Trade-in values: The used-car market is literally exploding. Trade-in values are at historically high levels. As much as 35% higher trade-in values for the same car as same-time a year ago. This means a bigger down-payment for the consumer on the new vehicle, and a lower monthly payment. The trade-in guides, Kelly Blue Book and The Black Book are posting record trade-in values.
Interest rates. Auto loans are historically low interest rates. What this means to the consumer is a lower monthly payment (as compared to previous years higher interest rates), yet at the same time almost all of each months payment goes to the principal, not to the interest, so the equity in the vehicle builds up quicker. Many manufacturer’
More Liberal Loan Qualification:
Warranty: This cannot be stressed enough. Most consumers are driving cars that are out of factory warranty, or very near it. Labor rates are $100+ per hour, and someone making car payments AND car repairs just does not make economic sense. Sometimes it just isn’t financially possible. With new vehicles having “power-train”
Gas Mileage: Today’s vehicles get much better gas mileage, better performance, and now more than ever then run on ‘Regular’ (87 octane) gasoline. This combination gives consumer’s savings at the pump, and a better driving experience.
Safety: Todays’s current batch of vehicles, whether a basic sub-compact all the way to luxury vehicles costing over $100K, all share many of the same safety standards and safety equipment as standard equipment. These include 2nd. Generation airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners, side airbags, and in many – side window airbags. Add to this that the car body itself (in a collision) is stronger than ever before, and you have the basis to purchase a safer and better car for yourself/your family.
Factory Incentives and Rebates: Automobile manufacturers are going all-out to earn the consumers business. There are amazingly inexpensive lease deals everywhere, as well as huge rebates. The rebates are not just ‘slow sellers’, they are on virtually everything the manufacturer offers.
Standard Bluetooth Law mandates hands-free phone use: Today’s new vehicles come standard with built-in Bluetooth, minding the law, while allowing you to keep your hands on the wheel, not on your phone. Many have voice-activated interfaces.
Baby-Boomer Friendly Features. By the time we are 60 years old, we need 3 times the available light to see the same as an 18 year-old. Auto manufacturers have recognized this. Brighter headlights, better instrument cluster lighting, and a bevy of other ‘user-friendly’
Price Negotiations Have Changed: In days-past, cars and trucks had a big dealer “mark-up” (the difference between the ‘invoice’ and ‘MSRP’ price. This often meant intense price negotiations between the consumer and the car dealer. Those days are over! Today’s vehicles have only 4-6% mark-up, making negotiations much easier and stress-free. No longer does a consumer have to worry that they might have paid thousands too much. Add to this the plethora of internet pricing information, internet sales departments at dealerships, and fleet sales buying programs, and you have a buying atmosphere without the fear of spending too much time negotiating, and the dealer making too much profit on the sale. YOU ‘are in the driver’s seat’ in price negotiations.
Lower Maintenance Costs/Free Maintenance:
Lets’ face it, for most consumers a car is a car payment, and it’s transportation. Buying or leasing a new vehicle with the financial dynamics that are in place will yield the consumer a better car, a safer car, a car with a factory warranty, and most importantly the likeliness of the same, or even a lower monthly payment.
Is there any time better than now to purchase or lease a new car? The answer is simple – start shopping!
Randy Sottile is a noted auto expert and has been featured on television, internet and radio.
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