While summer is notoriously known as the season where new vehicles debut on the lots, winter is the time when sales go much deeper for last year’s models that are still on the lot. And certified pre-owned cars can get cheaper every day they sit there taking up space that could used by another vehicle.
To get the best price this year on your vehicle, check out our tips, and you’ll be cruising in no time.
Start Your Search Online
Dealers want to sell cars and thus will want to put a competitive price online. If not, they may not appear near the top of Google searches, one of the key ways the car search begins. Specific websites are also helpful. CarGurus.com will not only tell you local pricing but will also tell you whether it’s a good or bad deal, says Steve Finley, senior editor of WardsAuto. The one bummer about this process is you won’t see many sales due to inclement weather. The internet works in rain, sleet and snow.
Call at Least Three Dealers Before Purchasing
When you’re in the dealership, it’s easy to fall prey to a beautiful car and a sharp salesperson. That’s why it’s best to start your search online and call three dealers. When I got my last car, I narrowed my search to several car models that fit the design and price tag I wanted. Then I went to the lot to test drive my favorites. I didn’t let the salesperson sell me the car right there. I went home and came back after doing additional dealer calls to get pricing on the same make and model. I was able to negotiate with the salesperson enough that when my car was totaled three months after purchase, I was owed money by the insurance company.
Be Flexible on the Type of Car You’re Looking For
Demand makes a big difference in pricing. Sports utility vehicles or trucks of any kind make up 70% of vehicle demand, says Finley. You’ll get the most incentives on sedans, he says. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get a great deal on a truck because the color wasn’t popular in the area you live in.
Start Online for Your Trade-In, Too
Part of getting a good deal on your new car is how much they give you for your current one. Go online to Kelley Blue Book and check what your car is worth. Then compare this number with what each dealer offers you, too. Have them calculate your payment and length of loan based on price after factoring in your trade-in.
Compare Financing Options
Your dealer isn’t always going to offer you the cheapest rate when it comes to auto financing. When comparing your final cost, get a quote from your local credit union or bank as to what they will charge you for financing. Then compare the price and interest rate with your dealer’s offer.
Consider a Used Car
Certified pre-owned vehicles are almost like new cars, says Finley. They’ll have powertrain warranties and warranties on repairs, and they’re generally fairly new. With the upswing in leased cars, car dealers are left with cars that are low miles and just two years old on a regular basis, says Finley. While the deals on certified pre-owned should always be compared with what you would get on a new car with rebates and incentives, they offer a pretty great option. You can find and compare these cars online as well.
Visit Car Shows for Additional Rebates and Incentives
When there’s a car show in your city, go. Not only will you see a wide variety of vehicles to narrow down your search, but often there are rebates and incentives that you may find when going.
Buying a new car can involve an extensive search of pricing your trade-in, finding your financing and comparing vehicle prices. Before you begin your search, set a timeline. If your current car is in great shape, you may decide you can wait for summer sales if you don’t find a car you like for the price you want this winter.
What are some tactics you’re employing to find the right car this season? Let us know in the comments below!
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