We’ve all come to terms with cars being expensive, so we pay little mind to the price tag and focus on saving up enough money. Even the cheapest wheeled tin cans cost at least a few hundred dollars, while boutique models cost several times more than lofty luxurious suites.
There are, however, ways by which you can save some cash when buying a car, and depending on what you’re aiming for and how efficiently you can utilize the following tips, your savings may be fairly considerable.
Timing is everything.
The most important factor to consider when buying any car is the specific time of year. Essentially, car dealership companies need to fulfill certain quotas each semester, and occasionally, these quotas aren’t met, which results in bonuses and discounts the following month.
Sadly, this does not apply to household names and the latest models, but it works for pretty much everything else.
Some companies offer discounts throughout the entire year, so keep an eye open for events such as the brand’s founding day, Christmas sales, and especially Independence Day discounts.
As a matter of fact, due to people swarming the car markets during big holidays, the vast majority of car dealerships and salespeople tend to knock substantial amounts off of the initial price tag in order to sell as many models as possible. Don’t worry about super-low prices around these dates, as they’re still making a huge profit.
You’ll want to act fast, though. The biggest discounts revolve around the most important holidays, and these typically last for only a couple of days. The Independence Day discounts in particular seldom last more than three days and typically start on the 3rd of July until the 6th.
Compare prices across several dealerships.
Essentially, doing your research is the main prerequisite of saving money, as car salespeople can sniff out people who’ve come to buy their car without knowing anything about its actual value. This means that you shouldn’t settle for the first dealership that has the model you are looking for in stock.
Take as much time as necessary and visit as many sites as possible. In fact, it’s sometimes better to drive across the country to buy a better car than to settle for whatever your local second-hand vendor has to offer.
Negotiate whenever possible.
Even though legal dealerships and salespeople will never go above the original price of any vehicle, it’s not uncommon to get a discount if you know how to approach the negotiations, if such is allowed in the first place.
Second-hand salespeople are more inclined to reduce the price than household names in the industry, so it might be wise to place your chips there. The general rules of negotiating are to never show your eagerness and to appear borderline uninterested whenever the actual price is mentioned.
On the other hand, you should showcase your knowledge about cars as often as possible throughout the discussion. Salespeople who have a feeling that you aren’t well-versed in the car’s mechanics may omit a thing or two, typically when it comes to the shortcomings of a particular model.
Bring an expert.
There are numerous reasons why you’ll want to have a tech-savvy friend or a car expert by your side as you’re entering the lot. Even though the salespeople will provide all the necessary information, as well as give you the opportunity for a test drive, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where no one knows about certain hidden faults of a car in question.
Both brand-new and second-hand cars are typically backed by warranties, but being able to replace faulty parts for free isn’t as beneficial as getting an actual discount.
You’ll want to inspect the car inside out, and if you don’t know what to look for, having an expert by your side can make a significant difference. The tires, the motor, the mileage, and even the car’s paint can be tweaked to appear as if they’re much less worn-out than they actually are.
Settling for older models can be very beneficial.
The latest car models are ridiculously expensive simply because they’re the newest editions in the class. Oftentimes, the newer model isn’t that much better than its predecessor, although salespeople will try their best to persuade you to think otherwise.
Most manufacturers release new models every two to three years, which in most cases is not enough time for quantum leaps in terms of car technology. The electronics may be a bit faster, the tires may offer slightly better traction, and the seats may be slightly more comfortable. However, are these features worth tens of thousands of dollars in price difference? In most cases, they’re not.
Another reason why you should consider buying older car models is that they’re fundamentally built with the same specs in mind. The general quality of comfort and features older models offer isn’t substantially different when compared to their hyped, younger counterparts.
Look for dealerships that approve exchanges.
If you already have a car and are looking for an upgrade, the best way to reduce the price of your new one is to offer your old one. The biggest problem with this approach is determining the actual value of your car. In some cases, you’d be better off selling your car to someone else, and then using that money to upgrade.
However, certain second-hand dealerships may offer you a better deal depending on certain circumstances. Individual buyers tend to value a car’s performance more than its parts, while dealerships and car salespeople value the quality of its parts more than its performance.
For example, selling a perfectly functioning Audi Q5 to a dealership wouldn’t be as lucrative as selling it to an individual who is looking for that particular model. On the flip side, if you have custom fenders, the latest wheels, and an updated GPS system in an old, worn-out car, you’ll fare better turning it in for exchange; it all varies from model to model.
Avoid models that burn too much fuel.
A car with a cheap price tag may end up becoming a financial burden if its fuel upkeep is high. It’s always better to pay a bit more upfront for vehicles that don’t consume as much fuel per mile instead.
We hope that this guide was useful to you and that you’ve learned something new today on saving money when buying a new car. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through, and have a good one!