ATLANTA, GA., November 25, 2019 – With the holidays quickly approaching, shopping is at the top of people’s to-do lists as they consider buying gifts or the latest gadgets during big seasonal sales. The end of the year also is a stellar time to score a deal when buying a car, with automakers offering lucrative holiday incentives, dealers trying to clear out their lots, and model-year changeovers of vehicle inventory. Accordingly, the experts at Autotrader recently rounded up some helpful tips for people hoping to buy or lease a new, used or certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle before the new year.
“While most people don’t wake up to a brand-new bow-topped car in their driveway, that doesn’t mean a new car can’t be at the top of your wish list before the end of the year — with a little research and insight, this is one of the best times for car shopping,” said Tara Trompeter, managing editor for Autotrader. “If you’ve been thinking about getting a new ride, now is a great time to buy or lease. Automakers and dealers alike are highly motivated to boost their year-end sales totals and make room for the new model-year vehicles coming to market, which means deals abound for consumers.”
Autotrader’s Year-End Car-Shopping Insights
When buying a new car:
• Dealers want to get rid of their 2019 model-year inventory before the new year, so be sure to check out the new outgoing 2019 models still available on dealer lots before 2020 hits. This is where you’re likely to find the best new-car deals, especially if the 2020 model of that vehicle has been redesigned.
• Take advantage of slow foot traffic in dealerships during December. Most people are spending time buying gifts and participating in holiday activities, and it is a notoriously slow time for car dealers who are hungry to make their monthly (and year-end) quotas.
• Check your local dealers’ ads to see specific deals and incentives being offered, and check out top deals lists curated online by the experts at Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book to help guide your consideration set and how much you should pay.
When buying a used car:
• Since most used-car buyers are shopping for an everyday driver, it’s important to understand what you need and do your research accordingly. Read reviews, look into current average transaction prices, and really think about the function of your next vehicle. At the same time, be flexible and have more than one pick – the deals are out there, and you need to be ready to pounce.
• Be prepared – know your credit worthiness, understand your credit score, how much you can borrow and the interest rate for which you qualify. It is always a good idea to get pre-qualified before entering into negotiations. Line up a mechanic ahead of time to check out any used vehicle you’re seriously considering, and maximize the test drive.
• Don’t forget about certified pre-owned – these low-mileage, factory-certified vehicles provide additional warranties and often other perks, such as special financing. Buying CPO can offer more peace of mind than buying from a private seller.
When buying a certified pre-owned car:
• Remember that luxury cars depreciate faster than models from volume brands, so that means buying a CPO luxury car is an especially good value over buying new.
• Look for incentives – some automakers offer incentives on their CPO inventory like cash back, special financing deals, and even some lease deals on their used certified models.
• While no CPO cars are actually that old, in general the older the car, the better the deal. Enjoy letting someone else take the majority of the depreciation off your hands by considering an older CPO vehicle for the best prices.
When leasing a car:
• Channel your good scout before going into the dealership. Know which specific model you want, which dealerships have that vehicle in stock, and what your trade-in is worth. And even if you plan to lease through the manufacturer’s financing arm, it’s smart to secure financing ahead of time through a bank or credit union to know where you stand financially.
• Understanding model year versus calendar year is important when leasing. If you have your eye on a 2020 model-year vehicle, leasing at the end of 2019 versus early in 2020 could have an impact on your monthly lease payments. Model year trumps calendar year when it comes to vehicle depreciation.
• Think used – take advantage of the historic number of vehicles coming off-lease in 2019 by leasing a used/CPO model to reduce your monthly payments even more. You could save hundreds, if not thousands, over the leasing period by leasing used instead of new.
To learn more about bargains for car shoppers including shopping for a used car end-of-year checklist, how to find a CPO deal in December and leasing a car at the end of the year visit Autotrader.
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Autotrader is the most recognized third-party car listings brand, with the most engaged audience of in-market car shoppers. As the foremost authority on automotive consumer insights and expert in online and mobile marketing, Autotrader makes the car shopping experience easy and fun for today’s empowered car shopper looking to find or sell the perfect new, used or Certified Pre-Owned car. Using technology, shopper insights and local market guidance, Autotrader’s comprehensive marketing and retailing solutions allow consumers to build their deal online, and guide dealers to personalized digital marketing strategies that grow brand, drive traffic and connect the online and in-store shopping experience. Autotrader is a Cox Automotive™ brand. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. For more information, please visit http://press.autotrader.com.
About Cox Automotive
Cox Automotive Inc. makes buying, selling, owning and using cars easier for everyone. The global company’s 34,000-plus team members and family of brands, including Autotrader®, Clutch Technologies, Dealer.com®, Dealertrack®, Kelley Blue Book®, Manheim®, NextGear Capital®, VinSolutions®, vAuto® and Xtime®, are passionate about helping millions of car shoppers, 40,000 auto dealer clients across five continents and many others throughout the automotive industry thrive for generations to come. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., a privately-owned, Atlanta-based company with revenues exceeding $20 billion. coxautoinc.com