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How to Time Your Purchase to Maximize Savings

Here's a little secret that might help you save a few hundred dollars on your next car purchase.

Most car manufacturers are publicly traded which means they have to report sales and earnings each year. These companies, along with the analysts that follow them, set yearly targets called sales and earnings estimates. If a company misses these targets, they can see their stock price drop quickly.

If a manufacturer is not on track to hit their target by year-end, they may increase incentives to get some last minute sales. This is one of the reasons why the end of the year is a great time to buy a new car. Both manufacturers and dealers are trying to hit their yearly goals.

But some manufacturers don't follow the calendar year to determine their financials. Most Japanese manufacturers have a fiscal year ending on March 31st. You may see some especially large incentives during the month of March for these brands - and now you know why.

If you're an expert at timing your purchase, you'll want to wait until March for import brands and end of the year for domestic and other brands. Here's a list of manufacturers along with their fiscal year end:

Brand Fiscal Year End
Acura March 31st
Honda March 31st
Infiniti March 31st
Lexus March 31st
Jaguar March 31st
Mitsubishi March 31st
Nissan March 31st
Toyota March 31st
Mitsubishi March 31st
BMW December 31st
Mercedes December 31st
Volkswagen December 31st
GM December 31st
Ford December 31st
Volvo December 31st

3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum Money

The key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:

Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted Network

Select the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Select Vehicle to Get Local Pricing

Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirect

TrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.

Step 3 Complete my Checklist

Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan

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About The Author

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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