What month do used cars prices change?
If you are trying to get a great price on a used car, there may be several different steps you are taking today to save money on your next vehicle. You may be entering your ZIP into a car insurance rate comparison site to compare auto insurance quotes. You may also be trying to find the best price on your used car purchase today. One factor that some used car buyers consider putting to use is age of the vehicle. Older cars are generally priced at a more affordable rate than newer vehicles. However, in order to take advantage of this yourself, you have to understand more about how age affects a used car price.
The Age of a Used Car
If you are a savvy car buyer, you may be aware that new vehicles hit the dealership lot a few months earlier than you might expect. For example, it was possible to find many makes and models of 2012 vehicles on car dealership lots in the fall months of 2011. This is a common occurrence in the car industry. It does have some bearing on the value of used cars, but it can be difficult to put to use.
How Age is Determined With a Used Car
The fact is that every vehicle has a model date associated with it, but this doesn’t mean that is the year it was sold. For example, a 2010 Ford Escape may have been sold in July 2010. However, it just as likely could have been sold in November 2009. The age of the car, however, relates to its model year in comparison to the year of the new models available. For example, if 2012 cars are the new model year, the 2010 Ford Escape will be two years old. When 2013 cars hit the lot, the model will be three years old.
When Used Car Age Changes
So when exactly does the used car age change? Understanding this may help you to get a better deal on your used car. For example, if you are considering buying that same 2010 Ford Escape, timing your purchase to coincide when 2013 models arrive on the new car lot may help you to save money on your purchase. Older models inherently are reduced more significantly in value than newer models.
Unfortunately, however, this date is not uniform across the industry. Ford may release some of its new models in early fall while other models may be released in late fall. Each dealership, and often each model the dealership offers, will have a unique release date. You can get more specific information about a particular make and model by contacting a new car dealership directly.
Other Factors to Consider
While the age of the model will affect a car’s value to a degree, there are other factors that may affect the car’s value to a greater extent. For example, a value may be reduced more significantly if:
- The latest model available features a body change
- The actual mileage on a specific vehicle is high
- The condition of a specific vehicle is lower
Other Ways to Save Money on a Used Car Purchase
Trying to time the car market can help you to find savings in your purchase. However, you can take a few other steps to save money on your purchase as well. Consider these points:
- Car values may change by location. Expanding your search radius may help you to identify savings.
- Used car values relate to the condition of the vehicle. A seller may have a vehicle priced for “excellent” condition when you could argue that it should be priced for “good” condition.
- A mechanic may help you to identify repair and maintenance issues that need to be addressed or that soon will need to be addressed. The cost of such repairs could be used to negotiate a reduction in sales price.
- A car buyer who is anxious to sell a car may be more willing to sell a vehicle at a lower price. When meeting with a seller, ask why he or she is selling the vehicle. The seller may reveal valuable information you can use to your advantage.
The Total Cost of Ownership
Many used car buyers spend a great deal of time focusing on the price of a vehicle. Some may walk away from a vehicle they are interested in buying when a seller refused to decrease the sales price by even a few hundred dollars. While the price of a vehicle is important, other factors should also be considered. The total cost of ownership includes factors such as:
- The sales price
- The financing terms and monthly payment in place
- The affordability of car insurance on the specific make and model
- The overall condition of the vehicle and need for repairs
- The annual repair and maintenance cost of the vehicle
- The fuel efficiency rating
Many of these factors can be researched online. For example, you can enter your ZIP into a car insurance rate comparison website to shop for car insurance rates. Each of these factors should be reviewed carefully, and they may help you find greater savings in addition to timing your purchase to coincide with the age change of a used car.
Used cars in general are more affordable to buy than new cars. However, not all used cars may be affordable for you to buy and own. Consider the points detailed here carefully before making your next used car purchase.