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5 reasons why you should buy a car in December

5 reasons why you should buy a car in December

New year, new car. It makes sense. After all, everything becomes cheaper after Christmas, doesn’t it?

You might be surprised to learn that cars are an exception to this rule. Often, buyers score lower prices in December than they do in January, for both new and used models.

If you’re planning to get a new set of wheels in the near future, here are five reasons why you might want to make your purchase in December.

1. Dealers are desperate to hit annual targets

Car yards and salespeople have annual targets, which often trigger significant bonuses.

The closer they get to the end of the year, the more willing they are to drop their prices – even sell at a loss.

That might seem strange, until you realise that selling a few cars at a collective loss of, say, $10,000 might help them earn a bonus of, say, $50,000.

2. Dealers need to clear space for new-year models

Once we get into January, dealerships will start taking delivery of 2019 models, which will make their 2018 equivalents look so last year.

Imagine, for example, you saw a 2019 Toyota Hilux and a 2018 Toyota Hilux on the same lot – the 2018 version would immediately seem inferior and thus less valuable.

So if salespeople know that new Hiluxes are coming in January, they’ll do everything they can to offload the old Hiluxes in December – including lower their prices.

3. Dealers need to get rid of discontinued models

While some models will be updated in 2019, others will be discontinued.

The perceived value of discontinued models drops fast, which plays into the hands of bargain-hunting buyers.

Dealers know that if they don’t sell discontinued models in December – while they’re still current – they may not be able to sell them in the new year.  

4. There’s less competition among buyers

Dealerships tend to receive fewer visitors in December, given that a lot of Australians are more focused on Christmas shopping or heading off for the holidays.

That makes life harder for salespeople, which in turn makes them more willing to do deals.

5. There’s more competition among sellers

The reduced foot traffic in December also forces dealerships to fight harder with each other for their share of a smaller pie.

As a buyer, if you quote a lower price at another car yard or threaten to take your business elsewhere, the salesperson will feel under pressure to give you a better deal.

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Fact Checked -

This article was reviewed by Hernan Ferreyra before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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Learn more about car loans

How to get a chattel mortgage?

Both businesses and individuals may use a chattel mortgage, provided that the car is being used predominantly for business purposes. 

To apply for a chattel mortgage, you need to first consider your options and choose a suitable lender that meets your requirements. Once you have selected a lender, you can apply for the loan online by filling out a form. If the lender doesn’t offer an online application process, you can either call them or visit their nearest branch. 

After you’ve applied, the lender will ask you to supply documents that confirm your identification, income, job profile, etc. If everything is in order, most lenders will arrange the loan’s settlement, so all you need to do is pick up your car!

How much is your car worth?

If you already own a car, you could potentially bring down the cost by selling your car in the process. Before that happens, though, you’ll need to find out how much your car is worth.

One of the first places to find this value is to research the value of your current car, giving you an idea of roughly how much it’s worth in its peak condition.

There are plenty of websites that offer a free online valuation, allowing you to enter your car’s make, model, year, badge and description, with results listing a price guide based on both selling your car privately and through a dealership.

Of course, dealerships will try to profit on your trade-in by buying it for less than they can sell it, making it highly unlikely that you’ll get the same price selling a car to a dealer as you would selling a car privately.

However, private car sales can be costly and can take months to sell, making car trading more convenient with a guaranteed return, even if you may not be able to realise the total value of your car’s worth.

Remember that everything is negotiable. If the dealership is offering you less for your trade than you wanted, try to negotiate elsewhere to gain that money back. Start by negotiating on the price of the trade and then ask them if they can give you a further discount on your new car.

How much is my car worth?

If you own a car, it may be something that can help you bring down the cost of your next vehicle purchase through its sale. However, before you can do that you’ll want to find out how much your car is worth.

Your car’s worth can depend upon various aspects, including:

  • Age
  • Condition
  • Model and make

A great starting place for aspects of this includes websites that offer online valuations, allowing you to enter your car’s make, model, year, badge and description, with the listed results displaying a price guide based on both selling your car privately and through a dealership.

Both have pros and cons, as cars can be very profitable, something that will no doubt impact any chance you have to make the most of your car’s value upon sale. Dealerships will try to profit on your trade-in by buying it for less than they can sell it for, so you shouldn’t expect the same price selling a car to a dealer that you would necessarily get selling a car privately.

How much can I get towards a new car as a single parent?

It really depends on your financial circumstances as to how much a lender will grant you towards a new car as a single parent. With most lenders, the smaller the loan you apply for, the higher your chances are of approval, so getting a cheaper car or adding some savings of your own, may be a valid option if you are struggling for approval on a car loan.