High demand, supply chain hiccups, and a global semiconductor shortage caused the prices of automobiles to rise over the past year. Car buyers reportedly paid 12.2 percent more in 2022 than in 2021. That’s a significant increase and a good reason everyday people need to take advantage of money-saving opportunities. Memorial Day weekend remains an optimal time to buy a car, truck, or SUV, at a reduced cost. Take advantage of these tips to save money and walk away with a vehicle, and car loan, that works for you and your budget.
Take Advantage of Memorial Day Car Sales
Memorial Day weekend remains the unofficial start to summer. Dealerships leverage the long weekend to attract consumers, and they will compete for your business. There’s plenty of money to be saved by purchasing a vehicle to kick off the summer.
Keep a watchful eye out for incentives such as discounts, rebates, and higher than normal trade-in values. In 2022, the federal government is also offering thousands of dollars in tax rebates for people who purchase energy-efficient vehicles.
Although those incentives are the top ways you can buy an automobile over Memorial Day weekend for less, keep in mind the global chip shortage and supply chain issues are causing a less than the average number of cars on the dealership lot. Due to the tight supply of new cars, incentives may look a little different this year. Be sure to check them out ahead of time to know what to expect.
Know Which Models You Should Check Out
One of the best ways to effectively select a vehicle over Memorial Day weekend is to drill down on preferred models while remaining flexible. This strategy helps reduce the amount of time you’ll spend walking car lots and taking test drives. Time efficiency is important because many of the bargains and discounts dealerships may offer are based on strategies to do volume over the weekend. Once Tuesday arrives, those cost incentives may disappear.
Growing families may be best served by purchasing a mini-van or SUV with a third-row seat. Parents who are soon to be empty nesters might want to focus on a long-overdue sporty ride. And remember to consider factors such as fuel economy and trade-in values. Being flexible with your exact make and model will prove useful as you navigate through what is available on the lot.
Your flexibility must continue to your features wish list. In addition to keeping your eye out for energy-efficient vehicles due to the incentives mentioned above, be sure to understand that the vehicles on the lot may or may not have the exact features you are looking for. Some vehicle makers are building models without heated seats due to missing parts but will install them retroactively once they become available. The car shortage isn’t affecting every model the same way, so ample research will be required before you head out this Memorial Day weekend.
A little searching and due diligence ahead of Memorial Day improves your chances of finding the right new vehicle for you and your family while taking advantage of available bargains, discounts, and other incentives.
Know Which Models You Should Avoid
Today’s automobile makers secure parts and materials from wide-reaching countries. These items are then transported to an assembly facility that releases the final product. While this method has become standard practice for many auto manufacturers, it also comes with mixed results. Yes, we’re talking about clunkers.
Purchasing a vehicle is a big-ticket expense, and conducting thorough due diligence can save you time, money, and stress. Platforms such as Kelly Blue Book, Consumer Reports, and J.D. Power, among others, publish critiques about new and pre-owned vehicles. Although one report or review may not necessarily identify issues that plague every model, multiple criticisms provide significant insight.
For example, if professional evaluations highlight a transmission issue, or you see numerous recalls of a specific model, it may be worth buying another car. There’s no reason to risk breakdowns, costly repairs, and the stress associated with owning a less-than-reliable vehicle. Consider making a list of makes, models, and manufacturers with too many red flags.
In addition to avoiding vehicles with a bad reputation, the additional supply challenges should encourage you to reevaluate your expectations. When heading out this Memorial Day weekend, be sure to avoid models that are in high demand unless you are willing to pay a higher price tag. Also, consider avoiding larger 7-seater vehicles if you and your family only need that many seats only one week out of the year. Instead, settle for a more standard model that is offered at a more reasonable price and in full supply. Finally, if you are not in desperate need of a new vehicle, consider waiting another six months to see what the buying conditions are like at that time. Your wallet may thank you later.
Get Pre-Approved For Your Car Loan Before Shopping
Getting pre-approved for a car loan provides substantial advantages for consumers. Walking onto a lot knowing you are not reliant on the dealership for financing places you in a bargaining position of power. The car-seller understands they cannot dictate an interest rate or terms that are favorable to their business, which means additional cost savings to you.
Securing a pre-approval for your car loan also clarifies your price range and helps you budget the monthly payments into your finances.
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