Buying a new car used to be a very trying process. Saving money on your purchase was close to impossible because quite often the salesperson wouldn’t tell you the price of the car until you sat down to sign the contract! Thankfully, those days are over and consumers can research prices, reviews and even comparison shop online. Here are some tips that will help you save money on a new car.

Narrow it Down Online

First of all, know what you’re looking for before entering a car dealership. You probably have a car in mind but make sure to read reviews, compare prices and safety ratings online. If you walk into a dealership understanding the base cost of the car, comparable pricing for other models and generally sound like an educated consumer it’s quite likely you will end up with a better price.

Waste Their Time

How much of your time does a car salesperson waste explaining why they have the best prices or that your particular model is the only one left on the lot? Most are all sharks and you can’t believe much of anything they say so walk into a dealership and pretend you have cash in your pocket ready to buy today. They will tell you everything you need to know and possibly even offer much better pricing. Obviously don’t commit if you are not ready but play their game. Never walk in as the consumer who is dreaming of owning a new car – act like you know what you want and it’s up to them to earn your business.

Did you know that Women Drivers pay over $1,000 more than men when buying a car?

According to Women-Drivers.com 92% of car salespeople are men and women drivers pay up to $1,353 more than men on the cost of a new car.

Do you really need all the Features?

Then you need to ask yourself, “What features can I live without?” The more fully loaded the car is, the higher the price tag will be. There are obviously some features that you’ll definitely want. Maybe you enjoy cruising with the moon roof open. If that’s the case, try to ensure you opt for that feature so you won’t miss out on it. You might have to downgrade to aluminum rims or eliminate pin striping.  But those features might not be a bad trade off to have the wind flowing through your hair. It’s up to you! Know what you need and what you can live without.

Buy Last Year’s Model

Buying a “leftover” is a great way to save money on a new car. A leftover is a car that’s from the previous year but it’s still brand new – it just spent a year on the lot without an owner. Because of depreciation, very often you can buy one of these and save 10% or more on the purchase price plus you may even end up with lower car insurance rates.

Learn When to Shop

On the same note, car shopping in the fall is an excellent way to procure savings. Autumn is when the car manufacturers ship the newest year models to their dealerships. In response, the dealers try to move the old inventory and this is when the savings can really start to pile up. Waiting until this point in time could really help you save a lot of money on a new car.

Buying off-season is extremely helpful when it comes to saving on your new car if you’re looking for a specific type of vehicle. Say you’re looking for a convertible. As you can imagine, they’re most popular in the summer when you can put the top down. If you’re in the market for one, believe it or not the best time to buy one would be the middle of winter when hardly anyone is thinking about summer.  The same principle goes for SUVs. If you’re looking to buy one, wait until winter is over.  Once people are more summer-minded you should be able to pick up this type of vehicle at a great price.

Compare Sales Tax in Different Towns

Also, look for towns in your state that offer a lower sales tax. Many states have certain lower tax areas to encourage spending and economic growth. For example, New Jersey’s general sales tax is at a set rate, but in certain “depressed” areas the sales tax rate drops down to 3 percent. This type of area is a perfect place to buy a car. The sales tax you’re paying goes right into the hands of the government. If you can ensure that more of your money stays in your hands, it’s definitely worth pursuing.

Compare Auto Loan Rates

Alright, so you have the perfect car in your sights. It has all the features you want and love, the color is great and the price is right. What else can you do to save money on your new car? How can you save money on an auto loan? Never automatically accept the dealer’s recommended lender. Shop around and compare auto loan companies rates to find the best deal. More likely than not, the dealership will give you the interest rates for their financing company. You’re not obligated to go with that company. Shop around as much as possible – call your bank and others in the area (including credit unions) and see what rates they’re offering. You’ll wind up saving yourself a ton of money if you can get the lowest rate possible.

Consider Leasing

Another option is to consider leasing before buying. When you lease a vehicle you sign an agreement that you will pay for the car for a certain period of time and then at the end of that term you will either buy the vehicle or turn it back in to the dealership. Leasing is great because quite often you can get more car for your money, meaning you’ll get more features for your money than you normally would if you’re buying it outright. You’re driving it for a set time and quite often there are mileage requirements so be sure to keep this in mind. If you don’t do a lot of driving, then this option is probably good for you. But if you have to travel constantly for work, you’ll probably not want to lease. It’s whatever works for your lifestyle.

Saving money on a new car seems challenging, but if you’re willing to be patient and spend the necessary time doing research, it’ll be well worth it. It’s great to walk away from the dealership with the keys to your new car in your hand, knowing you got the best deal for your money.

Alan Dunn

Written by Alan Dunn – one of our highly talented and underpaid writers. For more information on Alan follow him on Twitter or Google Plus

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