Some purchase vehicles out of affinity. Others purchase their vehicles out of necessity. Whatever the reason behind your next vehicle purchase, there’s one thing we can all agree one: whether it’s purchased new or used, we want to acquire a quality ride for the best price possible. However, buying a car for an excellent value is complicated, especially when you consider the pressuring nature of car sales professionals. So, what’s the best way to get a great deal on your next car or truck? You can buy a fixer-upper and then spend the time and money into making it into the car of your dreams similar to what New York Yankees drive, but this is not a practical strategy for the average Joe. Here are some more proven money-saving tips to get slick deals on your next vehicle purchase:
- Wait until the end of the month: Dealerships are under pressure from automakers to meet monthly quotas. Noting this, car sales professionals can be more apt to wheel and deal with you to move inventory off their lots to meet these quotas closer to the end of the month than at any other time on the calendar. Now granted this strategy may not work if you’re after a popular vehicle that has no problem selling, but it can be a tip to keep in mind.
- Buy in fall: If you’re planning to buy new and don’t mind purchasing a previous year’s model, wait until the fall months to do it. Why? Because fall is typically the time when dealerships get the new models in and are more motivated to move the old models off their lots. So, for instance, if there’s not a dramatic difference between a 2017 model and a 2018 model, but you can get the 2017 model for several thousand dollars less, it can save you a lot of money.
- Pit dealers against each other: If you want to get a good deal on a new or used car, you should shop around. And as you do shop around, you can then better pit dealers against each other to get the best possible deal. For instance, if Dealer X says they’ll sell you a truck for $15 less a month than Dealer Y will, don’t jump to sign the paperwork with Dealer X. No, instead, go back to Dealer Y and see if they’ll sell you the car for even less than Dealer X. Remember, dealers are trying to earn your business – make them work for it.
- Use your trade-in as leverage: Are you trading in a car to coincide with your next purchase? Use the trade-in as a bargaining chip – and make it perfectly clear that you’re shopping around and whatever dealer gives you the most for your trade-in is likely to earn your business. Don’t be coy with car sales professionals – play their game and put the ball squarely in their court.
- Improve your credit score: Here’s a way you can save money on your next car without having to hassle with a sales professional: improve your credit score. While this means of saving money is only viable if you’re financing the purchase, the better your credit score, the better the loan interest rate you’ll likely receive. Over the span of a five or six-year loan, this can provide a savings of hundreds of dollars per year.
Regardless of the deal that you get on your next new vehicle purchase, remember that there are ways to save money after you leave the lot. Passing a defensive driving course can help lower insurance premiums, for example, and refinancing can often help you secure a better loan interest rate. Don’t leave any stone unturned!