Bob Carlson

February 28, 2013

How to Buy or Lease a Car

Filed under: Cash Management — Bob @ 9:25 am

Car buying is an unpleasant experience, and it’s hard to walk away thinking you didn’t leave money on the table. I know, because I recently made an auto purchase. Barry Ritholtz of The Big Picture blog styles himself as a car buying and leasing expert. He’s offered his expertise in a very good explanation of how to approach a new car purchase.

Ritholtz rightly emphasizes that you have to do a lot of research before even communicating with a car dealer or salesman, which is easier to do now because of the internet. He also recommends considering a number of different makes and models and talking to a range of competing dealers. Yes, it’s a lot of time and effort, but it’s also a major purchase and making the right deal could save thousands of dollars.  He also offers a good explanation of how prices vary between competing models and how to use that to find the best deal.

New/Old Models: When models change, there are deals to be had. A brand new model means there are not a lot of used ones to be sold — and many dealers make more from their used cars than they do from their new ones. For example, this month, Lexus’ new RX350 SUV had really good lease deals (2013 RX350 AWD $429mo/27mos. $3,779 due at signing) — because they want some used ones to sell in 2015.

Also look at cars that are being replaced: Acura’s MDX is being upgraded, so is Infiniti’s G37AWD sedan. The deals: 2013 MDX 6 Speed auto $439 per month for 36 months,$2499 total due at signing; Infiniti G37 Sedan AWD with Premium Package: $299/month Lease for 24 months, $2,699 initial payment. Their sale prices were also significantly discounted.

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