Looking to Buy a New Car

Our cars are a little over 14 years old.  They are well maintained and still in good shape, but will likely need to be replaced soon.  Also, our needs have changed since we've had two children since our last car purchases.

First, while I enjoy testing driving cars, I do not enjoy negotiating and buying cars.   Second, I am always torn between buying a luxury/sport car or a utilitarian vehicle.  Third, I always like to get a good deal on a car.

So buying a car is generally a stressful time.  However, being armed with knowledge can useful and the Internet is very helpful for getting information.

First,  I am learning what the top rated cars in the class and price range we are considering.  Second, I've learned November through December is when the best deals and incentives occur.  Finally, I've learned that the dealer invoice is no long an accurate estimate of the actual dealer cost, i.e. that it generally doesn't include holdbacks and other manufacturer incentives to the dealer.  Nowadays, a good estimated of dealer's actual cost is around 85% of MSRP.

We've done one round of looking primarily by me.  Now we are doing round two with my spouse and kids.   We are examining possibilities, but are narrowing choices.   I give us a 30% chance of making a purchase in the next few months.

For more on New Beginnings, check back every Sunday for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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