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Get a Good Deal on a New Car

Thinking of buying a new car?

 The Michigan Association of CPAs offers these tips on getting the best deal.

Do Your Homework
No matter what the economic climate, it’s always smart to visit the dealership with a good idea of the book value of the car you want and what competitors are charging. Get quotes from a number of dealers and do some research about a basic price for the model you’re interested in on sites such as KelleyBlueBook.com and Edmunds.com. Tell the dealer about the most attractive prices you’ve seen and ask if they’re willing to do better. When the dealer realizes you’re a knowledgeable consumer who’s willing to go elsewhere to find a smarter buy, he or she will be more likely to negotiate.

Shop for Incentives
Car companies are coming up with a lot of great ideas for getting people into showrooms, so make sure you don’t miss the offers that are out there. To find out what’s available, ask two questions. First, what kinds of incentives do you have for this car? These may include cash back offers or other deal sweeteners. Second, what is the best financing deal available? Some automakers offer loans that carry no interest charges for an initial period or that feature low rates for the loan term.

Make Your Case for Financing
None of these opportunities will do much good if you are unable to obtain the financing you need to buy your new car. Many lenders have instituted stricter loan terms due to the uncertain economy, and some buyers who once might have qualified are now being turned down. If you have trouble getting financing, you might be able to solve the problem by coming up with a bigger down payment, such as 10% or more of the car’s price. That won’t guarantee you a loan, but the lender may have more confidence in the deal because of the cash you’re putting up. A bigger down payment also means you’ll have a smaller total loan amount, which may not only win you the loan but will also mean smaller payments in the future.

Time It Right
Remember that no matter what state the economy is in, there are certain times when it’s easier to get a good deal on a car. At the end of a model year, for example, auto dealers generally want to unload the old models so there’s room on the lot for new cars. In addition, dealers are also often more motivated to sell toward the end of the month to meet any sales quotas for that period.

Your CPA Can Help
If you’re unsure about the best decision on any pressing financial matter, turn to your local CPA. He or she can explain your options and provide the insights and advice you need to make the best decision.

You seek the expertise of CPAs at tax and audit time, of course. But CPAs also promote personal and professional financial security year round. Visit the CPA Referral Service on the MACPA website to search for a CPA in your geographical area or specific area of expertise.

This article was submitted by the Michigan Association of CPAs.

 

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