Car Buying Tips

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Is this a good time to buy a car? The resounding answer from financial experts around the country is a resounding YES.

Brad McAreavy, President of Rochester Auto Dealers Association says,
"We're in a tough economy right now. You may think this is a bad time to buy a car. But there are a lot of very good reasons why this is a great time to consider purchasing a vehicle."

"Whenever cars are not selling, the price of cars drops," says Phil Reed of "Salesmen become very motivated." For example, when the people at Edmunds went to buy a new vehicle for test-driving purposes, they found they were able to get it for $1,500 below invoice.

Yes, there is a silver lining hidden in these tough times. And there are a lot of very intelligent reasons to buy a car now.

Historically, the end of the year is always the best time to buy a new car. This year, dealers are more than eager to make deals with over-the-top incentives. You can expect everything from 0% financing and rebates as high as $10,0000 on select vehicles.

In addition to traditional lenders, local dealers are working closely with their neighborhood financial institutions to get their customers quality, affordable loans. Bottom line - you're getting a lot more car for a lot less money.

If your car is over five years old, typically you will start spending more on maintenance. Rather than put more money into your old car, it's usually smarter to use that money towards a down payment on a new vehicle, which offers the latest technology, a brand new warranty and more.

Gas prices might be falling, but who knows what the future holds. Whether it's a hybrid or a flex-fuel vehicle, most new cars are engineered for lower gas mileage and less emissions. That saves your pocket and the environment.

4 Car Buying Tips for Troubled Times from

  1. Have a budget and know what you can afford. Know your credit score.
  2. Get preapproved for a car loan through your bank or credit union even if you want to consider dealership financing. This allows you to negotiate as a "cash buyer." In the finance office, you can see if the dealership can beat your preapproved loan.
  3. Consider shopping for a used car or a certified used car. A used car that's just a few years old typically saves nearly 30 percent over a new car and depreciates more slowly since the biggest drop in value is in the first year.
  4. Consumers who still want to lease should look at the vehicles with the strongest residual values. Honda, Toyota and a number of other manufacturers are still offering lease specials for those with good credit.