A car is a significant purchase. For most of us, it’s among the most significant single purchases we make in our lives. Anything we can do to get the most for our money is worth doing!
The price of a car is influenced by a whole range of factors, not all of which are related to the quality of the final product. Among these is the time of year you buy the car. The automotive market experiences fluctuations over the course of a given year, and many of these can be predicted. Knowing when to buy can often make a difference of thousands of pounds!
Your financial stability should inform your decision on when to buy. Be sure that you don’t have any large expenses coming up, and that you’re able to fund the purchase. If you don’t have the necessary cash, it might be a good idea to seek outside finance in the form of a bank loan for a car, or a long-term lease. Make sure that you thoroughly assess the costs involved, and make sure that they are outweighed by the benefits of your new purchase.
If you’re in the market for a brand-new car, then you’ll want to pay close attention to sales quarters. Salespeople have targets which are recorded quarterly. This may provide you with additional leverage for negotiating a discount toward the end of a given quarter. If the person you’re buying from wants to push their performance up to meet their end-of-quarter target, they’ll be more inclined to lower the price and thereby push through a sale.
The same applies if the number plates are just about to change. Dealerships will be eager to get rid of their older plates in order to make way for the new ones. In many cases, this is something that will already be priced in. If you want a discount, it never hurts to negotiate.
The used market is often the more attractive one where price is concerned. The used market is, however, vulnerable to volatility in the new market. For example, when a combination of computer-chip shortages and Covid-19 caused disruption in the supply of new cars, the price of used cars skyrocketed. It’s therefore worth keeping an eye, not just on cyclical changes in price, but in one-off events and trends. Sometimes, it’s better to delay a purchase. Sometimes, it’s better to hurry it through.
How long have you had the old car?
If your existing car is starting to become slightly dated, then a replacement might actually provide savings which offset the expense. Typically, selling a car after three years will help you to avoid many of the costs that come with maintenance and MOT tests. Selling and replacing your new car before it hits it’s peak of depreciation will help you to reduce the amount you lose on the value of the car.
When it’s right for you
Sometimes, it’s worth indulging your inner consumer. If you’ve just been handed a promotion, or you’ve achieved a lucrative new position, then a car might be just the thing to reward yourself. The investment might not make as much financial sense as many of the alternatives, but if it feels good, then it might just be worthwhile!