If spring fever has you hankering for something new like a car, here’s how to satisfy yourself without a big hit to your bank account.
First off, your timing is good. “The auto industry is seeing sales plateau for the first time in years, so if you need to buy a car, this might be the best summer for savings we’ve seen in a while,” says Matt Smith, an editor at CarGurus.com.
- Do your research: Most dealers have their inventory on their website. Be sure the dealer has what you’re looking for before showing up. Also go on websites like Edmunds, True Car and Kelly Blue Book for information. “If you have your eye on a car, research its history at the dealership. If it’s been on the lot a while, the dealership may negotiate the price to get rid of it,” says Natasha-Rachel Smith, consumer affairs editor at TopCashBack.com.
- Explore options: Most new model year vehicles have been out for several months and are the focus of a dealership’s sales and promotional efforts, but previous model years may still be available new on the lot. “If you’re willing to compromise for last year’s model, which likely has most of the same innovative features, you can get a much better price,” says Richard Reina, product training director at CARiD.com.
- Be flexible: Timing counts. Many salespeople and dealers are required to meet monthly quotas, so the last day of the month is always a good time to shop for a car. Dealers may be more willing to negotiate a deal with you to help make their monthly goal.