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Is Now the Right Time to Buy a Car?

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Do your homework before you buy, and save big

How can you know whether it is the right time to buy a car? Have you been putting off purchasing a new car because the big price tag is intimidating? Owning a new car is an exciting prospect, but the actual purchasing process deserves serious consideration. So while you look forward to the advantages a new car will bring, make sure you are keeping the following questions in mind:

Is Buying a Car Your Best Option?

When you begin thinking about buying a car, you should consider all the available options. Do you need your own car, or can you save money by combining public transportation with a car share program such as Zipcar? If you decide that your current situation requires you to have your own vehicle, the next step is considering whether buying or leasing will get you the best deal. Leasing is becoming increasingly popular and affordable; it is no longer just for people looking to upgrade their luxury convertible every few years. Both owning and leasing have their advantages and disadvantages, so take time to consider which one benefits your unique situation more. If building equity is your main priority, then buying may be your better bet. On the other hand, if you want to avoid the hassle and financial burden of maintaining or selling an older car, you may find leasing more advantageous.

What Deals Are Currently Being Offered?

If you have decided that buying a car is your better option, you should begin investigating current deals. Car prices change as a result of many different economic factors. Determining whether your wishes are in line with the current market conditions can help you decide whether now is the time to buy or to bide your time. For example, if you are looking to score a great deal and are not picky about the type of car you purchase, you may be able to find a great deal on a car that is not currently selling well or one that is in large supply. On the other hand, if your dream car is in high demand and low supply when you begin shopping, you may want to wait for a better price or consider other cars.

Are There Advantages to Buying Right Now?

Buying a car in the winter may have a surprising advantage. Supply and demand are the main factors that determine pricing, and cold winter weather can put a damper on demand. The dislike that most people feel toward trudging around in snow and navigating icy roads doesn't disappear when car shopping, so it can be difficult to get people into dealerships to test-drive. The writers at AutoHeroes.com say that "bad weather hurts dealership sales (except for SUV's, which are popular in the winter) so if you are planning on buying, go in at the end [of] January and see if the dealer is desperate to move some volume."

Don't be afraid to shop around to find the best deal. You'll be happy you did.

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