Killer Deals on Automobiles

New 2008 Infiniti G37, 0% APR

New 2008 Infiniti G37, 0% APR

It’s almost President’s Day, so you should be looking for Killer Deals on cars—if, that is, you have good credit or any money left after the market selloff yesterday. Last week we wrote about some of the incredible deals available. In particular, check out Yahoo’s table of great February deals, most of which last through March 2.

2005 BMW 3-series, $24,000 @ 0.9% APR

2005 BMW 3-series, $24,000 @ 0.9% APR

It’s definitely a good time to buy a car, but here are a few pieces of old advice, as well as some you may not have thought of.

 

1. You’re going to find wide variation (spreads) in vehicle prices, according to Edmunds and CNNMoney

The recent average price paid for a BMW 3-series at one dealership was $40,924, according to Edmunds.com. At another, it was $47,459. That’s a 16% price difference. For the Honda Accord, prices averaged between $22,036 and $28,966, a 31% difference. And on an Audi A6, average prices ranged from $39,472 to $53,638, for a difference of 35%.

2. Be a cool buyer. It’s always been a good idea to act nonchalant and never too eager. And don’t be captive to one dealer; negotiate with three or four before accepting any offer.

Even if you really do want a very specific set of features and color on your car, you should act as if you don’t care so much. . . . Even if you really do want precisely the car this dealer has, try not to let on. When all is said and done, you’ll get the car you really want at a better price by making it seem like you’re ready to buy some other car somewhere else for less money.

 3. Do your homework! You’ll likely get a better price on the Internet than by walking into the showroom cold. You can get dealer quotes and all kinds of specific info on CarGurus.com, of course. Finally, walking in with a financing commitment in hand will get you a better deal, so get preapproved from your bank. 

Some of the best deals to be had are on used higher-end cars (yes, we know the Maybach is out of your range), and manufacturers are offering great financing on some preowned certified ’05-’07 models. See more detail here.

Car/Model

Deal

Kelley Blue Book prices,
exc. cond., 30K miles

Mercedes ’06-’07 C and E

3.9% APR, 24-36 mos.

2006 C, about $24K

BMW ’05-’06 X3, X5, 3, 5, 7 series

0.9% APR

2005 3 series, about $24K

Audi ’05-’07 A4, S4, RS4, A6, S6

0.9 to 1.9% APR

2006 A4, about $25K

Honda Accord sedan, coupe, or hybrid

3.9% APR, 24-36 mos.

Accord sedan, about $16K

Infiniti, all remaining 2008s

0% APR

 

So, the bottom line is shop around, even if you know what you want, and be flexible. As always, you’ll do better if you take something that’s on the dealer’s lot. Just don’t let him know that.

Have you ever seen a buyer’s market like this? Are you tempted?

—jgoods

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