A lot of people plan to buy cars around the start of a new year. There are different reasons for that, which are detailed a bit more below.
If you’re planning on buying a 2021 model, you’re probably going to find extensive safety options to prevent accidents. A lot of these safety features are pretty cutting edge. Beyond that, what should you know if you’re in the market for a new car at the start of the new year?
When is the Best Time to Buy a New Car?
While you might be planning to wait until the start of the new year to buy a vehicle, if you buy one at the end of the month or calendar year, you may get a better deal.
December tends to be when car companies have year-end sales.
Consider buying a car from the outgoing model year at this time, and you might find discounts of more than 6% on average. This is also the time when there’s the biggest inventory for the most part, and dealerships and car companies tend to be anxious to close out the year with strong sales.
They’re also motivated to get rid of the previous model-year cars, so if you could go with a 2020 instead of a 2021, you might find a great deal.
Along with the end of the year generally being the best time to buy, if you wait until January, just know that it’s among the least discounted months. October, November, and December are the most discounted months.
If you have your eye on a car that might be about to go through a redesign, even better price-wise.
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It’s an exciting time to buy a car in terms of great safety features. Some of the technology and safety advances you might look for if you’re thinking about buying in the next couple of weeks include:
- 360-degree vision: This is a broad term for the sensors and cameras that are placed strategically around a vehicle so you can get more visibility than ever before. You can essentially with these sensors and cameras see around all sides of your vehicle, reducing blind spot risks as well as dangers associated with backing out and parking.
- Pedestrian alerts: Since so many of the newer model trucks and SUVs are very large, it’s tougher to see pedestrian traffic. There are as such an increasing number of safety features geared toward improving pedestrian safety. For example, there are sensors specifically meant to provide pedestrian alerts.
- Adaptive cruise control: This compelling safety feature is starting to come standard on new vehicles. With the use of sensors and radar, an adaptive cruise control system automatically adjusts your speed so you can keep up with the flow of traffic.
- Facial recognition: Distracted driving is hands-down one of the most dangerous things on the roads. Facial recognition technology will let you know if the system senses you aren’t paying attention to the road.
- Lane departure: These alerts will provide you with a warning if you’re drifting into another lane, with the use of sensors and cameras.
What Else to Know
If you do want a 2021, there are a lot of new options coming out.
Some of the popular vehicles that are being redesigned for 2021 include the Nissan Rogue, the Hyundai Elantra, and the Honda Odyssey.
The Lexus IS will be undergoing a significant refresh.
There will also be a lot of electric pickup trucks coming out in the new year.
If you’re going to buy a new or new-ish car, you should have your financing locked in before visiting the dealer.
Often, dealers are very interested in coordinating a car loan in addition to selling a new vehicle. They might receive a fee or commission on loans they facilitate.
You’re probably going to get better terms if you shop around before you go and compare loan rates at credit unions and banks. Then, you can bring a preapproved offer to the dealership.
That will help you know what you can afford, and you can also compare interest rates easily.
Even if you are preapproved elsewhere, that doesn’t mean you can’t let the dealer facilitate the loan if it’s better.
Finally, make sure you get all of the pricing information for cars you’re interested in before going to the dealership as well. You want to look at the MSRP and information on third-party sites so you feel confident in understanding what you should pay.