Category Archives: Car Tips

Best Times to Buy a Car

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Buying a new car can be a daunting task. It requires thorough research, budgeting, a pre-approved loan (if necessary), and careful prioritization.

Don’t fret—the car-buying process doesn’t need to be a painful or expensive one. If you want the best deal when you buy a car, timing is everything. We’ve laid out some tips and tricks you can use to walk away with the car you want at a price that won’t break the bank.

Shop at the End of the Year

During late fall and early winter, salespeople and finance managers are looking to meet or exceed quotas, and manufacturers ranging from Nissan to Ford are offering incentives to clear older inventory. This is why November and December often feature lower prices.

The one downside, however, to shopping for cars towards the end of the year is that selections for new cars may be limited. So long as you’re not seeking out a specific model, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Go to the Dealership Right Before Closing

While many salespeople are pushing to get their numbers up at the end of the year, many also have weekly—and even daily —goals to meet. Furthermore, if you come in well-rested and ready to negotiate, you will have an advantage over the salesperson who’s been working all day, especially if you demonstrate you are serious about purchasing a car. The dealer may be more willing to offer discounts in order to get the last deal in before going home.

If you use this method, note the salesperson’s attitude as you enter. While many are more than happy to assist you—and give you a nice price because they want another sale before heading home. Some may be too tired to haggle, have social plans, or simply have already made enough sales in the day (and thus aren’t willing to cut into that sticker price).

Wait for the End of the Month or Quarter

Sales quotas also apply to the end of months and quarters. Remember: car sales representatives work on commission, and many bonuses are given after quotas are satisfied or exceeded. This is why deals are more likely to be given to customers in the days before a big monthly or quarterly sales report.

Realize, however, that each sale must be approved by the dealership’s manager. While most sales are approved, some can be too good to be true. Before you get excited about the deal-of-a-lifetime you just snagged, be sure to relax and wait for approval from the higher-ups first.

Buy Cars When Next Year’s Models Are Released

You’ve heard the saying, “In with the new, out with the old.” Next year’s models typically arrive in late summer to early fall, making dealers eager to sell the remaining cars leftover from the previous year since they are still paying for their inventory. If you’re not trying to get the best and the latest, seek out these older models. Chances are their prices will go down as the new cars come in.

Manufacturers differ in when they release new models. Some come out as early as May. Pay attention to this, and go make a purchase on the older model when the new units hit the lot.

Other Tips

Understand there is no perfect method to getting a great deal on a new car. The key in getting cheap cars is to be flexible and strategic. Research the prices others are getting for your vehicle before even going to the dealership. Also, go to at least three dealerships, so you can compare quotes. If you need financing, compare the terms you get at several financial institutions as well as from the dealership. Finally, keep an eye out for rebates and other incentives for purchasing a vehicle; manufacturers often offer these to buyers.

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Buy or Lease a Car—Which Is Right for You?

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Leasing a car is a viable option for those who need one, but would you prefer that to buying a car outright? However, not all lease deals are created equal. Some of the topics discussed below include how to lease a car, long and short-term leases, and what “wear and tear” is acceptable on a leased car.

Short-Term Car Lease vs. Long-Term Car Lease: Which of These Lease Deals Is Better For You?

There are a variety of advantages and disadvantages to having either a short-term and a long-term lease. Before you decide which option is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you need a car for more than six months, but less than 24 months? If so, a short-term lease option is best for you.
  • Are you concerned with having a lower monthly payment? If so, a long-term lease will be a better option than a short-term lease.
  • Other things to take into consideration, when choosing a lease option, is the following:
    • Gap insurance: this is insurance needed to bridge the difference between what your car is actually worth and what the fair market value is. This is essential because, in the event of an accident, your insurance company may not be able to cover the full amount of what you owe the leasing company.
    • Warranties: will they be jeopardized on your car if you get non-dealership services, or “after market” parts?
    • Subleasing: be advised that, unless you get permission from the leaseholder, you cannot sublease your car. Therefore, consider how long you really need the car for before leasing it.

Wear and Tear: What Qualifies, and What Doesn’t?

