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Why buying a car in winter is a smart move Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our mission is to help you make smarter financial decisions by providing you with interactive financial calculators and tools, publishing original and objective content. We also allow users to conduct research and compare information without cost, so that you can make financial decisions without trepidation. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers including, but not limited to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make money The products that appear on this website are provided by companies that compensate us. This compensation could affect how and where products appear on this website, for example such things as the order in which they appear within the listing categories and other categories, unless prohibited by law. Our mortgage or home equity products, as well as other home loan products. However, this compensation will not influence the information we provide, or the reviews you read on this site. We do not cover the universe of companies or financial offerings that might be available to you. Share: Vasily Pindyurin/Getty Images
4 min read . Published on March 7, 2023.
Written by Kellye Guinan. Written by Personal and business finance contributor Kellye Guinan is an editor and writer on a freelance basis with more than five years’ experience in personal financial planning. She is also employed full-time at the local library, helping her community access information about financial literacy, in addition to other topics. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances with precise, well-studied and well-researched data that breaks down otherwise complex topics into manageable bites. The Bankrate guarantee
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We receive compensation for the promotion of sponsored goods and, services, or through you clicking certain hyperlinks on our website. Therefore, this compensation may influence the manner, place and in what order items appear within listing categories, except where prohibited by law. We also offer mortgage or home equity products, as well as other home lending products. Other factors, like our own proprietary website rules and whether or not a product is offered in your area or at your personal credit score can also impact the manner in which products are featured on this website. We strive to provide an array of offers, Bankrate does not include the details of every credit or financial item or product. The colder winters in the United States often means less foot traffic at auto dealers , and more pressure to meet sales quotas. And since dealers typically get the next model year at the time of the summer’s end, they are eager to clear the model year prior off the showroom. By timing your purchase for winter you may be able to take advantage of the slowing sales. If you’re in the market to buy a car right now it is possible to benefit from a car market that is recovering from the effects from the pandemic. The supply of vehicles has increased following the recent microchip shortage that slowed new vehicle manufacturing and caused prices to shoot up. As inventory levels rise, prices are beginning to drop. But deals and incentives are still not as widespread than they had been prior to outbreak and therefore, deciding when to buy wisely can still be a big help. Dealerships are trying to reach quotas. It’s no secret that dealers operate on monthly and annual limits. They are influenced by commissions and bonuses given by both the proprietor of the dealership as well as the manufacturers that the dealership partners with. This is why the end of the year can be the most lucrative time for sales . Not only are salespeople being pressured to hit their monthly quotas, but they’ll also want to secure last-minute sales before the final day of the financial year. Of of course, not every business is operating on a January-to- December financial schedule. However, in general, you may be able utilize the system to help negotiate the price. End-of-year sales Franchise dealerships -dealers with an established relationship with a manufacturer — can offer deals on new vehicles that are in the model year currently. However, year-end sales are typical regardless of the dealer’s franchise status or independent status. As dealers try to reach sales targets, you might see big reductions in the price of the vehicle along with rebates. If you’re not an effective bargainer, you should take advantage of sales during winter. They can help you negotiate a good deal. You could get a great rate of interest by applying for a car loan in the right time of the year can aid in obtaining a favorable interest rate. Get in touch with several lenders and ask for interest rate quotes to ensure you are getting the best offer. Even having a less than stellar credit score, it is still possible to get the auto loan. The fact that you have a credit score will help increase in getting you loan approved. Remember these tips when you are shopping for car loans: Research loan types and . Find the most favorable terms. Make sure that all promises are in writing. Know the small print. There are fewer shoppers cold of winter and a busy holiday season can prevent people from going to car dealers. And slow dealership traffic extends into February and January, making these months ideal for shopping for a vehicle, says Mike Quincy, auto tester and writer at Consumer Reports. It doesn’t matter what time of year. Quincy suggests that you find out what the dealer cost is and then work your way up from there, instead of dropping the sticker price. “You’re just probably going to have a larger crowd for salespeople when you go in the winter because there aren’t many people around,” Quincy says. “These techniques should be successful.” The latest models are coming out. Dealers usually start receiving new models towards the close of summer or at the beginning of the fall. This means current model-year cars that were never taken off the market have a depreciation in value. “A used model, in general, could be worth it in the case of a person who drives their car into the ground” Quincy says, noting that it could range from 100,000 to 200,000 miles. Even if you’re waiting for the newest models to be available is worthwhile. Since depreciation is inevitable, it is still a major factor. It will still be as great, however you might be able to negotiate a lower price due to the fact that this is an old model. Winterized options may be available One of the strategies for negotiation should be to include winterizing your vehicle. Beyond the comfort features, such as heated seats and steering wheels, concentrate on winter wipers and snow tires as part of the overall package. “If you’re not willing to make the investment, your safety is being compromised,” says Lauren Fix Car expert and editor-in-chief of Car Coach Reports. Cars with high-performance tires may not be as safe when driving on icy roads. They typically cost the same as all-season tires but there may be additional fees related to their installation when you’re purchasing the car. Winter is also a good opportunity to try out any car you’re contemplating buying. This is particularly important for those who live in areas which experience winter-like weather. If you try driving in snow or slush on the ground you can determine how it feels to drive your car in extreme conditions. The best time to wait until spring The winter months can be a great opportunity to score a bargain bargain, but it’s certainly not the only moment to shop. If you’re willing to negotiate price and , it might make sense to wait until spring or later to begin shopping. Most manufacturer offers are for new vehicles If you’re buying second-hand, there’s no reason to go shopping in winter. Additionally, you don’t want to get caught in snowy or icy weather if your used car isn’t winterized to the best of its ability. And if you’re shopping for a used vehicle through an auction or private sale and you’re not likely to find bargains in winter. It might also be more difficult to schedule a personal meeting to examine the vehicle. Car shopping in warmer climates may actually be worse in winter since the weather is more comfortable. The majority of advice suggests that you reside in a region with an extremely cold winter. Therefore, you may want to wait until the temperatures climb in the spring before you go out shopping. If you have a winter bonus that can be used for a substantial down payment, you should wait until spring. The more money you need to withdraw to pay for your mortgage, the less you’ll spend overall — even if it means you missed the larger winter sales. It may seem counterintuitive however, dealers will begin receiving models for 2024 in the latter half of 2023. If you want a 2023 model, hold on until the end of summer. This way, dealers are selling the 2024 model and you can obtain a bargain in comparison to this “old” model year. In the end, buying a car in the winter will help you get a better price. With low foot traffic and a shift towards new inventory, you’ll have plenty of room to negotiate a reasonable price. It is essential to figure out the amount you can afford to spend on a car before applying for an auto loan, check your credit score and shop around for the most competitive price. Find out how the interest rate can impact your monthly payment and the total cost of your car loan cost by using our .
Written by personal and business financial writer Kellye Guinan is a freelance editor and writer who has more than five years of experience in personal finance. She also is an employee full-time at her local library, where she assists the community gain access to information on financial literacy, among other topics. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are enthusiastic about helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances with concise, well-studied details that cut otherwise complex topics into manageable bites.
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