The price of cars, both new and used, have been absolutely egregious lately, which comes down, in part, to demand that exceeds supply. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people out there who need cars, many of whom are having trouble affording them. If you’re in that boat, then we’re here to help. We’ve got a few different tips that will hopefully make acquiring a car a slightly less painful process.
Right now, leasing is a much better option than buying for a lot of people. Some automakers — even luxury marques like Mercedes or BMW — are still offering solid leasing incentives that can make it possible to opt for something newer without having to commit to fully buying a car.
You can also try buying out your current lease, or negotiating new lease terms that include a buyout price cheaper than the current sale price.
If you don’t have cash on hand right now, then you might want to consider selling or swapping your current car. You may be able to get more money for a car in good condition than what you bought it for. Hell, your car may even be well-loved, and you’ll still be able to get a solid price. Especially if you have something in-demand, like a Honda Civic or a minivan.
There’s a huge demand for certain makes and models right now, which means we’re seeing prices skyrocket — including some cars that actually now cost more used than they would new. Many of the cars on that list are some tried-and-true favorites like the Honda Civic or the Kia Telluride. If you’re looking into one of those options as a used car, you might want to opt for something similar but not quite as hot. It may not be exactly what you want, but it’s better than nothing.
Two year old cars are currently the most sought after, with the 3-5 year-old market following right after, Consumer Reports says. So, while even 10-15 year-old cars are still selling for more than usual, you’ll likely be able to nab a better price because you’ll be going without creature comforts like satellite radio or heated seats.
Some plug-in hybrids or hybrid cars, like the Honda Clarity, are actually selling at reasonable prices right now, Consumer Reports suggests. If you normally go for German luxury, you might want to try something like Alfa Romeo or Cadillac, which have also been selling for decent prices.
My stepdad test drove a Toyota RAV4 and fell in love with it… but there were no TRD Pro models in the area, and he didn’t like any of the other trims. He ended up having to search all over Texas and pay for the exact model to be shipped to a local dealership where he could pick it up. If you have something very specific in mind, you’re likely going to have to cast a wider net than usual to find it, since supplies are low. And you may not get a good deal; you may just have a better chance of finding it.
But if you’re not as picky, now’s a good time to be flexible. Do you really need the larger infotainment screen? Will you truly suffer with a second-row bench seat instead of captain’s chairs? And if you’re going for something cheaper and older, how important is a functional heater when everything else on the car is flawless? Now is the time to make sacrifices.