Buying a car for yourself or a family member during the holidays is definitely a memorable event. Many auto manufacturers are reporting that people finally need to buy a new car after holding onto their old one through the economic downturn. Increased auto repairs, bad gas mileage, and attractive pricing are sending people into car dealers to find the perfect vehicle.
Here are some tips as you decide what the best vehicle is. Do not be tied to one auto maker. Manufacturers are becoming more fuel efficient and competitive on pricing, unless you are looking to buy a luxury car. So research who has the best incentives and how much inventory a manufacturer might have. When there is more supply at the end of the year, the dealer usually will be much more motivated to make a deal. TrueCar’s website shows inventory for new cars, so you can see if you are after a popular sedan, dealers might only have a nine day inventory of a vehicle. Less popular brands, but still safe and affordable autos, might have a four or more month supply. Research if buying a slower selling new car is better than a late-model used automobile that sells briskly.
Think about leasing. Since interest rates are low right now, it can be a good time to lease. Many leases are for a 36-month timeframe and offer you the chance to get more car for your money. You also take the stress out of the buying scenario where a vehicle quickly depreciates. If you are already leasing, but the time is coming to turn the car back in, ask the dealer about an extension. Sometimes they will agree to this so you do not turn to another dealer when it is time to get a new lease or buy a new vehicle.
Chat with your auto insurance agent about the short list of vehicles you are interested in. This can help you determine which one is the best to keep your auto insurance premium low. Insurers consider accident and theft rates of a vehicle’s make and model, along with your driving history, to come up with the annual premium. Sometimes there is not much difference to insure a new car versus a used one, so inquire about that if you are looking at a range of vehicles.