When you’re getting ready to turn in your car, certain things do, and do not, qualify as normal wear and tear. Please be sure to keep this in mind as it can result in incurring additional fees when you turn in your leased car. Before the dealer whips out his car lease calculator, make sure you keep the following in mind:

  • Mileage: keep your prescribed mileage in check—you will be hit with severe overage fees if you go over the prescribed mileage.
  • Detailing: if your tires are bald, your bumpers have “dings”, or your interior is too filthy, it pays to get your car detailed. If you allow the dealership to do it for you, you’ll have to pay the price.
  • Any missing parts—such as spare tires—must be replaced before you return the car, or you will be charged for the replacements.

Should You Buy Your Car Instead?

Sometimes, leasing a car isn’t the best option, even if you get one of the best cars to lease. The following is a list of reasons why you should buy a car instead of leasing it:

  • Do you plan on keeping the car after the lease term is up? If you’re the type to have a “long-term relationship” with your cars, then buying a car is cheaper—and better—for you in the long run.
  • How hard are you on your car? If you tend to be rough with your cars—whether deliberately or not–then buying a car is a smarter option in the long run—leasing a car that you’re hard on will result in substantial fees.
  • Do you need to drive a car for business? For taxation purposes, you cannot deduct the use of a leased car from your taxes. However, a purchased car can indeed be deducted from your taxes.

 

Regardless of whether you choose to lease or buy a car, Luxe will be able to provide you with a variety of on-demand parking and car services to suit your needs. Download the app today to learn more and get started!

5 Tips for Stress-Free Car Purchase Negotiations

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Aside from purchasing a home, car buying is the largest investment most people make. You’re paying thousands of dollars and are usually locked into financing over several years, so it’s no wonder it’s such a stressful transaction.

Much of that stress comes when it’s time to discuss the dollars and cents. Negotiation can be nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t know how to buy a car or are inexperienced at haggling. After all, bartering with a professional salesperson might make you feel like you’re a little out of your depth.

Here are a few car buying tips when you’re negotiating your car purchase.

1. Know the Vehicle You Want

Before you set foot in the dealership, narrow down your vehicle selection. Have three vehicles at most that you’re seriously looking to buy. Car salespeople will take full advantage of customers who aren’t sure what they want or haven’t done their research. These are the customers who end up having buyer’s remorse soon after.

Spend time researching reputable online sites, comparing models you think you might want. Drive through car dealership lots after hours to look at these vehicles without any pressure from salespeople. Only once you think you’d seriously consider the car should you walk into the dealership.

2. Only Pay for the Features You Want

On the car lot, there’s a good chance you won’t always find vehicles equipped exactly how you want. That means a salesperson will probably show you cars that have more features than you need. While the extras may be nice to have, you should base your negotiation on the features you originally want. The salesperson knows they are “upselling” you on features, which is a soft spot in their armor. Act like the extras aren’t important, offering only to buy car features you want.

3. Know Actual Selling Prices

You can use an online tool such as Kelley Blue Book to determine the Fair Market Pricing for virtually any vehicle, used or new. When you know the Fair Market Price, you know what range you should expect to pay for the vehicle you want.

Start your negotiations at the low end of the Fair Market Price, and be comfortable settling for a selling price anywhere in the fair range. If the salesperson won’t agree to a price in the fair market range, be prepared to walk away.

4. Get Competitive Quotes

Leverage your position for buying a car by obtaining quotes from more than one dealership. If there is one dealership that clearly has a better price than the others, start your car buying process there. You may just want to deal with a local dealership, so you can use the competitor’s quotes to negotiate a better price. Just make sure the vehicles you are comparing are apples to apples — the same car make and model with the same features.

5. Negotiate on Selling Price, Not Payment

When you are discussing price with the salesperson, they will probably try to negotiate a payment price with you, not a selling price. It’s a favorite tactic used by salespeople to increasing the selling price. By talking about small amounts instead of the overall price, small increases can seem harmless yet make a big difference in the total amount you’ll pay. Keep the topic on total selling price so you maintain control of negotiations.

If the sales process gets uncomfortable, simply walk away. You should never feel like you’re being pressured. After all, it’s your money and you’re in control.