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Smart Tactics for Car Shopping Bargains

Earlier this year, TowerLine reported on the transformation of the car buying-marketplace. We identified the ongoing challenges for manufacturers, dealers and consumers alike, including a current inventory shortage. NBC News reports that car dealerships have barely 1 million vehicles in inventory right now, down from the 3 million they would normally expect to have at this time of year.

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What you can do
With cars selling for higher prices consumers need to use new strategies in order to strike a deal. Two methods that could save you money are to 1) opt for a model that’s currently sitting on dealer lots the longest, and 2) look for discounted prices on certain models and trims.

1) Consider Slow Sellers

A car dealership’s profitability is linked to their inventory. When left with cars that has been sitting on the lot for a long time, they’ll be much more likely to haggle with you and give you a good deal just to get it moved.

To get a better deal, ask about any older inventory a dealership may have before you start looking at newer vehicles. For a list of slower selling models, see the chart below.

2) Discounts

In a low inventory environment, new car discounts, rebates and incentives offered by sellers are shrinking: The average incentive was estimated at $1,034 in April—down 66% from 2021.

However, there are a handful of vehicles that still offer generous deals. It all depends on your target vehicle’s model and trim—which is why you should really consider more than one vehicle when shopping for a deal. The chart below shows some of the most recently discounted cars.

Model (2022 model year) Slowest Selling* Most Discounted**
Alfa Romeo Giulia X 6% off
Alfa Romeo Stelvia 5% off
Cadillac XT5 0.25% off
Chevrolet Bolt EUV X
Chevrolet Silverado 4500HD X 2% off
Dodge Durango X
Ford EcoSport X
Ford Escape X
Ford Expedition 1% off
Ford Mustang X
GMC Acadia 1% off
Jeep Gladiator 1% off
Nissan Titan X
Ram 1500 Classic 2% off
Volvo XC60 X
* As reported by Car & Driver Magazine/Black Book as of 6/2/22

** As reported by to Consumer Reports as of 7/13/22. Discounts and incentives data come from automakers’ websites are always subject to change. Offers may vary by region and trim level; so see what’s available in your area before heading to the dealer.

Resources: Hearst Autos, Inc., Consumer Reports, Cars.com, Autolist, NBC Universal Media, LLC.

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