Buying a car is a fairly big deal for most people, and it is most likely going to be the second biggest purchase you’re ever going to make behind a house. So it is important to keep a cool head and get all the facts about buying a car before you rush out the door into the arms of your local car dealer.
I personally am not in the market for a new car at the moment (despite my recent car troubles), however there are a few things that I have noticed when it comes to buying a car that I want to share with you today. Particularly around saving money and planning the right time to go car shopping.
What is the best month to buy a car?
I find that every year around June there are almost endless advertisements on the TV by car companies and dealerships trying to push their end of financial year sales. Sometimes these end of financial year sales can reduce the price of a car by anywhere between 5% to 10% – depending on how desperate the dealers are to move stock. So if you are in the market for a new car, then to me the best month to buy a car has to be June. I believe that the best deals happen in June because all the car companies end up competing so heavily against each other to finalise their sales for that financial year and as soon as one company lowers their price, all the competitors have to do the same thing to stay in the market.
Finding the best deal on a car
If you can’t hold out until the end of financial year sales, then your best bet is to wait for things like the end of model run out deals, or closing down sales that “just can’t be missed”. Seriously though, some of these offers can actually be quite good, and they can extend from the cheap used car deals, all the way up to more expensive luxury car deals – if you are in that upper end of the market.
Spending money on cars
For me personally, I normally recommend to people not to spend too much money on cars, as 99% of the time a car will turn out to be a depreciating asset that will not make a positive return on investment. This is fine if you need a car to get to work, but other than that most cars will just cost you money.
Obviously the goal is to spend as little money as possible on cars in the long term, however, you will need to be diligent in finding a car that isn’t a lemon and that won’t die on you the minute you drive away with it.
So what are the best cars to buy?
Unless you have a stack of cash, I would go for a used car. Check that it has been well maintained, regularly serviced, and have it checked over by a reliable mechanic before purchasing. I would also stick to smaller cars (unless you need a larger one) as they are generally more fuel efficient than bigger cars and so your operating costs should be lower.