The automotive path to purchase is one that has been well documented the world over. Everyone from manufacturers, insurers, and even the media, have invested a tidy sum into understanding what fuels this decision. And, as a car purchase is up there with some of life’s larger expenses this comes as little surprise.
With many Canberran’s switching their wheels every five to seven years, loyalty to a dealership appears to be paramount. It translates to a hefty customer lifetime value for car dealerships.
When it comes to car dealerships we are certainly spoilt for choice! Canberra is home to some world class car dealerships, full to the brim with bountiful options for consumers. From entry level all the way up to luxury and then prestige, you can find it all here in Canberra.
Whether these car dealerships represent a single brand or several they have one thing in common. And that is finding – and selling – the perfect car to meet your needs.
As buyers become ever more astute, they are seeking lasting relationships with their dealers. These relationships go well beyond the day of drive away; extending into servicing, parts, and routine maintenance.
So, where to find the best car dealerships in Canberra? Glad you asked, read on below to find out more.
What makes a great car dealership?
Great car dealerships combine the best of both worlds. The latest in automotive comfort and innovation with exceptional sales, servicing, and customer experience. The best car dealerships forge trusting relationships that span a lifetime. Here are a few suggestions to help you evaluate the car dealerships you visit:
- Sensational service. When it comes to buying a car, the path to purchase is often a lengthy one. For the buyer, it requires some extensive research, numerous car yard visits, and a few test drives. For the seller, it requires expertise, a helping hand, and endless patience. Indeed, great car dealerships become such due to their sensational customer service. This includes all the basics like prompt attendance, providing detailed information, and answering questions. It also involves listening, understanding client needs and concerns, and helping to find product options that address these. The best car dealerships work hand in hand with clients to narrow their shortlist of options down to a single choice. To assess a dealers reputation review past customer feedback with particular reference to sales integrity and service.
- Accessible inventory. There is nothing worse than knowing what you want, only to discover it comes with a six-month waiting period attached. And where there is merit in the adage ‘good things come to those who wait’; no one wants to wait forever. The best car dealerships understand this well, stocking showrooms with the most popular models and options. Many preemptively order preferred colours and optional features to ensure they always have the most desirable cars available. And, if they can’t, they will do their absolute best to source it with the lowest wait time possible.
- Financing options. Indeed, every buyer wants to feel like they have secured a good deal. Whether through a pricing offer, a trade in, or via flexible payment terms, the best car dealerships make this happen. Many car dealerships strive to make the purchase process even more seamless by offering an array of attractive financing options. Whether you are a private, business, or fleet buyer, the best will offer structured terms and rates to make payment a breeze.
- Warranties & servicing. Often the most attractive car offers include lengthy warranty and service periods. Why? Because of the peace of mind this offers buyers. So, when considering where to drop your hard earned dollars do yourself a favour. Shop around for the best warranty and service package you can find. Review all inclusions, understand what is in and out, and be comfortable with the fine print. Not only will this ensure your vehicle is serviced by skilled hands; it means you can rest assured that issues will be covered.
- Additional perks. Value rests in the eye of the buyer. The best car dealerships understand that there are more layers to value than price alone. They do this by providing a range of additional perks to compliment the sale, or ownership thereafter. This may take the form of cash back offers, extended warranty periods, or extras like window tinting or cargo liners. It may also translate to additional services like free loan cars, pick-up and drop-off, and complimentary car washing during servicing. Consider what is most meaningful and work with your dealer accordingly.
The best car dealerships in Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
As South Canberra’s home of Mitsubishi, Phillip Mitsubishi have built a wonderful reputation for their range or new and pre-owned Mitsubishi automobiles. As the newest Mitsubishi dealership in the region, they first opened their doors in 2018, and pride themselves on good old-fashioned service.
From the award winning Mirage; through to SUVs and 4WDs like the popular Pajero and Outlander; all the way through to the business-friendly Triton and Express; Phillip Mitsubishi has a model to suit every need.
With their showroom and service centre all conveniently located under the one roof, they strive to make the car purchase journey as simple and seamless as possible.
Phillip Mitsubishi also offers a range of ancillary services to make each car purchase experience shine. These services include finance and insurance, along with a full suite of corporate and novated leasing products.
