Everyone wants to snag a great deal on their next vehicle, but convoluted pricing and high pressure sales techniques make it challenging. Then there is the matter of determining what represents a good deal on each particular model, because they are all priced differently off the line and hold their value differently.
At the bottom of it all, getting the best deal comes down to figuring out which SUVs your dealer most wants to get off the lot. Space is at a premium and the longer a car sits, the less money the dealer stands to make.
The good news for people interested in an SUV is that changes in the market make now a very favorable time to buy. Stick with us to learn all the strategies you can use to negotiate the best deal when you hit your dealer’s lot.
Monitor the market
Sales of SUVs declined steadily over the past ten years, and several factors account for this. For one, fuel prices rose steadily up until 2017, decreasing the appetite of consumers for gas guzzling vehicles. As people started buying smaller, more efficient vehicles, the prices on new SUVs climbed upwards. This further decreased consumer interest.
But then, in the last few years, dealers realized that they needed to liquidate stock on their lots and prices dropped steeply. Manufacturers also introduced several new, fuel-efficient SUV models to the market in response to consumer demand. To keep fostering a renewed interest in SUVs, these manufacturers set lower starting prices on the new models.
As a result, buyers in 2020 can find fantastic deals on SUVs both new and old.
Dealers are actively looking to reduce stock of older model SUVs, so with a little research you should be able to find attractive luxury upgrades, cash back incentives, and low APR financing. Some dealers may even throw in a maintenance package to entice you to buy.
You are more likely to find that amazing deal by starting out with a web search, rather than a visit to the dealer’s lot. When dealers have already put a lot of effort into moving a vehicle that continues to sit on the lot, they’ll put the best deal online to entice people in.
But, if you show up without a car in mind, they will work hard to sell you on the most expensive vehicle they can. If you don’t know what to ask for, the dealer is not likely to be upfront about the best possible deals.
Buy a new 2020 model this spring
This spring, 2021 models are set to hit lots. That means that dealers are scrambling to sell off 2020 SUVs, as well as older models from 2019, before the year has even reached the halfway mark. If you’re looking for a new vehicle, check out the following models that all have advertised deals right now.
• Get the 2020 Kia Soul for 0% financing for 60 months. You could also get $1,000 cash back on the LX model.
• Snag the 2020 Chevrolet Equinox or Chevrolet Traverse for 0% financing for 72 months (plus $3750 cash back on some Equinox models).
• Drive home in a 2019 Honda CR-V with 1.9% financing for 36 months.
• The 2020 Mazda CX-5 can be had for 0.9% financing for 60 months.
• Take home a 2020 Nissan Armada or Jeep Cherokee with 0% financing for 36 months.
These offers represent a small fraction of the widely publicized deals available on new SUVs, but the deals are likely to be even better when you search your local dealerships directly. If you can tell that they are carrying a lot of a particular model, use that negotiate a lower price.
Buy a used SUV anytime
New cars have that incredible new car smell, and there is definitely something nice about the knowledge that you are the first owner of that vehicle. However, it doesn’t always make the best financial sense. New cars lose approximately 10% of their value the moment they are driven off the lot and another 10% in the first year of ownership.
We suggest looking for a used SUV that has recently come in off a lease or else a retired rental car. Both vehicles will have been very well maintained and have relatively low mileage. Again, dealers will be extra motivated to move models that they have a lot of.
Look for a discontinued model
You can save a bundle on a model of SUV that has been recently discontinued, and the risk in doing this is very minimal. The manufacturer will continue to make parts for that car for decades. Some people are worried that the resale value of the car will be lower, but others point out that it could actually be higher because the vehicle will be hard to find and considered a collectible.
Check out the Lincoln MKX, which was revamped and renamed Nautilus for 2019. That means 2018 models of the MKX are probably dirt cheap right now. For awesome fuel efficiency, look for a Nissan Rogue Hybrid, also discontinued in 2019. And for a truly excellent build quality, the Volkswagen Touareg is a great buy.
There’s a lot to recommend an SUV purchase, from lots of passenger and cargo space to superior handling in bad weather. You can now buy an SUV from a few years back and still enjoy excellent fuel efficiency, which is the one thing that this type of vehicle once lacked.
Now is an excellent time to start looking as dealers are gearing up for the first wave of 2021 SUVs. But don’t worry if you aren’t quite ready. While new models used to be rolled out all at once, manufacturers have started to stagger their releases throughout the year.
If you’re doing your research, you might pinpoint several windows ideal for an SUV purchase. And that, in the end, is the key. The more you know about a dealership’s stock and demand for space, the better you can negotiate a truly rocking deal.