Several dealerships and manufacturers are offering incentives, rebates and a variety of other enticements intended to lure people onto the lot. All of these can seem overwhelming, and in a way confusing, especially if you’re a novice car shopper. Believe it or not, the month and day can have an effect on the price and interest rate you’ll pay. Here is a quick guide to help you save the most money possible on your next new car.
The Model Year’s End
New car models are typically introduced to lots anywhere between late-summer and early-winter. These shiny new models needs somewhere to go, and dealerships are more than happy to unload last year’s vehicles for a great price. This may seem like a win/win situation, but there are a few potential downsides to purchasing last year’s brand new, yet unsold, model. First, the car is a full year old, meaning it’s depreciated, which can be a factor if you attempt to resell the car within the next two to three years. Also, there might be a good reason why all the other models are on the road, and this particular car is still waiting for an owner.
Happy New Year
December is one the best months to purchase a car for three reasons:
- It’s the end of the year and many car dealerships are pushing their salesman to meet a quota.
- It’s the end of the model year in many instances.
- Most people aren’t scouring their local car lots in two feet of snow or 20 degree below zero temperatures.
All of these factors create something of a panic on several car lots, making it worth your while to brave the inclement weather and purchase a car during December. Just be aware that not all dealerships will offer the same incentives to purchase at the year’s end, so shop around and look for a great deal.
The End of the Month is Approaching
Many dealerships set quotas for their salespeople, meaning they must sell a certain amount of cars, brands or styles by the month’s end. If the salesperson meets this magical quota, he or she is often provided a bonus, which many rely on as a large portion of their salary. As the end of the month approaches, many salespeople will become desperate to meet their quota, which can result in an unbelievable opportunity for you. Once again, dealerships vary across the United States, and this may not be a common practice near you. Also, the end of the month is often a bad time for consumers to plop down a chunk of change to purchase a new vehicle. Once again, your best option is to shop around, compare prices and make sure you have enough money to pay your mortgage or rent before emptying your bank account.
A Few More Helpful Tips
The time of month and year is one factor to consider when purchasing a new car, but there are others to keep in mind. Here are a few final, quick tips to help you save the most money possible on your next vehicle purchase:
- Know Your Credit Score-This may seem obvious, but it’s critical to examine your credit report with a fine-toothed comb to ensure that everything is accurate.
- Shop Around-Once again, this may not seem like groundbreaking information, but it’s important to know the prices out there. Don’t box yourself into shopping in your local area, either. Instead, expand your search to include a nearby metropolitan area. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the amount of money you’ll save by traveling a short distance.
- Demand Exemplary Customer Service-There are still several dealerships, and salespeople, that believe that squeezing the most money from a customer is more important than providing a fair deal and outstanding service. If the salesman is using aggressive tactics, and making you feel uncomfortable, chances are you won’t receive a fair price either.
- Know Your Trade-In Value-Before you even drive onto the dealership, perform a thorough search to determine your present vehicle’s trade-in value. Arm yourself with a print out of the number and don’t hesitate to present it to the salesman if he provides you with a figure that is well below the vehicle’s assessed value.
No matter if you’re buying a car in the beginning of February or end of November, it’s important to be comfortable with your purchase. Reevaluate your plan or consider buying a less expensive model if you’re straining to make a monthly payment or come up with enough money down.
About the Author: Donald Peyton is a lifelong car mechanic and auto enthusiast. He blogs constantly on the topic and is researching a book on the history of the combustion engine. He spends the majority of his money here.