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Why buying a new car isn't just for the summer months

Posted on Monday, January 19, 2015 at 9:16:52 AM

When it comes to buying a vehicle, right after the holidays might not be the first time that comes to mind. However, according to a report from Pennsylvania-based media outlet the Observer-Reporter, January could be a great time to go shopping. There may be plenty of good deals, and many other reasons why it may also make some sense to buy early in 2015.

If this sounds like a good idea to you, Home Loan Investment Bank's Christine Dikdan recently offered some valuable guidance for prospective vehicle buyers. For starters, you should make some New Year's resolutions tailored to the automotive industry.

"'I will not continue to dump money into a non-performing vehicle' or 'I will take appropriate steps to maintain my vehicle for optimum performance' or 'I will get out of this gas guzzler and purchase a vehicle that is easier on my wallet and the environment' are all good New Year's resolutions," Dikdan explained. "Depending on where you are will determine the action plan for you and your vehicle needs for the upcoming year."

Planning ahead is a critical step in the auto-buying process. From figuring out which vehicle is right for you to searching for affordable auto financing, you'll need to do a bit of research before you commit. 

"Start with a list of income and fixed expenses, leaving a bit of rainy day money," Dikdan recommended. "After that is completed, see what you can reasonably afford without strapping yourself down, and move forward to vehicle selections in the range you can afford. Many lenders offer extended terms to get that payment where you need it, but also keep in mind that you are paying more interest. It is definitely a balancing act."

While shopping after the holidays may not feel like the best time of year for your wallet, it might actually be a smart choice. Many dealers could offer you a solid price on your ideal vehicle.

"The end of the month - any time during the year - and around the Christmas and New Year season offer the best pricing," Dikdan noted. "The climate is colder and expenses run higher, so fewer people are wandering around just looking for a reason and some inspiration."

She added that buyers who shop at this time of year are doing so because they have a serious need for a new vehicle.

For example, according to Dikdan, buyers could be saying "'My car broke down and it's not worth repairing and I need to get to work' or 'We are expecting a baby and need a vehicle with more room.' An end of the month purchase is always a winner with sales staff wanting to meet goals and get that last deal in for month-end commissions."

With these tips in mind, you may want to head to the dealership sooner, rather than later.