The car industry can be a little confusing. Head to a dealership in November of the current year and you’ll be inundated with vehicle models for the next year already. Shouldn’t we have to wait until the following year to get that model? What is the rhyme or reason behind bringing the next year’s car in two months early? The answer isn’t always so simple to explain, but think about the fact that most stores are crammed with the best new products right before the holiday season. It’s a buying market towards the end of the year.
This, and getting rid of last year’s inventory, are the reasons behind year-end clearance events that always seem to bombard us in the late summer and early fall at our local dealerships. These dealerships are given a finite amount of space on which to store their vehicles, and with a new shipment of the next year’s models coming in, they’ve got to unload some of the older stuff to make room for the new. Due to this principle, they typically will offer tremendous bargains on the previous models, especially if there is an anticipated remodel of a particular vehicle on its way.
However, some people remain skeptical about these events and wonder if they’re actually getting a good deal, or if it just looks that way. As cynics and generally suspicious people when it comes to monetary issues, we’ve become quite wary of deals that are “too good to be true”, and this cynicism extends to the year-end clearance events. In general, Cash for Cars programs and clearance events are actually a good deal, although there are certainly specific things to be on the lookout for, in terms of buying a new car. Educate yourself to protect yourself, and keep out a watchful eye for the following things.
- The Lease Buyout – Leases are contracts, and jumping out of one early usually adds a fee to which you have agreed prior to even driving the car off the lot. Many dealerships will offer to buy out your current loan or lease, but before you sign on the dotted line, ensure that there are no additional fees that will be incurred for breaking your contract. Most people will assume that there is nothing untoward going on when they see official paperwork closing out their leases, and many times this is true. Keep a watchful eye on the terms of the new contract you’re signing.
- The Crazed Salespeople – It’s a well-known fact, all people in sales work on a commission basis, and in order to make their money they’ve got to sell you their product. The same goes with cars, BUT not all car salesman are trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Anticipate a barrage of salespeople during a clearance event, because the deals are great, so their changes of selling you a car are a lot higher during one of these events. This is going to create a great influx of overzealous salespeople trying to complete the sale, be wary of the overly eager people, as they tend to be the savviest of the bunch.
- The Buyer’s Remorse – Remember, when you’re purchasing a car at a clearance event, you’re buying last year’s model. There could be a complete overhaul of that vehicle coming to the dealership in a couple of months, and this can produce a common feeling known as buyer’s remorse. Make sure that you’re okay with the older model, no matter what. The deal is only good if you truly like the vehicle you’re driving off of the lot, and you don’t need whatever they’re adding to the newer version. Ask your salesperson what the differences are.
- The Too Good Deal – Beware the deal that is way too good. If there is a huge price difference, and I mean huge, as in too good to pass up, between this year’s model and next year’s model; make sure there isn’t a reason behind this deal. Make sure there isn’t a massive recall issue, that the car hasn’t been damaged somehow on the lot, and make sure it is entirely operational. Sometimes stuff happens on a car lot, and there are shady dealerships in the world. Make sure you’re shopping at a well-known and incredibly reputable establishment, and always check the car out.
- The Fine Print Mistake – Contracts are lengthy, the print is always tiny and hard to read, and we’re just too excited to fully read through it. I get it, but do it anyway. Read every piece of paper you’re handed BEFORE you sign it. The devil is in the details, and you need to make sure you’re not approving crazy add-on purchases before you leave the lot. Once you’ve signed, there’s no going back, and ignorance is never a valid excuse regarding contract law. It may be tedious, but read every line, carefully.
No deal is too good to be true when you’re a savvy buyer, and educating yourself is the number one way to get there. Read reviews, check the news, and be prepared with a bottom line budget before you even walk out of your house. Have a couple of choices in mind for your new car, and stick to those choices. Don’t allow a salesperson to sway you, or get you into a car you can’t afford. These are all ways to avoid being taken across when it comes to a clearance event. There will be a lot of good deals being thrown your way, but an education is your weapon to avoid a bad deal.