You’ve been eyeing your dream sports car for years, and now you finally have enough cash saved to make it a reality. However, that dream can come true even faster when you’re buying a used luxury car instead of paying a premium just to drive it off the lot. Buying used is the number-one way to save on purchasing any vehicle, sports and luxury or not, but there are also other ways to save big. If you’d like to spend less on this dream while also making it happen sooner, here are a few techniques:
- Shop at the end of the year. December is the best time to shop for any vehicle because dealers are trying to make end of year quotas and personal sellers are looking for extra holiday cash. You can also score great deals on current-year models as dealers are making room for next year’s inventory. The later you go in December, the better the deal you can get. Just make sure you go in-person because it’s much easier to negotiate face to face rather than via email.
- Consider online options. If shopping for the perfect vehicle in person just isn’t for you, there are some perks to online shopping. Lower overhead, such as a dealership not having to house their vehicles in a presentable environment, means the savings can be passed down to you. There is some risk involved with this, so make sure you carefully assess the return policy. Any reputable online seller will give a fair amount of grace period for such a large transaction.
- Take a look at cars that have been in accidents. Not every accident results in a car being totaled, and sometimes a small fender bender can mean the seller simply can’t ask as much as they could were there no accidents in the car’s history. If possible, make sure the vehicle has been assessed by an unbiased third party of your choosing in regards to its safety due to the accident. If you feel comfortable in such a situation you can save big. However, you’ll still want to check the insurance premium, because some policies skyrocket for cars that have been in accidents.
- Go with an uglier color. Paint jobs are easy to fix, but if the car you’re looking at is particularly garish or features a custom design that isn’t desirable, you might be able to get a bargain price for it. Since it’s such an easy issue to address, try your best not to look at the color an instead focus on the major facets of the vehicle that you love.
- Think about a car with higher miles. You generally want to find a vehicle with as low of miles as possible, but if this is a fun car for you that won’t be driven much, how high are too high of miles? You can get a lower asking price if you’re willing to compromise on higher miles. The caveat here is ensuring you get it checked by a mechanic of your choice before making an offer. High miles mean more wear and tear, and you don’t want to get stuck with a vehicle that needs a lot of work.
- Don’t be afraid to walk away. The old school days of walking away from a dealership still sometimes work. They likely have your information, so if you walk away it’s possible they will reach out to you in a few days or weeks. Every day that an unsold vehicle is on the lot is money wasted for the dealership. If your dream car is simply out of your budget, give them your final price and commit to leaving. You might be surprised by a phone call in a few days.
- Negotiate with your insurance company, too. The price of your insurance premium should figure into your budgeting of a new vehicle. Are you missing out on discounts, such as student discounts or discounts related to organizational memberships? A phone call to your agent might save you a bundle.
As you think about the various aspects of buying your dream car, the budget can be a big driver behind every decision you make. Stick to it and get creative, and you might realize your dream sooner than later.