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Timing on buying a 2017 vehicle
Old 07-01-2017, 01:11 AM   #1
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Timing on buying a 2017 vehicle

We are in the market for a 2017 model (Chrysler) and was wondering about the best time of year (late summer? Sept?) for hitting the dealerships during model close out. Also good tips for my strategy of "attack".

I will fly nearly anywhere in the USA for the best deal (have flown to FL and MI for deals in the past).

Thoughts, please?
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Old 07-01-2017, 01:24 AM   #2
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I bought mine in May for the model of the same year. I requested only internet pricing. I was lucky I got it from a wholesaler.
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Old 07-01-2017, 04:14 AM   #3
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Often good incentives are offered in December for the ending model year. Only problem is that inventory may be low by then.
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Old 07-01-2017, 04:34 AM   #4
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I am sort of in the same boat, with timing perhaps by year-end or early 2018.

Based on my research, (but not actual experience) the last two weeks of the year are best for a close-out deal for a number of reasons. Of course it may be a pain to deal with a car purchase then so plan B is to keep tabs on some of the new car web sites (Edmunds or Consumer Reports for example), since they give you fairly real time information on special promotions, rebates, financing and other incentives which at times may be unique to a certain geography and always time-limited.
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Old 07-01-2017, 05:56 AM   #5
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One thing now is do you want a car or an SUV. It appears that cars are not selling well right now (GM is closing plants for a couple of weeks to control inventory at least with Chevys)
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Old 07-01-2017, 06:12 AM   #6
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As mentioned, the longer you wait the less inventory to choose from. If you're flexible on colors and options, I would wait until late in the year.
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Old 07-01-2017, 06:25 AM   #7
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For our last new car purchase, we used the Costco auto program. Subsequent research showed we got a good deal. I suppose there might have been a way to do better, but we simply had to let the salesman know what model/options/etc we wanted and he found a matching car in a database of dealer inventory. Price was fixed and well below sticker. No stress, except for the "mandatory" extras sale pitch (undercoating, etc).
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Old 07-01-2017, 07:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by brucethebroker View Post
We are in the market for a 2017 model (Chrysler)
Out of curiosity - why? I'm simply wondering if this is brand loyalty or you like a particular model or something else?
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Old 07-01-2017, 07:55 AM   #9
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I was thinking the other day how most retirees on a fixed income have to be especially careful making capital expenditures. We have to time it to where all our vehicles and toys don't wear out at the same time, for example.

When you get down to it, the best time to purchase a new vehicle is when inventory levels are very high--when the factories throw out the biggest sales incentives and low APR programs. And that's usually later in a vehicle's model year--January or February. (Retail sales usually pickup in March.) A few days before the end of March, June, September and December will sometimes see additional unpublished incentives.

But you've also got to think about increasing costs of cars and trucks and the inherent depreciation of those vehicles--two separate things to consider. Manufacturers often increase prices slightly throughout the year.

I like to purchase cars on Day One of a model year. And I prefer to buy cars that are a completely new design so they'll look new longer. I often special order the vehicle to get the car that exactly meets my needs--in the color I prefer.

Another angle is to purchase only vehicles that are very durable, in high demand and those with relatively lower depreciation. That means buying cars like Honda Civics or Accords, Toyota Camrys, Nissan Altimas, etc. If buying luxury cars, Lexus is the preferred brand. I avoid certain brands that change models often and those with poor depreciation histories. Certain European luxury brands are incredibly troublesome with electronic gremlins and other nagging problems--and to be avoided.

Every retail market will have a car dealer that's more aggressive on pricing than other dealers. Unless the car is a low volume seller, there's seldom a reason to have to fly to another city to buy a car. You've just got to figure out who to buy from.

I avoid buying cars from slam and jam dealerships owned by big national dealership chains. I like to know my car dealer personally. And I refuse to pay those big documentary fees, mud flaps/paint sealers/undercoating and other profit departments.

We're in the process of selling a Civic SI and Lexus IS in order to buy a 2018 Camry hybrid. We're trying to simplify and minimize transportation expenses.
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Old 07-01-2017, 08:51 AM   #10
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Bamaman: that is great information!

We had to replace both of our cars within a few months of each other. The 2015 Avalon was bought in September 2015 when the dealer was starting to make room for new 2016 models. It was one with all the bells and whistles, but we got it a great deal ($5000 off) and 0% financing. Our 2016 Camry Hybrid was bought in March of 2016, but I ordered the color and options that I wanted and went through our CU for 1.99% financing and no hassling.
I knew I wanted Toyota brands, just kept a lookout for deals.
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Old 07-01-2017, 11:57 AM   #11
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+1 For our last two vehicles we found that the cars that are on dealer lots are frequently at trim levels and loaded with options that are costly and that were not worth the money to us, so we ordered our last two vehicles.... we were still able to strike a good deal with the dealer but more importantly, were able to buy just the trim level and options that added value that we desired.