To keep each Mitsubishi running at its peak, Phillip Mitsubishi provides bonnet to boot servicing and a five-year mechanical protection plan. To make light work of scheduled maintenance, they also offer complimentary loan vehicles. And should the need arise, their accident assistance and towing service are but a phone call away.
To explore the latest range of new and pre-owned Mitsubishis, look no further than Phillip Mitsubishi.
Tijana Johnston shared this review on Google, “I had an extremely pleasant experience down at Phillip Mitsubishi, all staff were very attentive & everything was executed professionally. Wonderful team, highly recommend.”
After first opening their doors over thirty years ago, Lexus of Canberra have been proudly serving the local community ever since. Home to a beautiful automotive showroom, Lexus of Canberra embodies their heritage by embracing omtenashi; the spirit of Japanese hospitality.
Featuring a dual sales and service centre, they boast an array of both new and pre-owned vehicles. As a luxury car maker regarded the world over for their imaginative technology; the range at Lexus of Canberra is no different.
From hatch, to sedan, through to coupe, SUV and more; Lexus of Canberra offers driving solutions for everyone. Their extensive range of hybrid options embrace sustainability and comfort.
Lexus of Canberra provides finance and insurance options for clients, and their accident assistance programme is there to help should any future incidents arise.
Lexus of Canberra’s is committed to customer service with a reputation for consistently exceeding all customer benchmarks by treating all clients like guests in their own home.
Erika Tokich shared her experience with the team on Google, “We would like to express our gratitude to Lexus Canberra. They listened to our needs, were patient with our requests and ensured that we choose the right vehicle…. We couldn't be more satisfied with the professional service we received and of course our brand-new Lexus.”
Located in Phillip, Subaru Canberra have been the number one choice for Subaru vehicles in the local community for over twenty years. As a specialist Subaru dealer, they provide the latest Subaru vehicles designed to thrill, provide safety and comfort, and meet the needs of everyday life.
Subaru Canberra’s state of the art showroom is home to all manner of new and pre-used Subaru models. With their motorsport heritage Subaru present a range of legendary performance models, city cars, SUV, family cars, and of course luxury options.
From the Impreza to the Forester through to the Outback and the WRX, Subaru have built a name for the calibre of their driving performance. Well regarded for their offbeat technical combinations, this Japanese brand’s popularity remains high amongst Canberrans.
When it comes to purchasing a new or pre-used car, the friendly team of experienced and seasoned Subaru specialists are there to assist. Whether it be sourcing inventory, specifying options, organising a test drive, or assisting with competitive finance options this team does it all.
As Shaun S shared on Google, “Friendly and helpful staff. Answer all calls and emails quickly and always follow up on requests. I found them willing to drive a good deal and not too pushy on doing a sale or finance. Extremely happy with my purchase and my experience in dealing with them.”
Since their establishment in 1988; Canberra Toyota have become as synonymous as the local automotive landscape. With four convenient locations in Gungahlin, Fyshwick, Belconnen, and Phillip, they are well regarded as the manufacturer of choice for many Canberrans.
Shifting over 4,000 vehicles each year, their popularity is evident in their impressive range of both new and pre-owned vehicles. Experienced staff at Canberra Toyota assist clients with extensive motoring advice to secure the best car that matches their needs and budget.
From Corollas, to SUV’s, 4WD’s, Hybrids, and commercial options, the Canberra Toyota range caters well to private and business buyers alike.
Canberra Toyota also offers an extensive Certified Pre-Owned vehicles operation, where all pre-owned cars come with full service history, independent background checks, 90 Point Inspections, free 12 months roadside assist and guaranteed future value.
Flexible finance and insurance options are available, along with new car warranties and mechanical protection plans. Their value-added services include capped price servicing, pick-ups and drop-offs and even an accident assistance program.
Jessica Dunajsky shared this glowing review on Riotact, “Just purchased a new car from Canberra Toyota Belconnen and they went above and beyond to find me a car so I didn't have to endure the manufacturer wait times. Sam is an absolute legend.”
