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4 min read . Published March 03, 2023.

Writen by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers to navigate the ins and outs of securely taking out loans to purchase a car.

Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain confidence to control their finances through providing precise, well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into bite-sized pieces.

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Brands are expensive, but they come with the benefits of personalization, the latest technology and the sought-after new car smell. But for the past few months, buying new has also carried record high prices. With a rise of 11.9 percent over this time last year, July’s new car average transaction price (ATP) reached $48,000, reports . If purchasing a new car is in your future, you should be sure to take into consideration the best practices prior to making the trip to find a dealer. 5 ways to save money when purchasing an automobile when costs are high when it comes to any major purchase, the most effective way to save money is preparation. It is essential to conduct research before you start buying a car, and then lock the financing you are able to afford and plan in line with. In addition, with the cost of cars increasing, this could also be a good time to think about buying a car instead of buying a new. Along with our experts, Brian Moody, executive editor at Autotrader, shared his advice on how to save money regardless of the macro car buying environment. 1. Do your research prior to going to the dealership. The internet has transformed the process of buying a car and let you find out exactly what dealers have on the lot before you visit the dealer. This is particularly important when there is less inventory available. Make sure you check the availability of vehicles in your area before going to the dealership in person. If you don’t, you could be pushed to purchase a vehicle that you’ve not done enough research about. Moody recommends « doing the bulk of research online before going to an actual dealership. » Pay attention to any extras or deals dealers might offer. Two dealerships may have the same car, but one may offer better extras like discounts on maintenance or free vehicle equipment, Moody explains. 2. Request a loan preapproval. It is a vital step when buying a new vehicle. It confirms your planned monthly costs with a possible lender prior to purchasing the car. You can then shop with a firm knowledge of how much you’ll be spending. But when be sure to approach it in the same way as you do when shopping for a car — you need to compare lenders and don’t settle on the first one you see. As Moody states, the high cost of loans make loan preapproval important to save cash. Moody also recommends getting preapproved at your local financial institution or credit union. 3. Keep your budget in check car prices reaching close to $50,000 you must use your budget as your reference when you are shopping for your next car. While it is certain that regardless of circumstances, it’s best to stay within your budget, when prices are such as these, there’s no to play with. To determine the amount you’re able to spend make use of an app to determine the monthly cost of financing. Remember to factor into the cost of your vehicle, such as and . 4. You might consider leasing for a short term If you have your sights set on a specific car that is difficult to locate on the dealer lot, is a good option to still get behind the wheel. « While leasing for a longer period will cost more but leasing for a short time frame can allow a buyer to get the car they want at a cost that is affordable, » Moody says. At the time that the lease ends the economy will likely be different, and you might be able to better afford to buy new. 5. Purchase a pre-owned vehicle if you have some flexibility and are willing to spend money on a vehicle instead of buying a brand new one is an excellent option. It will not only ensure that you can actually drive away with a car however, it could also mean money saved. « Those who are looking for a bargain bargain should consider second-hand cars, » Moody says. With the high demand for cars and a lack of inventory, new car prices will remain expensive. The current situation of the car market Current high prices for cars are affected by several variables, including inventory availability as well as supply chain issues and . These all affect the cost which you will pay in the dealership. But Moody says that the biggest factor currently at play is to demand versus supply. « There only around 1 million new cars at dealerships across the country. » Moody says. « The used car inventory is nearly double. That low supply of new cars combined with strong demand is forcing prices to go up. » In addition to this, the actions taken by the make borrowing money for your new car expensive as well. In the fourth quarter, 2022 motorists financing 4 percent more for their vehicles, as per . During the fourth quarter of 2021, people who borrowed auto loans financed an average of $39,834 — versus the average 41,000 that owners of cars are financing in 2022. With the combination of the high rates of interest and the cost of automobiles, you could be expected to spend more money on a new vehicle. What happens when prices for vehicles return to normal? The question of vehicle prices returning to normal is a more complex problem. According to Moody new inventory is expected to start to return to normal by spring 2023. « There are a lot of new models coming out and certain supply chain issues will be resolved by the time of 2023, » Moody says. In the meantime, you’ll have to be prepared to conduct more research than normal, and possibly settle for lower than the dream car. Even though there’s a limited inventory doesn’t mean you can’t leave the lot feeling satisfied. The bottom line The lesson is this, If you’re willing to hold off on purchasing a new car, it might be worth saving money. But if you’re like most Americans, waiting may not be an option. Instead enter car buying with some more study and prepare to spend an extra amount even if you drive off with a good deal. Find out more


Written by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers in navigating the details of borrowing money to purchase an automobile.

Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers to control their finances through providing clear, well-researched information that breaks down otherwise complex subjects into bite-sized pieces.

Auto loans editor

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