YONKERS, NY (Mass Appeal) As the summer winds down, the prices of many new cars are often significantly reduced to clear out the old inventory and make room for the new 2015 models. Shoppers in search of a new car are often faced with heavily marketed sales, employee discounts, and zero-percent interest or offers. But are these deals as good as they sound? Consumer Reports Deputy Editor Jeff Bartlett told us some money-saving strategies for year-end deals on cars.
Are end of year deals worth it?
- Some deals are compelling, while others attempt to distract consumers from the true potential savings and long-term owner costs, so just make sure you’re being careful.
- It’s also important to remember that the size of the incentive often varies in direct proportion to the vehicles appeal—a model that is overdue for a redesign will have more cash on the hood.
- Even with these incentives, further negotiation will yield the best results.
Consumer Reports warns against leaving hidden cash on the table. What does that mean for the average consumer?
- Cash incentives come from the manufacturers, allowing the dealers to still earn a profit above the invoice price. Therefore, there’s probably more room than you’d expect for negotiation.
- There are manufacturer-to-customer rebates, but there can also be manufacturer-to-dealer incentives.
- As a consumer, you deserve a fair deal – understanding the numbers, being armed with the latest incentives, and reviewing basic car-buying tips can prepare you for the most effective negotiation.
Is buying last year’s leftovers a good decision ?
- Closeout car deals can bring significant savings when compared to the sticker price, but as soon as the new model hits showrooms, last year’s vehicle will essentially depreciate a full year’s worth.
- If you plan to sell or trade the car in just a couple of years, it’s probably not a good idea.
- If you’re a long-distance driver, you can spread your high annual mileage over more model years by purchasing a clearance model. This might even elevate resale value.
- If you plan to drive the car for more than five years, or until it wears out, a closeout deal can be a smart choice. But be sure to compare against buying the latest model to be sure.