With summer just over a month away, it’s time to think about whether you’ll go through the vacation and travel season, and then back to school in the fall, with your current car or truck – or shop for another family vehicle.
A lot of drivers already are shopping for new vehicles in 2013, with new-car sales generally higher, and that trend is expected to continue.
Micheline Maynard, writing at Forbes.com, offered several “Ways to Get a Smart Summer Car Deal.”
“In order to get a smart summer deal, you need to do some home work,” Maynard wrote. “Those super-attractive offers on television and online might not be available once you get to a showroom …”
Here are some tips to success in summer car shopping, according to Maynard:
- Buy an outgoing model. There’s a reason why auto companies flood the airwaves with ads for certain models: they’re going away. In order to set the stage for the new versions of cars and trucks, they have to clear out the old ones. That means you’ll get a particularly good price if you don’t mind buying the current version and not waiting for the new one.
- Before you head to a showroom, check your dealer’s inventory online. Many now will tell you how many of a certain model are in stock, along with its features and color. If you see lots of the car you want, you’ll have a stronger case than if your dealer has to order it.
- Have tip-top credit. Listen carefully to those summer deal ads, and you’ll hear the words, “well-qualified buyers.” Usually, that means a top-level credit rating. Having a strong credit report allows you to access the very best offers. If you haven’t checked your credit rating lately, you might find yourself shut out of some of those well-advertised deals. Make sure you fix any errors before you go car shopping.
(If you have bruised credit, check out RoadLoans.com for financing of your next car or other vehicle).
- Shop for a winter car. It’s like buying an air conditioner in December. If you know you’ll need it down the road, summer can be a good time to shop for what many people think of as winter cars.
- Head out when the kids have gone back to school. Many parents want to have their new vehicle in the driveway for the new school year. Dealers can sense this when harried moms and dads arrive. But, hanging on until school resumes may give you more bargaining clout. There ought to be incentive plans running throughout August and September, giving you time to shop for what you really want.