Time to Buy a Car – New or Used?

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It’s Labor Day weekend, and that’s a popular time to buy a car. For consumers, it often means choosing between buying a new or used car. The choice you make usually depends on factors like your budget, driving behavior, lifestyle, and the car’s price, condition and handling style.

But when should you buy? Of course, the expected answer is to buy a car when you need to buy. Dealers would like it to be THIS WEEKEND! But experts add that if you’re flexible, you can get a great buy in certain other months and times of the year as well. 

Edmunds, the bible of car fans, suggests that buying a car in August or September is a good time to get a sweet deal. This is because the late summer months are when carmakers are transitioning auto models from the ones introduced earlier in the year, to those that are coming to market later in the year. In this transition period, consumers can find better financing deals and other dealer-enhanced incentives. 

Buying on lot or online?

Many car shoppers will first go to their used car dealership to check the state of the used cars on the lot. It comes down to knowing what you want before you start hitting your local used car dealer.

Savvy car buyers might look at buying cars online from online used car dealers like Scottsdale’s own local success company Carvana, or competitors like Vroom or TrueCar. Searching for and buying cars online can save you time schlepping around to dealers, and getting sales pitches for cars you might not even have interest in.  

Buying a used car might fit into more price-sensitive budgets in the coming months, as used car prices might see a 6% dip in prices this year, and 3%-5% in 2018. That’s a forecast coming from LMC Automotive, an automotive marketing data and forecasting firm.

Here are some good reasons to look at last year’s model instead of splurging on a brand new car. 

Lower Cost of a Used Car: Why spend $23,999 on a new car, when you can find an entirely suitable used car for under $12K? Clearly, a lower sticker price gives a used car buyer more incentive to buy at a more affordable rate.  

Buying under a Certified Pre-owned Program: The stigma of buying a used car has lessened in recent years since the start of certified, pre-owned programs through a used car dealer. Through these programs, would-be car buyers now have a more compelling incentive to save money, while gaining peace of mind.

Away with Depreciation: It’s a well-known fact that some new car models can lose 20, 30 even up to 40 percent of the value of the car in the first year of ownership. Used car buyers no longer have to fear that value loss, as these cars already come with their own share of built-in depreciation. This lessens the financial and mental cost of car ownership.   

Lower Insurance cost: Insuring an expensive new car can be an aftershock to an already high new car sticker price. Savvy shoppers can often find great deals online on insurance that won’t break your monthly budget.  

Remember the tips above to save you time, money and mental scarring for the next time you drive over to your local used car lot to search around for a great car deal.

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