Is your car or SUV getting old? Shopping for a new vehicle can be a tough decision. Brush up on your preparation and negotiation skills, to help save you some money. Luckily, the best time to buy a new vehicle is now. The days are counting down for dealers to release their new models and slash prices on old stock. Dealers are typically pressed to make quotas more aggressively near the end of each month and may use incentives to draw in customers on long weekends. All these factors make Labor Day the opportune time to step into that new vehicle of your dreams.
Showing up at the dealer to snag brand-new aging-inventory vehicles puts some heavy negotiating power in your corner. When you’re negotiating, limit discussion to the out-the-door final price. When you do your homework and look for models that are being pushed with factory incentives, you can really come out on top. Many dealers receive an overflux of models that they thought would be popular because they were a good seller in years past.
The dealer often compensates for the lackluster demand by offering financial incentives to liquidate the investment everyone locked into these new vehicles. A lot of times, these vehicles are really great but have been overpowered by the marketing reviews comparing them to the new titleholder in their class. This is true for vehicles like the Subaru Outback, Nissan Rogue, and Honda-CRV. These are popular SUV’s that may suffer sluggish sales due to mass marketing that tilts the decision in favor of one over the other.
It is important to analyze the monthly payments on your vehicle purchase beyond the monthly payments. Many consumers compare a vehicle with a 36-month payment plan for $450 with a 72-month plan and fail to consider how deep underwater they will be on their loan with the larger financing plan. Just think of the free months you have zero monthly payments if you finance the lighter deal. The same is true with options. The dealer may sell car buyers options by calculating the monthly rate hike. Well, when all is said and done, you could have bought aerospace quality alloy wheels for that additional $29 a month.
The best deals are often on pre-owned vehicles with some road experience. The additional mileage is another delusional devaluation point. The majority of consumers know next to nothing about valuing the price for an automobile. The Kelley Blue Book prices aren’t something that is being calculated for consumers to understand the true wear and tear depreciation costs affecting every vehicle. These figures are compiled based on the laymen opinions of consumers who know as much about automotive mechanics as the ancients knew about airplanes.
When you tap into the pre-owned market, you can drive away with the best deals. Look for after-lease vehicles. The dealers are the best place to snag these deals because no one else has an influx of leased vehicles in stock. The aesthetic planned obsolescence that influences consumer opinion can put lots of money in your pocket. If you research vehicles that have come out with a new generation model that is simply styled a bit differently than the previous year (like the seventh generation Volkswagen Jetta), you can really come up on top. After all, engineering reliability doesn’t always improve with German vehicles and the latest generation models are often lemons.
Buying a pre-owned Lexus or other luxury models can reap the largest savings. These vehicles are notorious for becoming problematic after warranty because they are difficult to repair. The market steeply devalues these vehicles because the customers who buy them want the latest innovations and a hassle-free experience. If you know a good independent specialist for the brand you like, you can keep these vehicles running strong for decades when others are afraid to risk the investment.
There are always advantages and disadvantages in every sales season because it has a lot more to do with your preparation. When sales are slow, the dealer may be willing to settle for a lot less to make overhead quotas if you come in at the end of the month.
List of Shopping Tips
• Shop for factory incentives on previously hot overstocked vehicles
• Take advantage of days when dealers let their salespeople move product
• Look for aesthetically obsolete vehicles
• Score on after-lease deals on luxury vehicles if you know a specialist
• Seek financing before shopping
• Only negotiate on out-the-door prices
• Know your vehicle trade-in value before you shop
• Don’t think of the financing solely in monthly payments