Is It Time to Trade in Your Car?

With year-end sales looming the latest information from the National Automobile Dealers Association indicates now might be a good time to make a deal.

Year-End New Car Deals

According to Kelley Blue Book, December can be a great time to buy a new car.

Is It Time to Trade in Your Car?

“Annual sales are a key metric for automakers, so they are anxious to land as many last-minute sales in the final days of the year as possible,” says Karl Brauer, Kelley Blue Book senior analyst. “Over the years, we’ve seen automakers offer aggressive incentives combined with a strong marketing push to break through the holiday noise and create a year- end (sales) spike.” Brauer says.

But if you’re someone who’s held onto their vehicle, hoping to wring out every last mile, how will you fare when you decide to trade it in to take advantage of these deals?

As it turns out, you might do rather well.

Used Car Values

According to the National Automobile Dealers Association’s (NADA) most recent report, that used car sitting in your driveway kept most of its value in November courtesy of a strong demand for used cars and a decrease in the number of vehicles available through wholesale auction.

According to Jonathan Banks, Executive Analyst for the NADA Used Car Guide, “Usually wholesale auction volume decreases during this time of year – and it did, again. This time, however, it fell even a bit more than normal. If there are less used vehicles in the marketplace, then competition increases, and values hold a little better as a result.”

Because of the strong performance of used cars in November, NADA’s seasonally adjusted used car price index rose nearly 2 points over October – a figure that nearly matches that of last November (when it was 124).

December is normally a down month for used car values and this year promises to be no different. Average used car values are expected to fall about 1.5 percent with the biggest losers predicted to be luxury and compact cars.

But with manufacturers pushing for their year-end sales goals, any loss in value could very easily be offset by increased new car incentives.

The Bottom Line

December is typically a good time to buy a new car since manufacturers are set on attaining their year-end sales goals. Buyers with a trade-in could also benefit from higher than normal used car values, so it looks like this month might be a good time to trade in that old ride on a new one.

Posted on December 16, 2014 by in New Cars
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