I usually request an "out-the-door" price for the vehicle that we intend to order from a number of dealers. I tell them up front that I am not keen on doc fees and paying them big $ for their computers to print out some forms so I expect them to either discount the price or increase the trade to essentially eliminate the doc fee but since I am pitting them all anst each other in the end it doesn't much matter to me what they put in for a doc fee or what they give me in trade.

When it gets down to the end if we are at an impasse and not far off I have written out a check to the dealership for my final offer and handed it to them and told them that I will sign it if we have a deal... otherwise I am leaving and moving on to greener pastures... these guys can't seem to resist cash in hand.

I recall one dealer doing the old... what do you want for your trade thing... I told him $100,000 and he looked at me like I had 3 heads.... then I told him that it didn't much matter to me what they priced the car at or what they gave me for my trade since I was focused on the trade difference... a fair price for the car and a fair allowance for my trade.
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:20 PM   #12
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You can search the dealers inventory for the exact car you want and get the pricing you want. All on Internet.
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:42 PM   #13
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Just bought a 2017 Hyundai Tucson two weeks ago. They were offering $3250 in incentives right off the top to move their inventory as the 2018s were due to arrive in a couple of weeks from now.
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:44 PM   #14
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In the 2 weeks or so leading up to my visiting my local dealer to buy a new car back in early 2007, I was following its inventory through its website. I noticed cars coming in and going out but there was one car I wanted, a low-end Corolla (CE), which seemed to be "stuck" there.

I then made my move and finding some time between my part-time work schedule, some bad weather, and other pressing issues, I went to the dealer. I was armed with dealer cost printouts I had bought from Consumer Reports and had a rough idea of what I wanted for my 15-year-old car which was basically dying. I had also reread an old book I bought about how to deal with the car dealer and read the advice in the Consumer Reports papers.

I went for a test drive in my chosen car which, I was told, was supposed to be sold until the buyer had to pull out of the deal. There was a second sticker on the car which included some costly, overpriced dealer add-ons totaling well over $1,000. I told the salesman I wasn't going to pay for them, except for a small amount for one which was useful and would save me money on my insurance.

We haggled very ittle until we agreed on a price to my liking. Similar to how we tell would-be ERs to start with their expenses and work their way up, instead of income and working their way down, I started with the lesser dealer cost, not the higher sticker price.

The car salesman told me they were eager to sell their cars quickly because the dealership was going to be taken over by a larger conglomerate. It seemed a little far-fetched but he pointed out how they had stopped advertising in local media the last few weeks. And he was right, a week or so after I bought my car, the dealership had its new name. And I had my new car, a 2007 Corolla, which I still own today and has been working fine with very few problems.

One thing that old book I bought back in 1991 said about when to visit a car dealer was to visit during bad weather because they get few people coming in. While I didn't go in during a snowstorm, it was just after one and there was still plenty of snow and ice on the ground. It was tough walking through the dealer's lot just to get to my car.
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:27 PM   #15
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Back in the day (i.e., back when I bought new cars) I would decide what i wanted to pay for a given vehicle and offer it to the salesperson. Naturally, he would do his "I'll have to run this past the sales manager" routine. At that point I would stand up and head for the door saying. "If you decide to meet my price, just give me a call." Typically before I could even get to the door, the salesman AND the sales manager would try to catch me and talk me into a higher price - as much as an extra $1000. I'd keep walking. Typically, they would acquiesce to my price - or I WOULD keep walking to my old car.

Now of days, if I want a 2017, I'll wait until 2027 and buy it used with less than 80K on the odometer, but YMMV.
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:51 PM   #16
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I've heard mixed things about the TrueCar buying service, but I used them and was very happy with the price on my Honda Accord. I don't like the stress of haggling so this worked well for me. This was back in 2012 (I keep cars a long time) so things may be different now.
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:57 PM   #17
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Generally speaking the cost to a dealer to buy a car from the manufacturer does not change throughout the year. However, it can change due to a number of events:

1) If the manufacturer offers a rebate or financial incentive to the dealer, this can lower the price.

2) If there is excess supply and the dealer is about to incur finance charges for holding the car, they will be more motivated.

