How to Time the Used Car Market to Save Money
This is bad news if you're considering buying a compact used car, or if you have a large SUV or truck that you need to get rid of.
As gas prices rise, the prices of smaller fuel-efficient vehicles go up, while large SUVs and trucks go down. According to Kelley Blue Book, prices of late-model used Priuses have jumped by as much as $750 just in the past month. NADA Guide reported prices increasing by as much as $450 in just one week.
Experts believe the Toyota Prius essentially acts as a canary in a coal mine. Most other fuel-efficient vehicles have not experienced such a large price increase, but it's only a matter of time before they do so.
So here's my advice: If you know for sure that you'll be purchasing a compact used car this year, you're better off buying one sooner rather than later. On the contrary, if you're in the market for a large used SUV or truck, you'll probably do better by waiting until summer when gas prices usually hit their peak.
Timing the used car market is important if saving money is your top priority. This tip should save you a few hundred dollars if gas prices continue rising.
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe 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 NetworkSelect 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).
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, 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 ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid