is 30 mill. per annum. USA sales for 2010 were just under 11.6 mill.

    John Swinson Posted on 12 February 2011 10:06am
  • So you say: "about $100,000" in taxes in the Carrera S. + "cardboard box and steering wheel for your $88,800" in the US = $188,800 (US price + Aus Taxes) BUT the Porsche costs us $282,800 in Aus. So does this mean that it costs $100,000 extra for something that's a little better than a cardboard box ? It costs this much to support the dealers ? Or do the yanks get the full $100,000 discount because of the volume ? Anyway you look at it, Australia is shafted. In no circumstances would I think this mark up can be justified, but these dealers do, and they wonder why they don't sell as many. Mind you, I haven't seen many new car dealers driving old cars, or living on the $56K avg wage either or is that me just being blind ?

    Gregmond of Canberra Posted on 12 February 2011 9:46am
  • So you say: "about $100,000" in taxes in the Carrera S. + "cardboard box and steering wheel for your $88,800" in the US = $188,800 (US price + Aus Taxes) BUT the Porsche costs us $282,800 in Aus. So does this mean that it costs $100,000 extra for something that's a little better than a cardboard box ? It costs this much to support the dealers ? Or do the yanks get the full $100,000 discount because of the volume ? Anyway you look at it, Australia is shafted. In no circumstances would I think this mark up can be justified, but these dealers do, and they wonder why they don't sell as many. Mind you, I haven't seen many new car dealers driving old cars, or living on the $56K avg wage either or is that me just being blind ?

    Gregmond of Canberra Posted on 12 February 2011 9:31am
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