3) If they are participating in a volume incentive program whereby they get a substantial bonus for hitting a certain quarterly volume level, they may be willing to sell cars at cost or even below if it means hitting the bonus threshold.

4) Smaller dealers may never be able to hit the volume bonuses, so they will never get you the lowest price.

5) As the 2018 models come out, the manufacturers usually issue incentives to clear 2017 inventory. I'm not a big fan of buying these though unless the discount is quite substantial, because you are buying a one model year old car at this point and it will incur an extra year of depreciation which you will pay for when you go to sell the car down the road.

Edmunds is usually very helpful at keeping you up to date on rebates and other incentives. Keep checking the web site and see what promotions pop up.
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Old 07-01-2017, 05:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by brucethebroker View Post
We are in the market for a 2017 model (Chrysler) and was wondering about the best time of year (late summer? Sept?) for hitting the dealerships during model close out. Also good tips for my strategy of "attack".

I will fly nearly anywhere in the USA for the best deal (have flown to FL and MI for deals in the past).

Thoughts, please?

Walk into to dealer with an index card with year, model, options, color, and price, on New Year's Eve or day.
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Old 07-01-2017, 05:47 PM   #19
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December 27th.

I bought my last two cars (10 years apart) on the same day. Not planned, just worked out that way. Pretty happy with both deals.
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Old 07-01-2017, 07:45 PM   #20
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I worked for a major auto manufacturer for 24 years and managed a department that administered sales incentives and low APR finance programs. Let me give you some straight (and lengthy) info about the car business:

1. Cars and trucks delivered in May will just about always have higher invoices than cars delivered in October. They quietly raise prices mid year.
2. Very few cars are sold without some kind of manufacturer to dealership incentive--rebate or low APR program--or both. Often cash buyers can get a larger sales incentive which means a lower price. Dealers sometimes try to sell a cash customer at a higher price if it means they cannot sell'em credit life insurance, ESP and/or "gap" insurance.
3. Often you can get a $1000 rebate if you finance the car (even if temporarily) with the manufacturer's captive finance company.
4. Most manufacturers credit dealers' parts accounts with 45 days' wholesale interest expenses. If they turnover inventory fast, the dealer comes out ahead. Most dealers should be willing to give a better deal on aging inventory vehicle than one hot off the truck to stop their interest expenses.
5. Manufacturers go quarter by quarter on sales programs. That's why you can often get a better deal the last week of a calendar quarter. Manufacturers also budget so much for sales incentives regionally. If a region's sales are down a little and their budgets have not been used, they'll often throw dealers a bone at the end of a quarter If they don't use their budgeted incentive money, top management will take'em away next quarter.
6. Small dealers pay the same for vehicles that large dealers pay. There are no volume bonus' in the auto business except when fleets are being sold. Big dealers have big expenses and they often cannot compete on price with a small Mom and Pop dealership--if they choose to sell cheap.
7. 2017 models unsold when the 2018 models are released will have about 2% paid to the dealer's parts account. That way dealers can clear out the 2017 models with lower prices. Some dealers may actually be hesitant to sell 2017 models at the end of the model year end for very low prices until after New Car Showing--and the holdback funds are received.
8. and are great places to become a more informed buyer, and they do keep up with National Incentives. They don't know about regional incentives that may or may not be in force. They can change daily or weekly or monthly--at the regional manager's direction. Often dealers ignore regional (unpublished) incentives because they don't want to pay 40% salesman's commission.
9. We're considering ordering a new Toyota. The Toyota dealers in our state acquire vehicles through Southeast Toyota Distributors--and their wholesale price is substantially higher than dealers to the north (of us) that get their vehicles directly from Toyota. Southeast also adds undercoating, paint sealant and other rip off items at the Jacksonville port--prior to delivering them to their dealers. Gulf States along the Gulf of Mexico is another Toyota distributor that does the same thing. Needless to say, I'll drive an hour to save big bucks and do business with a non-chain dealership buying cars cheaper.
10. Also let me speak of slam and jam national dealership chains--like AutoNation, Rick Hendricks and many others. They like to keep the pressure on their sales managers and salesmen--and they often chew up and spit out employees. Anyone that doesn't make their objectives is gone. They like secondary window stickers with unneeded and overpriced items like paint sealants and rubber bumper covers on SUV's. But their $699 non-negotiable documentary fee is 100% straight profit--something I consider in the total "out the door price." Such operations are often very hard to deal with, and most people have a reason to hesitate dealing with such dealers. Unless a buyer is strong willed, they're not going to beat these operations at their own game. They're very good at what they do.
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