High demand, supply chain hiccups, and a global semiconductor shortage caused the prices of automobiles to rise over the past year. Car buyers reportedly paid 12.2 percent more in 2022 than in 2021. While that's a significant increase, there are ways to take advantage of money-saving opportunities. Memorial Day weekend remains an optimal time to buy a car, truck, or SUV, at a reduced cost. Take advantage of these tips to save money and walk away with a new or pre-owned vehicle, and car loan, that fits you and your budget.
Take Advantage of Memorial Day Car Sales
Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and there's money to be saved when purchasing a new or pre-owned vehicle at this time. Dealerships leverage the holiday, often holding weekend sales to attract customers and compete for your business.
Keep a watchful eye out for incentives such as discounts, rebates, and higher trade-in values on your current vehicle. In addition to this, the federal government is offering thousands of dollars in tax rebates for the purchase of energy-efficient vehicles.
Although these incentives are ways you can buy a vehicle for less money, it's important to keep in mind the global chip shortage and supply chain issues that are leaving dealerships with less inventory. Due to the tight supply of new cars, incentives may look a little different this year, so be sure to check them out ahead of time so you know what to expect.
Know Which Models You Should Check Out
One of the best ways to effectively choose a vehicle over Memorial Day weekend is to narrow down your preferred models while remaining flexible. This strategy helps reduce the amount of time you’ll spend scouring car lots and going for test drives. Time efficiency is important because many of the bargains and discounts dealerships offer are based on strategies to sell more cars over the weekend. Once Tuesday arrives, those incentives may disappear.
Growing families may be best served by purchasing a mini-van or SUV with a third-row seat. Parents who are soon to be empty nesters might want to focus on a long-overdue sporty ride. And remember to consider factors such as fuel economy and trade-in values. Being flexible with your exact make and model will prove useful as you navigate through what is available to you on the car lot.
You should also remain flexible when it comes to the features on your wish list. In addition to keeping your eye out for energy-efficient vehicles due to the incentives mentioned above, it's important to remember that the vehicles on the lot may or may not have the exact features you're looking for. Some vehicle makers are building models without heated seats due to missing parts, but will install them retroactively once they become available. The car shortage isn’t affecting every model the same way, so thorough research is important before you head out this Memorial Day weekend.
Doing a little searching and due diligence before you head out improves your chances of finding the right vehicle for you and your family while taking advantage of available bargains, discounts, and other incentives.
Know Which Models You Should Avoid
Today’s automobile makers secure parts and materials from wide-reaching countries. These items are then transported to an assembly facility that releases the final product. While this method has become standard practice for many automobile manufacturers, it also comes with mixed results. Yes, we’re talking about clunkers.
Purchasing a vehicle is a big-ticket expense, and conducting thorough research can save you time, money, and stress. Platforms such as Kelly Blue Book, Consumer Reports, and J.D. Power, among others, publish reviews about new and pre-owned vehicles. Although one report or critique may not necessarily identify all of the issues that plague every model, looking at multiple evaluations may provide significant insight.
For example, if professional evaluations highlight a transmission issue, or you see numerous recalls of a specific model, it may be worth choosing another vehicle. There’s no reason to risk breakdowns, costly repairs, and the stress associated with owning a less-than-reliable vehicle. Consider making a list of makes, models, and manufacturers that have numerous red flags.
In addition to avoiding vehicles with not so great reputations, the additional supply challenges should encourage you to reevaluate your expectations. When heading out this Memorial Day weekend, be sure to avoid models that are in high demand unless you're willing to pay a higher price tag. Also, consider avoiding larger 7-seater vehicles if you and your family don't need the extra room. Instead, settle for a more standard model that's offered at a more reasonable price and in full supply. Finally, if you're not in desperate need of a new or pre-owned vehicle, consider waiting to see what the buying conditions are like at a later time. Your wallet may thank you later.
Get Pre-Approved For Your Car Loan Before Shopping
Getting pre-approved for a car loan provides significant advantages for consumers. Walking onto a lot knowing you're not reliant on the dealership for financing places you in a bargaining position of power. The dealership understands they can't dictate an interest rate or terms that are favorable to their business, which can mean additional cost savings for you.
Securing a pre-approval for your car loan also ensures you're shopping for an affordable vehicle that fits your budget.
Start Shopping For Memorial Day Car Sales At Home
Conducting thorough online research ranks among the most time-efficient ways to narrow down available makes and models. It’s also an excellent way to gather information about financing and rebates, discounts, and other incentives.
Peach State is ready to get you in the driver’s seat! As a local lender, we're proud to offer members access to Auto Assistance, our unique vehicle buying service designed to provide a stress-free experience. The experts at Auto Assistance can find a vehicle to fit your needs and even deliver it right to your door! A vehicle history report is included along with the knowledge that you're getting the best deal available.1
To determine how much vehicle you can afford, check out our car loan calculator to see your potential monthly loan payment and possible impact on your monthly budget. If you're ready to buy your new or pre-owned vehicle, or are ready to get pre-approved for your car loan, apply online, call us at 770.580.6000 or visit us in person at any of our convenient branch locations.
1 Peach State FCU has contracted with Auto Assistance, LLC to make this service available as a convenience to our members. Any manufacturer’s warranties are not services of the credit union and are not obligations of or guaranteed by the credit union. The credit union makes no representations as to the services of any provider or any vehicles purchased.