Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy new year! Buy a car.

So that's it. Christmas is over and done with. The car manufacturers have stopped with their "give your entire family cars for christmas" advertising campaigns and now it's 2014. Awesome - it's the New Year New Car advertising blitz. Apparently, if you didn't buy your wife, partner, loved one, daughter or son a car for Christmas, you're a wicked, evil person. But you can redeem yourself, in the eyes of the car trade, by taking advantage of 'special offers' this New Year. Mercedes would like you to know they've held over their Christmas pricing just for you. Lexus have too, but only for 'well qualified buyers'.
Here's my question : does anyone, anywhere, ever pay full price for a car any more? I've been fortunate enough to have new cars for the last few that I've bought, and no matter what time of year, I've never paid full price - not even close. I can normally drive off with an out-the-door price that is well, WELL below the MSRP. And remember, the out-the-door price includes all the taxes and fees.
I wonder if any of the advertising or sales events that the car manufacturers have actually result in any more sales for them. Or do you think they just have to do these things to spend advertising budgets? For example I wonder if the Christmas sale and leasing offers result in any more sales than a wet week in April?
If you're in the market for a new car and you need to finance it, just sit it out until the car you're looking at appears with zero percent interest. It won't be more than 6 weeks until that happens. If you're in the market for a car right now, just go and buy one. Haggle the price, be sensible and you'll get a good deal from most places irrespective of what incentive or advertising is going on.
Lastly, bear in mind the old adage that "if it seems to good to be true, it probably is". The car trade is the home of that problem. Our local Subaru dealer had an advertising blitz in November last year where they were selling all new* cars at $8,000 off MSRP. The "NEW" was very big and the "*" was very small. The fine print was this: "new indicates vehicles that are new to our used inventory". In other words, they were selling used cars for less than the MSRP of new cars. Imagine that.