If you've been thinking about purchasing a new ride, the last 2 months of the year are the best time to find great deals on a new or used vehicle. New car prices are at their lowest the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Automakers will offer their best incentives around major holidays, and manufacturers typically offer large rebates at the end of the year to clear room for newer models. Most people aren't shopping for cars during the holidays, but every dealer is working to meet their end-of-year sales goals, so you could end up getting a great deal on a new car. Here are some tips to make sure you’re getting the best deal on the right vehicle to fit your lifestyle.

No Payments ‘til February

During the holidays, people are typically more focused on buying presents, not looking for the best deal on a new car. At ALLIANCE, we want our members who are looking to purchase a new or used vehicle to get the best deals while also having the extra cash in their pockets to purchase holiday gifts, travel to see friends and family, and save during the holidays. That’s why we offer No Payments ‘til February during the months of November and December each year.

  • No payments until February 2020
  • Rates as low as 2.9% APR*
  • Refer a Friend and you each earn $100

If you currently have your auto loan with another institution and you are unhappy with your rate or payment, take advantage of No Payments ‘til February to refinance your auto loan at a lower rate! Learn more HERE. Ready to get started? APPLY NOW.

First, Get Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approved for an auto loan is the first step to figuring out how much money you can afford to spend on a new vehicle. Getting pre-approved before you even walk onto a dealer lot will give you the confidence to know what you can afford before you fall in love with a vehicle that is out of your price range. Plus, having your financing secured gives you an upper hand when negotiating your final price. At ALLIANCE, the process is quick and easy! You can apply today at any of our seven branches OR apply online by clicking HERE.

Determine Your Needs (Or Wants)

Once you know how much you can afford, you’ll need to consider what type of vehicle fits your lifestyle.

  • How many people do you typically travel with?
  • Are you going for style or functionality?
  • What safety features are most important?
  • Do you use the vehicle for work, commute, travel?

Don’t focus only on your needs. You may want leather seats, captain’s chairs, or best in-class safety features. Just be aware that you may have to make a few compromises, or you could go outside your budget adding features you don’t really need.

Choose the Candidates

Once you know what type of vehicle fits your lifestyle you’ll want to:

  • Compare several vehicles from different automakers.
  • Create a list. Write down the vehicles that match your criteria; add their prices, features, and what you like about each one. Then, sort your selections based on your top picks.
  • Search online to see what people are paying in your area for similar vehicles. Also, look at neighboring cities and states to see if it’s worth traveling for a better deal.
  • Read reviews about your top picks. You may find an issue that’s a deal breaker.

Look for vehicles that dealerships are having a hard time getting rid of. Sales numbers are published at the first of the month, so do a quick search to see what vehicles are spending more time on the lot or are being replaced by newer models.

Find the Best Incentives

Most automakers offer factory incentives on new vehicles. These incentives will serve as the biggest offers on your dream vehicle. The fastest way to find the best incentives is to google “[make] [model] incentives.” For example, you would type “Ford Explorer incentives." Then you’ll click to go straight to the automaker’s incentives page.

Find Your Dream Car

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, search online to find your perfect vehicle. Make sure not to limit your search to only your local dealers. You might find a great deal on your dream car in a neighboring city. Sites like CarGurus and Cars.com compile listings from all over the country to help you find the best deals,

  • For the most part, your zip code decides your tax rate. Dealers in rural towns will typically negotiate lower prices on vehicles because their customer base is smaller than in a more populated area.
  • Travel to different dealerships in your area or shop online for your perfect fit. Online shopping can give you insight into what dealerships are offering and what deals are available for your selected vehicle.
  • If you want to test drive your selection before you buy, see if a local dealer has the same or similar vehicle on their lot, test drive it, then look for the best deal online. Remember, until you’ve signed the paperwork, you can always take a step back.