Is Now a Good Time to Buy a New 2015 Car?
Published January 7, 2016
Welcome back to CarBuyingTips.com. We wish everybody a happy and healthy New year! Now that we are a few days into 2016, you might be wondering if you should consider buying a new 2015 model that a dealer still has on their lot. This is one of the most common questions that we get emailed to us at the beginning of the new year.
You will be able to get great deals on these leftovers from the prior model year. You are still getting a new car but you'll be able to get pricing that you normally wouldn't be able to get. It seems like an easy decision but there are many things that you need to consider before reaching your conclusion.
Has There Been a Major Redesign?
The first piece of information needed to make your decision is whether or not the model you are interested in has had a major redesign. A complete redesign of a model changes the whole game. At that point, you are really deciding between two different vehicles.
If there hasn't been a major redesign, there are normally some features that are improved or added. You will need to determine if the improved or added features are worth paying the premium for. For example, if a manufacturer adds collision avoidance to a model, that's something that is probably worth paying more to have. On the other hand, if they changed the interior light to a color changing LED, you probably don't really need to pay more for that.
How Long Will You Keep the Car?
One factor to consider is how long you expect to keep the car before you trade it in or sell it. Down the road, when you are looking to sell it or trade it in, it will be a year older than a 2016 model. The actual date of manufacture might only be a month apart, but all of the pricing is based on model year. On the plus side, the miles per year will go down so you will have a lower mileage 2015 vehicle. As you can see there are opposing forces at work. The year works against you but the mileage works for you.
If you plan to keep the car for 5 years or longer, the extra year of effective age is not as important. You will save more now in purchase price than you will lose in value later on. If plan to sell it or trade it in after only 3 years, you need to give this factor more consideration. Also, if you buy an extended warranty, the premium will be based on a car one year older. Using third party warranty companies like CARCHEX will keep the price down and be much lower than getting one from the dealership.
How Much Can You Save?
As we get further into the new year, the 2016 models are starting to fill up the dealership lots. They want to move the leftover 2015 models so they have more room for the 2016 models that they can charge more for. As time goes on, the 2015s look even older and the dealers know that they will be worth less and less. For these two reasons, they are highly motivated to negotiate great prices to move the inventory. Not to mention the cost of floor plan financing, but that's a whole different blog.
A friend of mine has been considering a Ford F-150. He found that he can get a 2015 model that a dealer has listed for over $8,000 off of MSRP and that is even before any negotiating has happened.
Take a look at the TrueCar Curve for the model you are considering. You should be able to easily get in the lower end of the "great price" range. There's a really good chance that the dealer will even beat the TrueCar Certificate price that you bring to them.
Now is the time to really focus on getting multiple quotes because not all dealers will have leftover 2015 models. The ones that do may not have the same leftover models and configurations. In addition to TrueCar, you should get additional quotes from RydeShopper and Edmunds.
Consider Price Increases
Aside from the savings off of the 2015 MSRP that you will be able to take advantage of, there is another hidden savings. Normally, the manufacturer will increase the MSRP a little bit for each model year.
Let's say that a 2015 model had an MSRP of $30,000 and you were able to negotiate $5,000 off of MSRP. If the MSRP has increased to $31,000 for 2016 and there haven't been any significant changes to the model, you have actually saved another $1,000.
As you can see, there are many variables to take into account when you are considering buying a new 2015 model at the beginning of 2016. Please don't forget that the price is only one part of the entire car deal. Make sure to read our new car buying guide so that you don't get taken by any dealer tricks or scams.
About The Author: Lyle Romer is a consumer advocate, Founding Contributor and Vice President of CarBuyingTips.com. A 20 years veteran of the auto industry with a high level of expertise, Lyle has been researching all aspects of the automotive sales industry.
Lyle's expertise and research played a vital role during the creation of CarBuyingTips.com in 1999 after years of industry research. He carefully observed every aspect of his own car buying experience as the internet began to take a foothold in the process. He also designed the site to make sure that consumers had easy access to the best consumer advocate education.
Lyle has been an auto industry insider since 1999. He also has worked with other automotive websites to help improve their offerings based upon feedback from CarBuyingTips.com users. He covers important industry events and gathers off the record sources while attending industry conventions.
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