Historically, the end of the year is a good time to buy a car; however, with ongoing chip shortage and subsequent vehicle shortage, prices have hit record highs on both new and used autos. The average price for a used car was $28,381 in the first quarter of 2023, according to Edmunds. And, according to Car and Driver, the average price of a new auto is over $48,000! Inventory is improving but you’re still likely to face high prices from either dealer-added accessories (non-negotiable) or market adjustments.
All that to say, if you are in the market for a new or used vehicle, it will be more important than ever to maximize the value of your trade-in and do your research before you hit the dealership.
9 Tips to Buying Your Next Vehicle
- Set your budget and get pre-approved before you visit the dealership so you know exactly how much you can borrow and what your rate will be. It’s also a good idea to know what insurance will cost based on the vehicle you want.
- Know the value of your trade-in and shop your vehicle to make sure you’re getting a fair price.
- Start your search early. Do your research and narrow your search for the right vehicle ahead of time. Use our auto-shopping tool to start your search from the comfort of your home.
- Be flexible with your “must-have” list because you’re not going to get a deal on a popular vehicle that’s selling well. Getting the best price usually means taking the outgoing year’s model rather than the brand-new model.
- Find a dealer that has your preferred vehicle in stock and is willing to sell it at MSRP or better without additional accessories included. Request price quotes from multiple dealerships and don’t be afraid to play one dealer’s price quote against another dealer’s offer.
- If buying used, request the vehicle history report. It’s easy to do via our free auto-shopping tool.
- Test drives help avoid costly mistakes. Be open to testing out several different makes and models to confirm you’re selecting the right vehicle for you and getting the best deal possible.
- Let Members Trust provide a quote on an extended warranty so you can compare it to what the dealership is selling. More often than not, we can save you money on an extended warranty and GAP coverage.
- Looking to save money on your current auto loan? Calculate your savings with our refinance calculator.
If you can be flexible on the make, model, and features, the more choices you’ll have in a market where supply and inventory remain somewhat restricted. Be willing to do a bit of research on market value and price trends so you’re better equipped to negotiate and make a reasonable deal given today’s market conditions. Contact us – Members Trust is ready to help!