Getting a new car is an important financial decision, especially if you have the luxury of planning out your purchase ahead of time. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle this fall, there are 8 factors to consider so you get the best deal:
1. Time It Right – Buying at the end of the model year (this is usually August through October) will get you the current model year discount. If this doesn’t fit your timetable, shoot for the end of the month when salesmen are trying to meet their quota.
2. Buy Used – According to Edmunds, the average new car loses 11% of its value as soon as it’s driven off the lot. Enterprise Car Sales is a great resource for used vehicles and credit union members can take advantage of extra incentives.
3. Forgo the dealership completely – Dealerships have huge overhead expenses, which means you may score better deals on the private market. If you plan on buying from a private seller, be sure to get a full inspection from a mechanic before forking over any dough.
4. Pay cash – Sellers that are eager to unload their vehicle may be willing to take a hit if you offer a full cash payment. In any case, it could be a negotiating strategy to get a few hundred dollars off your purchase.
5. Do your homework – Get educated on what a good deal is. Edmunds.com has a “true market value” feature that reveals what buyers are paying for the same make and model in your area vs. nationally. One of the most powerful sources of information on incentives is the automakers own websites.
6. Don’t mention your trade-in (don’t even drive it to the dealership!) “To help ensure you get the best price for your new car and maximize your trade-in value, wait to mention your trade-in until you’ve negotiated the cost of your new purchase,” says Angie Anderson of Credit Union Lending Systems. “Although, to get the best value for your trade-in, you may consider selling it privately outside of this transaction all together.”
7. Everything is negotiable –Review the entire vehicle as closely as possible before making any commitments. Most of the time, you can lower the price at least several hundred dollars by simply knowing the value of the car and being willing to walk away if the price isn’t right. Don’t be afraid to ask the dealership mechanic to check out the car either.
8. BYOF (Bring Your Own Financing) – Get approved for your auto loan before you start car shopping. After shopping for the best rate, your preapproval should be good for about 60 days, giving you plenty of time to select your car and close the deal. >> View WCCU rates