Buying a car is an exciting time. Choosing the type of vehicle, the features you want, new or used, finance or pay in cash, are all choices that will affect the dollar amount you will be spending. Time of year is another factor that can affect the price. Our debt counselors advise you to think carefully before choosing a car. Here are some tips to consider to help you stay within your budget, save money and avoid too much debt.
Buying a Car That Fits You
The Best Time to Buy A Car
When going to the car dealership, you know you’ll have to do some haggling. But is there a time when salesmen might be more willing to budge?
August. This is the time people! If you’re financially ready and have planned for this in your budget, this is a great month to buy. Next year’s car models usually start popping up in September. Dealers are trying to move cars off the lot, meaning bigger deals for you.
End of the Month. Like every salesman, they need to fill a quota and that comes at the end of the month. If that month hasn’t been particularly successful, they may be a bit more flexible so that they hit their goal.
Holidays. Typically, major holidays offer great deals to buy a car.
Whenever you plan to buy a car though, it’s important to know much you can truly afford to spend. Check out our “How Much Car Can Your Afford?” calculator to help you determine what will fit into your budget without getting into credit card debt.
3 Additional Tricks of the Trade
1. Flexibility. Or at least lead your dealer to believe that you are flexible. Have numbers predetermined before you go so that you can work up to it. Those number should include:
- The trade-in value of your car.
- What kind of cash can you really put down?
- How many years are you looking to finance?
- What can you afford for a monthly payment?
2. Time your visit carefully. If you head in later in the day, your dealer may be more likely to close quickly to get home. Rainy days bring in few customers, meaning better bargains.
3. Don’t low ball. Balancing low-end offers takes preparation and patience. If you’re hoping to get a few thousand dollars knocked off the retail price, it’s best to start on the low end of the middle and go from there. For example, if a car is priced at $15,000, an offer around $13,500 could be more seriously considered over a $12,000 offer.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.