Getting a Great Price on Your Car

Many thanks to Cars.com for sponsoring this post so that I can share my car buying experience with you!

Well, hello, friends!  It’s been a hot minute, but I tell you, life has simply been cray. I have been swamped at work, the kids have had a million and one activities, birthday parties, etc…you get the picture.  So I’ve abandoned my poor little blog. 😦

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I got a new car this summer.  Hubby pulled the trigger on a newbie and I have been simply in love with it since day one. I’d owned my last car for nearly 13 years, so we were due for a new one.

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I have to tell you that getting this car was about a year in the making. We kept visiting the dealership and walking away because the price just wasn’t right. I have always said that one should buy a car – if able – when you don’t absolutely NEED a car.  This requires some planning obviously, and requires that you in fact haven’t gotten in an accident or your car died suddenly, so that you can make decisions with time.  If you are in any of those situations and cannot wait, then your strategy may need to differ.  If, however, you do have time, do not immediately need a car, but are thinking of a new car in the near future, keep these things in mind:

  1. Car dealerships have sales quotas they have to meet. Usually, they are scrambling to sell the number of cars they proposed to sell – or are required to sell – by the end of the month.  Given this, the end of the month is often the best time to get a great deal on your car because sales reps are eager to get inventory out the door.
  2. The end of the year is ALSO a great time to buy a car.  Let’s say for example, you were considering a car this year, 2017.  You may be hard pressed to find a brand new 2016 car on the lot, but if you do find one, snatch it up!  It will be a lot cheaper than any 2017 or 2018 model on the lot.  If there aren’t any 2016 cars available, then consider a 2017.  Sometimes body styles change, but often the changes are not dramatic enough that you wouldn’t be happy with a 2017 model vs a 2018 model.  The difference in cost might just convince you that a 2017 is worth it even if you’re about to transition to the new year (in this case the start of 2018).
  3. Consider a pre-owned car! Mercedes, BMW, and many other dealerships have lease programs that allow individuals to lease for 1-3 years at a time.  There is often a limit on the number of miles that these cars have, so they can be a great option for someone looking for a new-ish car that comes with an extended warranty and is not AS expensive as a brand new car.
  4. Go to the dealership with a final monthly payment amount in mind. When we were considering buying a car this year, I went and spoke to the sales rep and said, “We need a car that will be no more than $XXX.XX per month for X amount of years,” assuming you are buying the car and taking out a loan. We didn’t buy a car until the sales rep was able to find us a car that not only met our expectations for the model of the car we were looking for, but also the price we had in mind.

Ultimately, the most important tip of finding a car is performing the right research. You can’t make the right purchase without knowing the facts about the make, model and price of your car. Over the years, I have found that Cars.com is a great resource to learning about your potential purchase. Their website has a huge selection of information that will provide you with everything you need to make an informed purchase. What most people don’t know about them is their Videos & Reviews feature. They provide extensive reviews and essential information about a wide variety of different cars. And most importantly, they give it to you straight. I’ve found they don’t sugar coat or hide the bad reviews of cars. If something is poorly rated, hasn’t performed well or not a good purchase, they aren’t afraid to tell you. Because of this, I recommend you begin your car research here. Doing your research is a very important part of car shopping. Especially if you are a first-time buyer or have a lot of different cars you’re interested in, your research will help you the best car at the best price.

Going along with research, another important tip is to not stick with one dealer. Though dealers can stock huge selections at different prices, it doesn’t mean their prices are industry competitive. Because of this, I recommend visiting other dealers and researching similar cars you are interested in to get a baseline price for the vehicle. Visiting other dealers will give you an understanding of what you should be paying, and therefore get you the best price. Looking at various dealers is increasingly important if you are shopping for a used car. An important factor of used cars is their number of miles. This number has a huge impact on the wear and tear of the car, along with the price. Guessing the price of a car based on the miles it has will not give you accurate information, and will most likely result in overspending on your part. So, visiting other dealers and looking at competing prices is especially important for used cars. Doing this will result in your car being the right price, and it will show the dealer or seller you know what you are talking about.

Buying a car can be scary and stressful, but less so if you take the time to do your research and have a plan in mind.  These simple tips will help you save big and find the right car for you. It is important to do your research, utilize different resources, know your stuff and take your time when car shopping. Following these tips will do nothing but help your with your purchase. Doing something as little as looking up similar car prices can save you thousands of dollars. Purchasing a car doesn’t have to complicated and stressful. The more you know about the process, the better off you will be!

What are some of your tips for getting a great price on a new car??

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!

 

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