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4 min read . Published March 03, 2023

Written by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She has a specialization in helping readers in navigating the ways and pitfalls of borrowing money to purchase the car they want.

The edit was done 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 manage their finances through providing precise, well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into bite-sized pieces.

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The purchase of a new car comes with the additional benefits of personalization, the latest technology and the sought-after new car smell. However, over the last few months, purchasing a brand new car has also carried record high prices. Up 11.9 percent from the time of last year. the average purchase price (ATP) was $48,000, as reported by . So, if purchasing a new car is in your future, you should be sure to consider best practices before going to the dealer. Five strategies to save money while buying a new car while costs are high when you are making a major purchase, the best way to save money is planning. It is important to do study prior to starting looking for a vehicle, make sure you lock the financing you are able to afford and plan according to. In addition, with the cost of cars so high, now may also be a good time to think about purchasing a vehicle instead of buying a new. With our experts, Brian Moody, executive editor at Autotrader, shared his advice on how to save money no matter the general car buying market. 1. Do your research prior to going to the dealership. Online resources have transformed the process of buying a car and let you know exactly what dealers are selling before you visit the dealer. This is crucial with limited inventory. Make sure you check the availability of vehicles in your region prior to going in person. If you don’t, you could be forced to buy a car you haven’t done enough research about, Moody suggests « doing most of your research online prior to visiting an actual dealership. » Pay close attention to any additional services or discounts dealers may be offering. Two dealerships could offer the same car however one might offer better extras like discounted maintenance, or free vehicle accessories, Moody explains. 2. Apply for loan preapproval Loan is a vital step in the purchase of a new car. It locks in your expected monthly costs with a possible lender before you purchase the car. You can then shop with a firm knowledge of how much you’ll be spending. Be sure to think about it the same manner you would car shopping — look at the different lenders and don’t settle on the first choice you are presented with. As Moody explains, high prices are what make loan preapproval important to save money. Moody also recommends getting preapproved with your local lender or bank. 3. Stick to your budget With the cost of a vehicle reaching $50,000 you must consider your budget as a guide when shopping for a car. While it’s true that regardless of the conditions, it’s important to stay within your budget, when prices are that high, there’s not much to play with. To determine how much you can afford you can afford, use an application to calculate the monthly cost of financing. Don’t forget to take into the cost of your vehicle, such as and . 4. Consider leasing for the short-term if you have your sights set on a certain vehicle that is difficult to locate on the dealer lot, could be a viable option to get behind the car. « While leasing long term costs more, leasing for the short term can help a buyer obtain the car they desire at a cost that is affordable, » Moody says. When the lease ends the market is likely to be different and you could be able to better afford to buy a brand new vehicle. 5. Buy a used vehicle If you are flexible and are willing to spend money on a vehicle instead of a new one is an excellent option. It’s not just a way to guarantee that you will be able to take a drive in a car and not have to worry about parking, but it can also save you money. « Those who are looking for a bargain bargain should check out used vehicles, » Moody says. With the high demand for vehicles and low availability, prices for new cars will continue to be high. The current situation of the automobile market high vehicle prices are influenced by a number of things, such as inventory available as well as supply chain issues and . All of these affect the cost which you will pay in the dealer. But Moody explains that the main factor currently at play is to supply versus demand. « There are just about one million brand new cars in dealerships across America. » Moody says. « The used cars on the market are greater than twice that. This shortage of new cars combined with the high demand is pushing prices to go up. » On top of this, the actions taken by the make borrowing money for your new car expensive also. Fourth quarter 2022 witnessed drivers financing 4 percent more for their vehicles, according to . The 4th quarter in 2021,, those who took out auto loans have financed an average of $39,834 — versus the average 41,000 that owners of cars are financing in 2022. Due to the combination of the high rates of interest and the cost of cars, it is possible to pay more for a new vehicle. Are vehicle prices returning to their normal levels? The issue of prices for vehicles returning to their normal levels is a more complex question. According to Moody, new inventory should start to stabilize by the in the spring of 2023. « There are a lot of new models in the pipeline and some supply chain issues will be resolved by the time of 2023, » Moody says. Until then, you’ll need to be prepared to conduct more research than usual, and possibly settle for less than the car you’ve always wanted. But just because there’s a limited inventory does not mean that you cannot drive off the lot happy. The main point is that if you have the flexibility to put off buying the latest car, it might be worth it to save money. If you’re like the majority of Americans and are waiting for a car, it might not be an option. Consider buying a car with more caution and be prepared to pay 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 taking out loans to purchase the car they want.

Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are dedicated to helping their readers feel confident to take control of their finances with concise, well-studied and well-researched content that breaks down complicated topics into digestible chunks.

Auto loans editor

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