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Three ways to get a good deal on a car this summer

If you’re in the market for a car, summer is great time to buy. Many dealerships offer specials during the warmer months of the year, especially around the holidays. That means come July 5, you could be smiling ear-to-ear in a new car that you snagged at just the right price. Here are some tips that will ensure you’re walking off the auto lot with a deal that fits your budget.

Know When a Deal is a Deal. As CNNMoney reports, if you’re hearing about a discount from a dealership salesperson, it’s probably not a great deal. Prior to showing up at your local dealership, research the automaker for their specific manufacturer’s incentives. (Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds as well as other car sites have this information online.) Most of the time these deals are highly detailed, so make sure you’re reading the fine print. There might be a discount on one model but not another, while some discounts are only offered to certain groups, like students or veterans. After you’ve jotted down some automaker deals, check your local dealership. There’s a good chance that if an automaker is offering a great discount, your local spot is tacking on a deal as well.

Pick The Right Car. The best way to get a good deal on a car is to pick the right kind. You’re not going to get a sweet deal on a new model. Look into which models are being phased out or even updated, as automakers typically slash prices on them to make way for the new editions. And if you can be brand agnostic — of the mind, for example, that any small SUV will do — you can get dealers to bid against each other.

Timing is Everything. If you can wait until the end of the summer, when automakers are getting set to ship new models to dealerships, your chances of getting a good deal are even higher. Another thing to keep in mind: If you walk into a dealership full of customers, you might want to walk right back out. Salespeople are less likely to want to negotiate if there’s plenty of demand.

Chris O'Shea

Chris O'Shea

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