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Car Buying Outlook for 2010

December 31, 2009

2010 OutlookIn the beginning of this past decade, we saw car sales hit a record high of nearly 17 million sold in one year. That's a stark difference from this past year, where sales have been a measly 10 million cars sold. That's more than a 50% drop from the peak.

Car manufacturers and dealers have been suffering as of late which means car shoppers have enjoyed one of the best buying periods in history. So how likely is it that 2010 will continue to be a great time to buy a car?

It really depends on whether the economy continues to improve. We've come out of recession, but the likelihood of a double-dip recession is high. Unemployment is 10% across the country and it doesn't look like it will fall anytime soon. While this is bad for the economy, it's good if you can afford to buy a new car.

The best time to buy a car is usually near the end of the year. It's too late to take advantage of that now, but there are still some incredible deals to be had on leftover 2009 models.

Domestic brands such as GM, Ford, and Chrysler are offering the best deals on leftover models. There is still a few months worth of inventory left and many options and colors to choose from depending on the particular model.

If you're serious about buying a new car and don't mind waiting, we should have a better idea of where the economy is heading in the next 3-4 months. If we do slip back into recession, you can rest assured incentives will rise dramatically. Car manufacturers have been ramping up production since they expect the economy to improve. If they're wrong, car buyers benefit tremendously.

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar, Edmunds, 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

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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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