Who doesn't love buying a new car with that "new car" smell - and at Christmas, a car is the perfect gift. In light of the deals that are spreading like wildfire throughout the nation, it might also be the smartest time to buy.
Local dealerships are overflowing with this years models trying to make room for 2014 vehicles, and they're anxious to move them out... red tagging, negotiating and giving deals like no other time of the year.
"We have a lot of inventory right now," said Tammy Darvish, vice president of Darcars Automotive Group, a 21-dealer group in the Washington, D.C., metro area that sells Toyota, Ford, Kia, Chrysler, Volkswagen and others.
Normally you can get 5 to 6 percent off the sticker price when dealing, but that could rise to 8 or 10 percent this month, said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. That means, for instance, you can get roughly $1,880 to $2,351 off a 2014 Chevy Malibu 1LT with a sticker price of $23,510.
With U.S. sales increasing and expected to reach 15.6 million this year, compared to just 10.4 million in 2009, it looks like automakers might have the best year in a long economic struggle.
To find the best prices, dealers say that it depends a lot on what car, SUV or truck you want to buy. The all time best deals now are in the small and midsize cars category.
Some great deals can also be found in pick-up trucks - Gutierrez stated that Ford is offering up to $8,500 off a 2013 Ford F-150 XLT Super Cab with a sticker price of around $30,000.
If you wait it out, the model and make you are anxious to take home will be on sale sometime during the year-end car frenzy. It might not start out that way, but bargains are to be had in every car dealer this time of year.
And timing is everything - wait, if possible, until the very last week of the year for the very best deal of the year.
If you wait until next year you run some risks. Interest rates may rise and trade-in values are likely to drop a bit, Gutierrez said. "You're not leaving a ton of money on the table" by waiting, he said. "But really there's no time like the present."
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