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How to Buy a Car at the End of the Year

It’s the end of the year and that means now is the time to consider buying a car. For those investing in a new vehicle, waiting until the end of the year may prove to be a financially sound move for several reasons. At this point, dealerships are ready and willing to work with you. Many times, this means providing you with key incentives to buy now.

1. Recognize The Dealership’s Need
At the end of the year, several things are happening that make it the ideal time for consumers to buy a car.

First, the dealership wants to clear the lot. Most often, dealers also want to clear the lot to make room for new vehicles. Next year’s models are already out, and they want to ensure they can place as many of these brand new vehicles in front of would-be buyers as possible. That means moving older vehicles faster. They also want to hit their target sales numbers for the year, especially if their fiscal year ends in December.

Realizing these facts can help you. It may mean there are opportunities for you to cut down on the overall cost of the vehicle you buy. Additionally, when it is cold outside, the number of people shopping for a vehicle are fewer. People just don’t want to venture into the cold weather to shop at a car lot. This, too, works in your favor. It simply means dealers are ready to deal.

2. Be Careful With Special Holiday Offers
It’s very common for car dealerships to offer a wide range of discounts and special holiday pricing at the end of the year. In some cases, this is an ideal opportunity to save. In other cases, it may not provide the best deal for you, personally.

There Are a Few Things to Remember About Holiday Deals:

  • Some holiday deals may be available on a single or just a couple of vehicles. Once those are sold, the deal is over, even if there are similar cars on the lot.
  • Holiday deals for cars outside of your price range are not worth the investment. Don’t see a deal as a way to buy more, but rather as an opportunity to spend less.
  • Look for the really good deal. That is, look for the deal that keeps costs down but also offers incentives, such as bonus dollars or discounts on oil changes. These enhanced offers may help you save money all year long.

Don’t overlook the fact that many holiday deals are very good opportunities if they are on the vehicle you desire. If the deal you want isn’t there, move on.

3. Be Prepared With A Loan In Hand
Before you head out to buy your next car, recognize the importance of having a loan in hand and ready to go. That is, you don’t want to walk into a dealership without having a loan from your own lender available to you. Talking to your lender and securing financing before of arriving at the dealership ensures you have an affordable loan and can also help in other ways such as:

  • Not worrying about navigating special financing from the dealer that usually tends to be significantly higher than a local lender such as a credit union.
  • You already know how much you can spend within your budget making it less tempting to spend beyond your limits. 
  • With a loan in hand, you are already qualified and in a better position to negotiate the best deal for you, knowing you can walk away if hidden fees or dealership pricing starts to creep up.  And keep in mind the dealer wants to move inventory - so they would rather negotiate than lose the sale all together.

Benefits Of Buying A Car At The End Of The Year
The final weeks of the year are the ideal time to close a deal on a new vehicle. You don’t have to wait until then to start looking for opportunities, though. Some of the best discounts come in those last days when the dealer needs to clear away old inventory to make room for something new.

Work with your lender to determine which loan opportunity is right for you. Then, prepare with some facts and insights about the vehicle you want. Be ready to negotiate as you step onto the dealer’s lot to find out what they can do for you.

Best Reward Credit Union wants to make sure you understand your options - which is critical to making a wise financial decision. Learn more about the benefits of auto loans through Best Reward and shop for your next car in our Auto Buying Center.

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