April 20, 2024

Bucks: Tools to Negotiate Car Deals in a Tough Market

Courtesy Edmunds.com

As you may have read, this isn’t expected to be a great summer to buy a car, whether you’re looking to buy new or used.

Price increases from Japanese manufacturers due to the tsunami and the subsequent nuclear disaster, combined with tight supplies and higher prices of used cars, are making steals hard to find. (The average price of a new Honda Civic has risen more than $1,600 since March, according to the auto site Edmunds.com.)

But there are some online tools that can help you calculate what your estimated costs will be, so that you’re in the strongest position possible to negotiate with a seller. EBay, for instance, recently introduced an auction app for the iPhone.

Now, Edmunds.com is making available a simplified “foursquare” calculator, which mimics the process dealers use to crunch sales numbers.

As its name suggests, the calculator has four components: the estimated cost of the car you want to buy; the estimated cost of your trade-in; the impact of your down payment; and the cost of your loan if you’re financing.

You enter your ZIP code, the kind of car your want to buy, the kind you have to trade in (which might be worth more than you think because used cars are commanding premium prices) and the amount of your down payment. Then, it spits back numbers including what your monthly payment would be at a given interest rate. You can print out the one-page summary and take it with you to refer to as you negotiate.

Along with the calculator, Edumnds offers these summer car-shopping tips:

  • If you don’t absolutely need a car right now, wait until the fall and re-evaluate the market.
  • If your lease is expiring this summer, ask about extending it for a few months.
  • Consider buying out someone else’s lease as a bridge until inventories improve. One place to do this is LeaseTrader.com.
  • Used cars aren’t always the best deal. Many one-year-old cars are almost as expensive as new ones, especially if you finance the purchase.

Are you in the market for a car? What kind of pricing have you encountered?

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=0d8bc542c685648e1aa3afc0c796ac83

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