You simply cannot avoid the Memorial Day weekend sales frenzy: “Half off” this, “buy-one-get-one” that. Alongside remembering the holiday’s true purpose—and the splendor of BBQ and family time—comes the wave of ad clutter and sales announcements, urging you to spend, spend, spend. There is no exception when it comes to our friends at car dealerships. From Acura to Buick to Cadillac, you can find cash back and financing and due-at-signing deals just about everywhere. But, how do we know which are legitimate deals, and which are simply money traps?
DON’T GET CAUGHT
Throwing around flashy promotional offers can get car salesmen more money in their pockets if they play it right. Yet, in the midst of “no money down” and 30-year financing options, the fact that the car is actually being up-sold for way more than it’s actually worth can be lost. Memorial Day can, in fact, be a great opportunity to buy a new car—if you play your cards right.
Before you go car shopping this holiday weekend, be sure to do a little research. If you’re ready to pull the trigger on a car, you probably have a pretty solid list of favorite potential new cars. Take a visit to a valuation site like Kelley Blue Book, so you can be aware of what the car is actually worth before being hustled into something overpriced.
As always, our rule of thumb is to shop around. Just like with car insurance, shopping around for the best potential deal can save you some serious cash. Knowing which deals are being offered by which dealerships could help make your Memorial Day shopping experience that much more enjoyable—and fruitful. Here’s a checklist of things to consider when shopping for a car.
ENJOY THE SAVINGS
All of that being said, Memorial Day can, in fact, be a fantastic opportunity for new car buyers.
- According to the NADA car pricing site, a great time to buy is when there’s low interest rate financing, the cost of credit still low, and manufacturers are offering well-qualified buyers (generally those with credit score of 740 or better) cut-rate financing for realistic loan terms. Rates of 0% ‒ 1.9% are possible in 60- to even 72-month loan terms. This means buyers will pay relatively little over the lifetime of the loan when financing a new vehicle.
- There are countless manufacturer-based incentives and strong trade-in vehicle values.
- Financial Samurai explains that this beginning-of-summer sale holiday is one of the best times to buy because of the economics of inventory. “Auto dealerships need to clear inventory for next year’s models which come out in the Fall. […] Memorial Day Weekend will also have brand new left over inventory from the previous year. These are often the best deals because you not only get a new car, you get a huge discount, and a warranty that starts at the time of purchase and not the time of manufacture.”
So, with a holiday so rich in opportunity for new car buyers, be sure to take advantage of the sales this Memorial Day weekend. Don’t forget to shop around, and remember that negotiating is an option at most dealerships.
Will you be checking out car sales this weekend? Heard of any fantastic deals that we missed?
*Updated May 18, 2017