Should You Buy a Car Now or Wait? The Answer Is Clear. 

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Last updated Jun 11, 2024

As we enter summer 2024, you might be pondering a common question: ‘Should I buy a car now, or should I wait?’ Luckily, the CarEdge team has created a comprehensive guide to assist you in making the right choice. Whether you’re considering a new or used car purchase, various market factors come into play that can sway your decision. In this guide, we’ll provide insights into the best strategies for both scenarios.

New Car Market: Low APR Offers and Great Lease Deals

If you’re on the fence about buying a new car now or waiting, we have answers for you. Experienced car shoppers know that the best deals of the year often come right at the end. Indeed, December’s sales were huge, but they never really ended. Financing, cash, and lease specials have carried on in 2024. Why? Let’s delve into the reasons.

1. The Urgency to Sell: New car inventory remains above average, wavering between 75 and 85 days of supply. That means if no new inventory is added (in a fictional scenario), at today’s selling rates, it would take that long to sell all inventory. In a healthy, well-balanced market, that figure would be around 60 days or so. The longer a car remains unsold, the more it costs in terms of dealership floorplanning expenses. Especially at today’s high rates.

2. Rising Interest Rates: Rising interest rates make the cost of borrowing money go up. As rates increase, automakers aim to counteract this by offering more attractive financing options to entice buyers. This month, there are low APR offers that making buying a new car much more affordable. If low APR financing is important to you, you’ll want to see the best offers this month.

3. Slowing Car Sales: The spring car sales bump was lackluster. Usually, tax refunds spur car sales in March, April, and May. That was hardly the case in 2024. The result? New car inventory is higher than expected in summer 2024.

Used Car Market: Patience Pays Off

When it comes to the used car market, the situation is less clear-cut. Used car prices have been on a downward trend. An interesting dynamic is at play, with used car prices in 2024 being impacted heavily by outstanding new car incentives.

1. Current Trends: Used car price data from Black Book indicates that used car prices have been slowly declining, dropping an average of 2% over the past month. At the wholesale auctions where car dealers buy and sell used inventory, prices have experienced more drastic swings.

But what happens beyond the winter? The Black Book data below shows that for all of the five previous years, used car prices held flat for the first 10 weeks of the year. Beyond that, volatility has obscured any obvious trends in the past 5 years.

buy a car now or wait - used cars

2. New car incentives pull buyers away from used car lots. With zero percent financing available on so many cars, more shoppers are heading to the new car lots. This trend will continue to drag down used car demand, and in theory, should drive used car prices lower. If you’re patient, better used car deals may lie in the months ahead.

Take Advantage of Deals Today

For new car shoppers, this month’s sales present an unparalleled opportunity to secure a low interest rate. With numerous incentives, including zero percent financing and great lease deals, now is a fine time to buy if you are in need of a vehicle soon. Of course, the best decision for you wallet is usually to keep the vehicle you already have, but sometimes that’s not an option.

However, the used car market remains more unpredictable. While recent trends suggest falling prices, we expect prices to fall further in the coming months as new car incentives pull buyers away from used car lots. If you’re patient, you may save a few thousand dollars on a used car in just 2-4 month’s time.

Ultimately, the decision to buy a car now or wait should be based on your specific circumstances and priorities. Whether you choose to take advantage of this month’s deals or navigate the evolving used car market, careful research and timing can lead to a sweet deal on your dream car. We’re here to help!

Free Car Buying Help Is Here! 

Car buying cheat sheet

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2 Comments

  1. Me Rob Kelleher

    I signed up for a free account. I can only access. 1 of the 6 ( CHEAR SHEETS) you said are free for download. Where are the others. Any help would be greatly appreciated,
    Thank you

    Reply

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