It's not just a common theme for television ads during the holiday season -- people really do buy cars as holiday presents. If you're aiming to take advantage of the December to January changeover, follow the tips provided by automotive industry expert Rory Angold in this article.
1. Prepare Before Going to the Dealership and Be Ready to Act Fast
Be a prepared purchaser by knowing what your budget is in advance and get preapproved for a loan or lease agreement depending on your preference and choice of financing agency. Pare your choices down to a short list of models that you are interested in and research the options and colors you desire before going to the dealership. Read a good sampling of reviews of cars you are interested in and be prepared to ask the questions that are important to you. Finally, be ready to act when you find the right deal. Other purchasers have the same ideas that you do, so don't expect a car to be around later if you decide to wait.
2. Focus on Christmas Eve
Over time, dealership statistics show that the best day of the entire year to buy a new vehicle is Christmas Eve. This strategy also works out pretty well if you are buying a car that will be a gift, as a new car is not an easy thing to hide until the right moment for giving the gift arrives. A new car in the driveway makes for a very nice Christmas Eve indeed. The next best single day to buy according to purchasing history is New Year's Eve.
3. Pay Careful Attention to Model Years
The end of December is a time that all dealers are motivated to move out their current year inventory. A model from the year that is ending is often virtually the same car as the next year's model. The fact that the current year car is about to appear to be out of date at the beginning of January alone can lead to great discounts and negotiating power.
4. Check Your Memberships for Holiday Specials
Your memberships in retail purchasing clubs, auto manufacturer clubs, finance company or banks all may include special deals for the holidays. Whether it is a purchase incentive or a discount for financing, many companies promote holiday specials for their members and customers. Not all promotions are advertised, so don't be afraid to ask a customer service representative if any deals are available for the holiday season.
5. Get an Early Start on the Day You Choose for Shopping
The holiday season is very popular for car shoppers, and many people have the same days off of work just before Christmas and New Year's Day. Find out when the dealerships you are interested in open, and prioritize your shopping trip around your highest preferences and their respective opening times. Schedule your test drive as early in the day as possible and keep control of your purchasing decision by giving yourself plenty of time on the day you dedicate to shopping.
6. Set Your Limits and Stick to Them
You should be prepared to make fast decisions when purchasing a vehicle during the holidays, but that is only in the situation where a deal you have found truly meets your requirements and limitations. A car is always a major purchase, and for your own satisfaction, it is key that you do not buy a car that doesn't really match what you want or get outside of your budget just because a deal looks attractive. Even though end of year holiday deals can be great, don't make a deal that you don't really want.
About Rory Angold
Rory Angold has two decades of work experience in leadership and executive positions. He last managed field teams in California, Nevada, Hawaii, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming for Zurich Direct Markets, a $1.5B business. Mr. Angold, now serving as Executive Vice President at United Car Care is a results-driven specialist in automotive dealer consulting, training, and reinsurance with a proven track record of developing people, putting together a winning team with an infectious culture that empowers people to want to win.
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