Buying a car is an occasion that should be an exciting one – but for many, the process is tainted by frustration and confusion. From unfamiliar car jargon or uncertainty around the information being presented to them, many car buyers are left feeling stumped in their attempts to land their new dream vehicle. The good news is, they don’t need to be. Leading automotive experts CarsGuide has identified a number of tips to help Aussies on the car buying process.
Lauren Williams, the CEO of CarsGuide.com.au, said: “Like your graduation or wedding day, buying a car is a major milestone in a person’s life. While many struggle to get their heads round the minefield of car dealerships and scrolling through endless options in the marketplace, there are a number of essential tricks to help Aussies get themselves ahead of the game and bag the best deal, saving time and money in the process.”
Top 5 tips to help you get the best deal when buying a car:
1. Timing is everything. In the car buying market there are predictable, seasonal sales; lifecycle events for individual car models; and outlier sales due to external natural forces which result in car prices being lowered. Being vigilant of these forces means a car buyer can snag themselves a great deal.
- End of Financial Year Sale: The obvious one, sellers need to move stock out the door to make the most revenue possible before the end of financial year. Cue lowered prices – say no more.
- February – March: These months are also fruitful for car buyers. This is when last year’s models start to feel ‘old’ and new models enter the market. It’s a time to leverage cheaper deals and negotiate for upgrades to be thrown in.
- Midweek specials: A superseded model moves from new and desirable on Monday to outdated and bargain-ready on Wednesday when the updated model arrives on the floor. Understanding the release cycle will elevate your bargaining power.
- Christmas: The Christmas run-out sales see sellers eager to get rid of cars. Buyers are doing the sellers a favour by helping them get a sale on stock before it becomes outdated at the turn of the year.
- Worldly forces: When the value of currency takes a hit because interest rates are low, dealers are going to encourage us to consider buying a new car by running special deals.
2. Do your research. Do some thorough research into the current market price of the car you’re interested in. If you come across a used car with a price significantly lower than the market value, you need to wonder why this is the case. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Also, compile a list of the best cars for resale. Every car depreciates, but there is some flexibility when it comes to how much and how fast. Influences include utility and location, style and upgrades.
3. Trade-ins. Even if you plan on trading in your current car for a better deal, keep it out of sight from the dealer and don’t let them know you are thinking of doing so. The car you own is a source of profit. You’d get the most money for your car by selling it privately because dealers pay wholesale prices. A used car’s profit margin is actually more than that of a new car. If you do plan on negotiating a trade-in, arrive at the lowest cost possible without a trade-in first.
4. Rebates. Many manufacturers offer rebates with new vehicles. Keep track of available rebates by contacting the manufacturers to find out about rebate programs they are actively offering and keep a close eye on online, TV and local newspaper ads. Read the small print carefully as rebates are commonly attached to finance packages. Don’t discuss rebates with dealers until you’ve negotiated the lowest prices available without one.
5. Competition. Remind the seller that they aren’t your only option and let them know that you are taking quotes from competitors. Compare the prices and information provided to you by the multiple sellers you have spoken with and keep asking the dealer, ‘Can you do better?’ and telling them that other sellers have provided better deals.
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