What you should know before Memorial Day Car Shopping!

MyCarladys’ 7 Secrets to Successful Memorial Day Car Buying.

As you set out with your newspaper ads and KBB.com trade-in reports let’s cover a few critical things you need to know about this holiday Sales event car shopping climate.

These tips will help you keep frustration to a minimum and hopefully get you that deal you are looking for in a reasonable period of time.

  1. NEW-USED CAR SPECIALS: The dealership website IS NOT UP TO DATE when it comes to INVENTORY.  Cars sell faster than the webmaster can take them off. If you want that one specific car, you MAY try arranging a test-drive appointment thorough the internet department EARLY in the morning. Hopefully they won’t tell you that 1 car is there, but be VERY clear, that’s the only one you want to drive. Be prepared that 15 other salespeople may also have a client coming to “SEE” it. But be courteous, and if you aren’t going to make the appointment (or even be on time) call and let that salesperson know. They make their living helping people, not waiting for NO-shows.
  2. NEW CAR INVENTORY: Be prepared to NOT find the EXACT color and features you want. The car makers have been reducing production all spring, and this month is the last of new 2017 arrivals.
  3. 2017 Year End Deals: Be prepared to be flexible when selecting a NEW 2017 if you want to get the Memorial Day rebates and incentives, especially 0% or low interest rate auto loans. These special finance deals are for EXCELLENT CREDIT SCORES of usually 720 and above, ON THE AUTO FICO SCORE. This is a different score than your typical Credit Karma-Free Credit Report score. If you are CONCERNED about your CREDIT SCORE for AUTO FINANCING, ask to have it pulled by your bank or credit union and ASK THEM WHAT IT IS.  Do not let EVERY DEALER pull your credit report as that lowers the score. Rebates and Incentives ARE NOT grandfathered. Know your BUDGET.


4. TRADE-IN VALUES:  Used car [prices are sliding back to normal after years of high demand low availability. Your car is NOW WORTH $1,000.00-2,000 LESS than KBB. as these numbers are artificially inflated with rebate and over-allowances from dealers, mixed auction data and tons of OFF-LEASE vehicles hitting the auctions. If you choose to sell it yourself consider that a new version of your car has rebates, deduct those current rebates from your KBB.com Private Party vlaue before deciding if it’s worth the time and trouble and loss of possible trade-in TAX CREDIT

5. TITLE or PAYOFF TRADE-IN: Have your TRADE-IN Title in hand WITH THE LIEN RELEASE LETTER. Many DMV/Title companies will not accept a title without it, even if it has the lien release STAMP. Have you most current lease or loan statement so dealers can accurately determine the pay-off amount.

6. CAR-FAX and AUTOCHECK Reports: If you are buying a used car, even from a dealer, ask them to provide a CURRENT CAR-FAX and AUTOCHECK report on the car you are considering. These reports update constantly, and important RECALL and CRASH data can catch a consumer or dealer off-Guard. You can also look up the VIN at www.safercar.gov to be sure a NEW RECALL hasn’t surfaced since the car was traded. AVOID buying a USED CAR where the RECALL reports NO KNOWN FIX. Most reputable dealers will NOT sell these cars, and if you are reading this you are a conscientious consumer, but share this with others who may NOT be so astute.

2017 Holiday Car Sales will clear lots Memorial Day.

and finally #7…

YOUR TIME IS MONEY: Have your car clean and cleaned out ahead of time, leaving only registration, insurance and plates inside. Contact your insurance company ahead of time to estimate any significant increases which could affect the car purchase. Have your credit card or money for down-payment in hand, ready to make that important decision. Hesitating on the “perfect car” will likely cost you “the deal” this weekend. There are hundreds of thousands of people out car shopping with limited inventory and deflating rebates. “SNOOZE YOU LOSE” is the mantra of this holiday car shopping weekend.  If you have a question about the information here or the “deal” you are getting… reach out to Sarah Lee of MyCarlady fame at sarahlee @ mycarlady dot com.

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Sarah Lee Marks is MyCarlady. She has over 25+ years of experience.
She writes about cars, and is a staunch consumer advocate on car related subjects.
MyCarlady offers free car buying advice, and private, auto-related services to help you maintain your personal or commercial vehicles.
Contact Sarah Lee for more information: sarahlee@mycarlady.com Join the MyCarlady newsletter to be kept up-to-date on this and other important car information.