When Is the Best Time of Year to Buy a Car in Massachusetts?

credit-union-auto-loanThere are a lot of theories out there regarding the best time of year to purchase a brand new car. Some will tell you that Tuesdays are better than weekends, while others swear that the holidays bring out the best bargains. The truth is, the best time of year to buy a car in Massachusetts is when you have researched and determined the type of car you want to buy and are ready to make a purchase. All of that aside, this article will feature some tips that just might help you to get a good deal when you are ready to make your move.

Watch (Out) for Rebates
Getting a rebate from your local car dealer might seem like an awesome opportunity. While you will save money up front off the vehicle, some rebates are loaded with lots of little fine print. Still, it is worth it to pay attention to the local auto market before you pursue a car loan in New Bedford to ensure that you get the best possible deal. Rebates happen all year long, not just once or twice a year, so it pays to pay attention.

Keep track of rebates by:

  • watching commercials on TV to see when the next “sale event” is happening
  • visit car manufacturer websites or contact local dealers to ask about available rebates
  • check local newspaper ads to see if there are any limited-time offers

Things to watch out for:

  • find out if the rebate is tied to a financing package – upfront savings don’t equal long-term high interest rates
  • read the fine print and make sure there aren’t any hidden costs or fees
  • negotiate the price of the vehicle first without a rebate and then ask to apply the manufacturer’s rebate on top of the already agreed upon rate

Remember, you are better off getting a credit union auto loan from your local New Bedford credit union than going through some out-of-state finance company through the dealer. Credit union members can usually get better financing rates, payment schedules and reduced financing fees, so it really pays to look into credit union auto loans before you go out shopping for cars. In some cases, you can even get pre-approved to cut down on the processing time required to set up the loan and get you into your new car.

Pick a Time to Go Shopping
Shopping for a car is not necessarily buying a car. It’s a good idea to go looking without the intention of buying before you make any decisions. It used to be well known that the best time to buy a new car was in the fall, when the next year’s models were delivered to the lot. However, many manufacturers are releasing new vehicles all year long, so this window of opportunity isn’t as easy to spot out – buyers need to be aware.

Some other windows of opportunity to consider include:

  • end of the sales week – especially if the lot or salesman has had a slow week
  • between the 25th and the end of the month – salesmen are often anxious to meet quotas at this time
  • end of the year – still a good time to get a great deal as car sales slow during the holidays.

Don’t Get Pushed into Anything
Before you go to a car lot, make sure to clear your schedule. Don’t try to squeeze in a trip to the dealer during your lunch hour, before work or before you have to meet someone for dinner. Salesmen can sense when you are in a hurry and will push the issue to negotiate when they think they have you in a corner. If you do need to go, tell them you aren’t planning to make a purchase until the next day so you have the opportunity to walk away and come back.

Don’t settle for second best or “deal with” a car that doesn’t have all the options, features or even colors that you really want. Remember that you will be paying for this car for a couple of years through your credit union auto loan and you don’t want to be stuck with something you aren’t entirely happy to own. If you find a basic model you like and the salesman won’t budge on price, see if you can get any upgrades, such as a better stereo or an extended warranty and service thrown in for free. It never hurts to ask.

Park Away from the Dealership
There are a couple of reasons why you shouldn’t just drive up and park on the lot when you go to buy a car in Massachusetts. The first is that the salesperson will assume that you want to do a vehicle trade-in and will start leading discussions on cost of the new car around the value of a trade-in vehicle.

Another reason is that the salesman will “judge” you and your ability to buy a new vehicle by the one you drive onto the lot. If you have a high end car, they’ll show you high end new cars. If you have an older vehicle, they might not try to get you into the brand new car you want. Either way, it’s better to keep your present vehicle out of sight at the lot.

Knowledge Is Power
Before you drive onto a car lot, make sure to have all your ducks in a row. The more you know about the type of car you want to buy, the less chance the salesmen will have to dupe you into paying more than you should. Having a pre-approved car loan in New Bedford, even if you plan on shopping in Boston or some other large city, can really help you stay within your budget and not pay more for a new car than you were planning.

Speak with your New Bedford credit union representative at St. Anne Credit Union for more information about obtaining a credit union auto loan before you buy a car in Massachusetts. They can help you get the best deal without getting tied into any financing deals, rebates or other misleading fine print. The more you know, the better you’ll do. Call St. Anne Credit Union today and find out more about all the opportunities they have for members who are looking to get a car loan in New Bedford.