Dealer Discounts: Are They Worth It?

speed-1249610_640Let’s face it: Cars aren’t exactly cheap. Most people can’t afford to purchase an older car outright, let alone a brand new one, and it’s often a challenge even just paying the vehicle off in monthly installments. If you’re looking to get a fresh set of wheels that’s with the times and won’t break the bank at the same time, there are a few tactics to tuck up your sleeve — in particular, New Year’s shopping.

You may have heard that it makes more sense to perform trade-ins or shop for a new machine around the turn of the year, and that’s certainly no myth. This has a lot to do with the trend of “in with the new, out with the old” — dealerships need the finances and lot space for new cars, so they’ll go lengths to get rid of the older models, even if they’re only out of style by one year. While model years have a great deal of relevance here — because really, a new model could launch at any point over 12 months — the after-holidays hype tends to yield the largest influx of newer models.

What this really comes down to is a generalized form of end-of-model-year shopping. Top this off with holiday rebates, discounts and financing options, and you’ll find yourself with stacking benefits toward the vehicle of your dreams.

Contraindications and Common Shopper Mistakes

When you’re trying to shave a few grand off the total price of a vehicle, make no mistake: timing is everything. If you pop into a dealership a week too soon or too late, you’ll fall flat on the hush-hush benefits that grace customers of a certain model. While New Year’s is the hands-down best time to find yourself saving big, there are a couple mistakes we’ll point out to help boost your savings further star-side.

Generally speaking, don’t shop a vehicle when it’s:

  • currently in high demand
  • just started a new model year
  • new but hasn’t yet been reviewed for reliability

It’s no secret that people generally go for the newest models, which puts them in high demand, raising the price. However, not all cars that have just kicked off a new model year are necessarily in high demand; you might find out that the model you wanted is taking shade, and that’s usually not a bad thing — more often than not, it’s simply overlooked because of other, hotter models. You also want to make sure that the apple of your eye has been tested and reviewed for that dreaded lemon factor, lest you end up paying off a vehicle that takes a sit just months into driving it off the lot.

Other Variables to Consider

There are a few extra details to consider before jumping into a dealership lot to window-shop the model of your dreams and begin sweet-talking the man who’s been screaming on the radio about his overstocked lot of highly discounted machines. Consider the following:

  1. Depreciation

It’s no secret that depreciation is the curse that keeps giving, and it certainly isn’t worth ignoring when considering the year, make and model of automotive contraption you go for. This is also important to consider if you’re thinking forward to future trade-ins. Also, if you ever find yourself in a financial bind, you may find it impossible to get a decent figure from title loans Pennsylvania with a vehicle that’s expected to lose value quickly. Vehicle brands that are more reliable and long-lasting will usually depreciate slower — Hondas, for example.

  1. End-Of-Model-Year Discounts

There are end-of-year (or New Year’s) discounts, and then there are specific end-of-model-year discounts that happen throughout the calendar year, which occur when you shop for a particular model as a newer version of it is about to be released. This is because the dealership is trying to get rid of the older vehicles to make up the budget and space for the newer ones, which results in some pretty worthwhile discounts. These can happen any time over the 12-month window; it just depends on when the car was released.

  1. Seasonal Fluctuations

End-of-model-year shopping can make take the edge off shopping if the particular model that you’re gunning for happens to be going out of style around that time, but the actual time of year also has a great deal to do with how many thousands you can end up saving. In fact, it’s been shown that spring is probably the worst season to check out a new pair of wheels,as the prices tend to shoot up here. While you can still save on end-of-model-year automobiles here, the gains will be less impressive than if you did your shopping during Black Friday or New Year’s.

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