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Car shopping during the dog days of a Texas summer may not sound like your idea of a vacation. But, the truth is that car buyers willing to brave the heat may walk away with some cool deals. Whether you’re in the market for a used car or a new car, here are some tips to consider when it comes to summer shopping.
Seek Out the Best DealsIn the later summer months, many car dealers are preparing for the coming year’s models to arrive. That means they need to clear space in their showrooms, and potentially lots of it, for newer cars. Many times, they are willing to offer deep discounts to move their remaining inventory.
As the temperatures heat up, so do the ads. Watch for manufacturer cash rebates and incentives on new vehicles. Even beyond the discounts offered, though, be prepared to negotiate your own deal. Even if they have incentives, you may still be able to negotiate a lower price if you are armed with research.
Do Your ResearchBe sure to begin your research in advance, and go shopping armed with information on the models you’re considering. Here are our top tips for where to focus when it’s time to start researching:
Be Ready to BuyYou can expect plenty of competition from other discount-seeking buyers. Some buyers will hold off on purchases in hopes that dealers will slash prices even further. But for the best options on makes, models, colors, and options, do your research and be prepared to make your best offer. And even if it seems to be a close-to-perfect deal for you, don’t be afraid to walk away if it’s not the deal you really want. Remember, the car you’re hoping for is probably not unique. You can most likely find plenty of cars similar to the make and model you want in an inventory of another dealer.
Get PrequalifiedBefore venturing out to dealerships, talk with a trusted lender to get prequalified for your auto loan. Prequalification gives you several advantages:
Weigh the Impact of New Car DepreciationVehicles depreciate the most in their first year, ranging from about 18% for SUVs to 35% for sedans and electric vehicles, according to AAA. If you’re someone who likes purchasing cars often, you might consider shopping used, as used cars will already have experienced that initial depreciation.
Research the value of your vehicle.