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Should You Buy a Car Now, or Wait till 2010?

December 3, 2009

Buy a Car in 2010 There's still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding next year's car sales - for consumers and automakers alike. Production cutbacks and the Cash for Clunkers Program greatly reduced swollen inventories this year, and the next few months may see a price struggle between manufacturers desperate for a profit and customers anxious to save. But who will win?

With the economy still shaky, buyers generally will want to save as much as possible on purchases. So if automakers keep the higher prices on new 2010 models, they stand to lose many potential customers.

Currently, the best discounts are offered by companies with oversized 2010 inventories. Ford and Toyota have nearly cleared their 2009 stocks, and in October their 2010 models were discounted by 12% and 8% respectively. In the 5-6% range for discounts lie Honda, GM, Chrysler Group, and Hyundai, most of which offered comparably greater incentives on their 2009 models.

Even though many car manufacturers are hoping for an increase in sales by next year, there's a good chance they'll be forced to push incentives if buyers are still reluctant.

If you're on the fence about buying a new car, it may be worthwhile to wait a few months and see if you can take advantage of a possible oversupply of vehicles. If the economy dips back into recession, it's a certainty car manufacturers will be forced to reduce prices again through increased incentives.

See the lowest prices on a vehicle in your area (plus see the actual incentives you qualify for)
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My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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