Getting the Best Deals for Your Wheels

Getting the best deal on a car...              Wondering if the maintenance costs on your beloved ten year old vehicle is outweighing the monthly payments of a newer vehicle? This may be the time to shop the market to find the best deals for your wheels. Since I recently went through this experience of shopping for a used vehicle I thought I would share a little research.

Several recent reports suggest that heading out of town to find and buy a car can save consumers a bucket of cash off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. According to AOL Auto, savings between 8 percent to 10 percent off the MSRP can be found in metropolitan areas around the nation. To put this into perspective, a 10 percent discount off of a $30,000 is equal to savings of $3,000. Over a 48-month loan, without consideration of savings from interest, that $3,000 equals $62.50 of savings in your monthly payment.

The Best Deal
Consumers shopping for vehicles can often find the best deals by searching multiple zip codes, according to Despite the fact that prices within the used car market are still high, consumers can still find a good price by shopping the market. Many times the best deals are found within a 50-mile radius of a metropolitan dealer.

New Versus Used
The difference between a used and new car market has to do with the laws of supply and demand, according to With financial pressure from the crash of the housing market, a lot of consumers stopped buying new cars and focused on the less expensive used car market. Given that the new car inventory continues to grow as each year new models are released, the supply of new cars grows faster than the demand. Demand of used cars increases while supply is reduced which leads to the higher prices and more competition among used car buyers. For example, a large city like Phoenix, makes the Tucson used car market that much more valuable to consumers, than markets closer to home.

Tucson is large enough to be a major supplier of used cars, and small enough to have reduced competition than might be found in larger cities like Phoenix. More used cars and slightly less demand can equate to lower prices.

According to AOL Autos Best Deal Program, the Tampa-Orlando, Florida area is the top discount market, averaging 10 percent below their MSRP. Next is Baltimore-Washington D.C. area with prices averaged 9.9 percent lower than the MSRP. Atlanta, Georgia takes the no. 3 spot with 9.4 percent under the MSRP.

Best Used Cars
There are a lot of models to choose from in the used car market, but some of the top cars, according to the NY Daily News, include:
•The 2008 Prius because of its dependability and quality.
•The 2008 Ford Mustang because it was elected best for midsize sporty cars.
•The 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX Sti because of its turbocharged flat-4 engine and good handling.
•The 2004 Honda Odysses EX because of its high-scoring crash results, large interior and an optional navigation system.

The Final Choice

So what vehicle did I buy? My first focus was on the usual Toyota, Honda, Nissan models for holding value. However, a few friends kept telling me about the letters they continually received for years from their local Hyundai dealer, begging them to trade in their cars. The dealer needed more used cars and nobody wanted to give up their cars.

I ended up buying a beautiful 2011 Hyundai Sonata with 23,000 miles from the original owner – one of those synchronistic events. Without realizing it, the owner was sitting at the table next to me trading in her car (my new car) for a brand new 2013 model. And yes, I actually did purchase the car in another smaller town close by.

5 Responses

  1. judylawrence

    Thanks – more are coming. Check out the free ecourse “Budgeting Without Tears” too.

  2. judylawrence

    You’re right about that. That’s probably why some of the dealers keep sending notices to their customers asking them to trade in their vehicles for a newer one, saying they need more used cars. I know my dealer is sending out notices all the time.

  3. Georgia Trevino

    In comparison to the European market, there are specifics about the US used car market that should be understood and taken into consideration.

    • judylawrence

      Dealing with cars in the European market is certainly a whole different topic.

  4. judylawrence

    Thank you – glad you found it valuable. Buying a car is definitely a time consuming process and can often be pretty stressful. But, I have to say, once that decision was made I’ve been pleased with the decision and my car every since.