Making the most of the deals

The summer is about to end, and autumn is closing in. With the arrival of September comes Labor Day, the last hurrah of the warm season, the time for one last weekend getaway, a trip to the beach, or maybe a BBQ with friends. That’s all well and good, but in the car world, Labor Day weekend is considered one of the hottest times to go buy a car. Deal hunters will be out in droves this weekend, enticed by the various deals and bargains offered by dealers as 2016 models make way for the new 2017 models. But the question is – is it worth it?

Sure, it makes sense to look for big savings this weekend, but as you might expect, there’s a whole lot more to it than that. In this quick guide, we’ll outline some of the basics of buying a car, plus the pros and cons of car shopping on Labor Day weekend.

Continue reading to learn more about Labor Day Weekend Car Shopping.

The Basics

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Buying A Car

To buy a car, you need to first establish your budget, which should include the monthly payment you can make, insurance costs, taxes, titles, and registration costs.

Next you’ll need to get a loan, which you can acquire either from the dealership where you buy the car, the automaker, or a credit union. Also take into account any rebates or deals offered through the manufacturer.

Leasing A Car

A lot of folks will opt to lease a car, as opposed to buying one outright. Leasing a car gives you less money down (the initial payment if you buy something on credit), and lower monthly payments, but it puts limits on how far you can drive the car and requires you to be more attentive to the car’s maintenance. There might also be a penalty associated with early termination of the lease. If you like to trade up every couple years, than a lease might be the way to go.

Check out the helpful Loan or Lease calculator from Cars.com here.

Also, don’t forget to check your credit before heading to the dealership.

The Pros

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In a recent press release, Jonathan Banks, executive analyst at NADA Used Car Guide, said, “We’re seeing several deals in almost all segments. Everything from zero-percent financing to six-year financing terms with cash back are on the table.”

Additionally, interest rates are currently quite low, and that might change if the Feds decide to raise rates soon.

But one of the biggest reasons Labor Day is the time to buy is the way sales numbers are reported. The final numbers will soon be due, which means dealers will be scrambling to move cars as the new models arrive.

In a press release, Edmunds.com outlined a few models that are prime candidates if you’re looking to save big.

“Even though these vehicles are being redesigned or going away altogether, they still have the same great technology and performance that you’d find in most new cars, but at a much better value,” said Edmunds.com Senior Consumer Advice Editor Ron Montoya, in the press release.

Check out Edmunds.com’s suggestions below:

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan – Merc’s tech-heavy mid-size four-door is headed for a redesign in 2017, which means you can get the current model for up to $10,000 off the MSRP.

2016 Hyundai Genesis Sedan – Hyundai’s foray into the luxury market will soon be rebranded as the Genesis G80, dropping the Hyundai designation altogether, even though it’s more or less the same opulent cruiser as before. Get it for up to $5,500 off MSRP.

2016 Buick LaCrosse – The LaCrosse full-size sedan is another luxury car up for a redesign. Edmunds.com is reporting you can get it for up to $6,200 off MSRP.

2016 Cadillac SRX – SUVs and crossovers are one of the most popular Labor Day products out there, and this mid-size example from Caddy will get phased out by the new XT5. Get it for up to $8,000 off MSRP.

2016 Subaru Impreza Sedan – with winter comes cold weather, and with cold weather comes low-traction out on the road. The Impreza handles it all easily thanks to AWD and bulletproof engineering. Slated for a redesign in 2017, you can get the current Impreza for up to $2,300 off MSRP.

The Cons

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The thing about Labor Day deals is that it hurts the consumer’s biggest bargaining chip – the walk away.

Sales people will do everything short of chaining you to their desk to keep you in the game, but with Labor Day deals, there’s a time limit that’s gonna run out. But don’t be fooled, because that pressure can work both ways – the dealer will also be inclined to make a deal with the looming sales numbers deadline. Just expect the full force of tactics to come into play.

Other cons to car shopping on Labor Day weekend is an overflow in buyers, which will flood the lots as they search for a deal. That means you might get brushed off by the sales people, especially if you appear too picky.

Finally, Labor Day deals usually involve a limited inventory, which means while you might get a great deal, you might not get your car in your preferred color or with your preferred features. If you wanna save big, be prepared to compromise a little.

Final Tips

Basically, it comes down to this – do your research, set a budget, and look high and low for your perfect ride. And never, ever be afraid to walk away.

And use common sense – if you find an absurdly low monthly price for a Maserati Ghibli, odds are there’s more to it than the sales guy is telling you.

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