While scouring the web for personal finance stories, I found some time-sensitive advice. The Consumer Reports Car Blog notes that Labor Day weekend can be a great time to buy a new car, especially if you’re looking at last year’s models.
As the model year transitions from 2007 to 2008, a slew of clearance sales compete for car-buyers’ attention. Choosing the right car from hundreds of available models is complicated by the big decision to save on a discounted, ’07 car or buy the latest car fresh from the factory.
On the surface, many of these Labor Day weekend deals look attractive, especially for models that are not significantly changed for 2008. However, Consumer Reports Auto Price Service’s analysis shows that there is even more potential savings than shoppers may realize.
The piece explains why it’s especially important to seek the lowest price when buying a car at this time of year. The Consumer Reports web site includes a free article on how to drive a great, end-of-summer new car deal. If you are considering a new car, take some time to prepare for the transaction. GRS readers have shared their car-buying success stories in the past:
- Fritz buys a new car
- Two approaches to car-buying
- A real fighting chance is the best story of the bunch, I think, because it describes a $35 tool that can save you thousands of dollars.
You may also find these resources handy:
- Consumer Reports auto issue round-up: Top picks for 2007
- Edmunds True Cost-to-Own calculator
- AAA’s 2007 guide to driving costs [PDF]
Remember: new cars lose their value quickly. Your best value may be a late-model used car. Of course, you’ll actually save any more by continuing to drive that old beater that’s been driving you nuts for so long!
Addendum: As Wil notes in the comments — and as a couple people have e-mailed me — there’s a new study out that shows holding on to your car for 15 years (or 225,000 miles) could save you nearly $30,000.
[Consumer Reports: Save on a clearance-priced new car]