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Time Your Car Purchase to Save Thousands

March 29, 2012

As we start entering spring season, several new models will begin hitting dealer showrooms. Naturally, everyone wants to be the first one in the neighborhood driving a brand new model, but that privelage comes at a huge price.

When an all-new or redesigned model is first introduced, there's a limited supply and a much larger demand for the vehicle. A lot of car shoppers don't realize how much that affects the price.

For example, the all-new Toyota Prius C has just started showing up on dealer lots, and although the car should cost around $20,000, some dealers are already marking them up by $7,000!

That's completely absurd, but some people are willing to pay that much extra. Don't get caught up in the excitement, just be patient.

Generally, it's best to wait at least four to six months for supplies to catch up to demand. Some vehicles will remain hard to negotiate even after you wait several months, but at least you won't pay as much as you would in the initial "excitement phase".

A great example of how far prices can fall is with the Chevrolet Volt. When it was first introduced about a year ago, some dealers were charging $10,000 or more above MSRP. Now, a year later, GM had to stop production for 5 weeks due to weak demand.

You can now buy a Chevy Volt for below invoice price. That's the power of timing your purchase.

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle and Edmunds Price Promise 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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