Volvo Cars Canberra is a locally owned business servicing the automotive needs of Canberrans for over 30 years. As a multi-award winning dealership group they are widely recognised for excellence in sales, service, and customer satisfaction.
The dealership offers a world class range of Volvo makes and models, including all electric options. For new, demonstrator, and pre-owned Volvos this is the dealer of choice.
To experience the omtanke ethos in true Scandinavian style visit Volvo Cars Canberra today.
Paul Davies shared his experience on Google, "We walked into the showroom only intending to do a bit of window shopping but walked out having bought a Volvo XC60 T8 Recharge demonstrator. We can highly recommend the sales team as both courteous, highly professional and not at all pushy. We felt absolutely no pressure to buy but unfortunately couldn't help falling in love with the car."
Audi are well regarded for their innovation, quality and style - and this can all be found at the Audi Centre Canberra.
Featuring a wide variety of new, demonstrator, and Audi approved used vehicles, Audi Centre Canberra have it all. You can be confident when buying from Audi Canberra that you are getting great service and a great price; they have been voted Dealer of the Year three times.
Conveniently located in Phillip, pay them a visit to find out about the latest Audi models, promotions, or to book a test drive.
Lindsay Vickers shared this feedback on Google, "Very professional in our transaction for a new vehicle. Matt is an absolute delight and ensured that everything went smoothly. Happy to recommend if you're seeking an Audi."
If you’re interested in your car’s maintenance in the long-term, our articles on the best car service centres or best mechanics in Canberra may help. If electric cars are more your thing, check out our article on the best places to buy an electric car in Canberra. And, for luxury car options visit the best luxury car dealerships in Canberra. To consider other car financing options perhaps our article on the best car finance options may be of interest. And, to maintain that showroom finish check out our articles on the best car washes and the best car detailers Canberra has to offer.
Your experience with car dealerships in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the car dealerships listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to buy a car in Canberra?
When it comes to bagging a deal on a car purchase in Canberra, good timing can make the world of difference. As with most retailers, car dealerships have quotas for monthly, quarterly, and yearly sales goals. This opens the gate to several opportunities throughout the year for a better deal. The first two major periods are end of financial year (June) and end of calendar year (December); where dealerships are increasingly motivated to move stock for new models. The same applies for plate-clearance sales. End of month or end of quarter can also be promising should the dealer need to reach sales quotas. Finally, model-run out sales can allow you to secure a deal on stock that will be replaced by newer models.
Is it better to buy last year’s car model?
Buying an end of year model does offer some advantages. Generally, you will benefit from savings on the regular price along with depreciation. Whether this is right for you will depend on whether potentially dated features or styling are important or not. Another important factor will be the lifespan of your ownership. Another important factor to consider is your intended length of ownership. If you intend on replacing the car in 2-3 years; then opting for the latest model may be best.
Is a trade-in worth it?
The trade-in value is the amount a dealer is willing to offer towards the purchase of a new car in exchange for your current one. It is typically calculated based on wholesale value, which takes overall condition, age of vehicle, and kilometres driven into account. Trade-in’s offer quick and easy solution to offloading your current car. The downside however is that the wholesale value is typically far less than a cars market value. Private selling is generally the best way to extract a good sale on your current vehicle; but requires more time and effort for canvassing potential buyers. If convenience and a quick change over is your priority, then a trade-in is most certainly worth it.
How can I improve my current cars market value?
If you are looking to sell your current car privately, there are few things that can help to maximise its market value. Firstly, prepare your car for sale by booking it for a full mechanical inspection to address any issues and ensure it drives smoothly. Next, have it professionally detailed to thoroughly clean and restore both interior and exterior appearances. Then ensure all paperwork is up to date, including servicing history, logbook, and recent receipts for mechanical work and detailing. Finally, research the used car market well, know the quantity for sale, their prices, and kilometres to help set a price – and your floor rate.
Is 0% or 1% car finance cheaper than a regular car loan?
It really depends. A 0-1% car loan may not necessarily cost less than a regular loan with a higher interest rate, as it may be based on a higher car price and extra fees or charges. They may also include a balloon payment at the end of the loan term. In contrast, regular loans will generally require higher and regular interest payments, but the consistency of the repayment schedule can make it easier to manage long term.