How to Buy a New Car at the Year's End

by Amber Keefer, Demand Media
    End of year car models often sell at a bargain.

    End of year car models often sell at a bargain.

    Save money on your new car purchase by buying it at the end of the model year. As the new cars begin to arrive in the showroom, what is now last year's models begin to lose their appeal. The prices start to drop as well. Later in the year is the time when you can find a real deal. You can save money today, and the difference of a year won't be a major factor when you eventually sell the vehicle or trade it in.

    Step 1

    Go car shopping in September when you can take advantage of end-of-the-model-year sales. This is the time when dealerships begin making room for the newer models, so you can usually buy the current year’s model at a bargain price.

    Step 2

    Watch for television and newspaper ads promoting end-of-year clearance sales at car dealerships. If you don’t need to have the newest model coming off the line, you can get huge discounts on almost-new vehicles. Many manufacturers offer special discounts and sales during this time.

    Step 3

    Compare the current year’s models with the new cars coming out. Check to see if there are any major differences in technology or appearance. Unless the newest model offers something more, you can save yourself money by selecting one of the remaining models. This can be a wise money-saving move, especially if you plan to keep the car for more than five years. After driving it for that long, there will be little difference in value between that and the newer model.

    Step 4

    Let the dealer know you are ready to buy a car if the price is right. Dealerships normally want to get rid of the last of the old models once the manufacturer begins to release the models for the new year. Keep this in mind when negotiating a price. Edmunds.com points out that dealers generally offer special discounts and customer cash rebates as incentives to buy end-of-the-year models. Find a vehicle that suits you, then haggle over the price.

    Tip

    • The day after Thanksgiving and December 26 are two of the best times to get a great buy on a new model car if you aren't interested in last year's models. Sales at car dealerships are usually down, and so are the interest rates. You may be able to negotiate a good deal, as car dealers are often eager to make a sale during a slow period. The only problem with car shopping during the holidays is that dealers tend to cut back on their inventories when sales are slower.

    About the Author

    Amber Keefer has more than 25 years of experience working in the fields of human services and health care administration. Writing professionally since 1997, she has written articles covering business and finance, health, fitness, parenting and senior living issues for both print and online publications. Keefer holds a B.A. from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in health care management from Baker College.

    Photo Credits

    • Barry Austin Photography/Photodisc/Getty Images