How to Find the Best New Car Deals

Car keys on money.

Simple steps to help you find a new car at a great price

Aside from a house, buying a car is the second largest purchase many of us will make.  That's why it's important to understand how to find the best new car deals or you could wind up paying more than you should.  Below, we offer simple steps to help you find a new car at a great price.

Step 1:  Know that new car price

When it comes to buying a new car, information is power.  That's why it's important to research new car prices online before you visit your local dealer or before you submit a new car purchase request.  Data such as Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) and dealer invoice pricing, or how much a dealer paid for a car, is published at LendingTree to help you with your research. 

Be sure to use the dealer invoice pricing as a starting point for negotiations and don't forget to research whether or not your car comes with special offers, otherwise known as incentives and rebates, which could save you additional money.

Step 2:  Check special offers

New car incentives and rebates, also known as 'current offers' or 'special offers', are savings programs offered by manufacturers to consumers on specific new car makes and models. 

Throughout the year, manufacturers offer a variety of incentives and rebates programs, including low interest car loans, no interest car loans, cash rebates and special lease programs such as zero down payments, zero up-front fees and low monthly payments. 

Be sure to research new car incentives and rebates online, ahead of time, to determine whether or not the vehicle you're interested in buying comes with special offers.  If you're considering two or more vehicles, the types of incentives and rebates programs offered can play a significant role in your purchase consideration. 

Step 3:  Compare brands

Be sure to cross-compare your top new car prospects with similar makes and models, since you may find better deals on different brands.  Today's car buyers have a wide range of choices when it comes to body styles, standard and optional equipment, towing and hauling capacities, interior and exterior color choices and more. As a result, you may find similar vehicles with the features you want at more affordable prices than the new cars on your initial prospect list.

Step 4:  Time it right

The end of the month and the end of the calendar year are great times to buy a new car because these are the times when dealers are working hard to meet sales quotas.  As a result, you could be in a better position to negotiate price and to take advantage of any special savings programs the dealer might be offering.

Also, leftover new car inventory carries hefty discounts in the late summer and early fall, as vehicles near the end of a model year and new cars hit showrooms.  You might not be able to find a huge selection of cars, but you can find great new car deals.  Be sure to search dealer inventory listings online, ahead of time, to see what they have in stock.

Step 5:  Get pre-approved for an auto loan

If you plan to finance your car, don't sacrifice the money you saved with your hard work and negotiations on a high interest auto loan.  Whenever possible, get pre-approved for auto loans at LendingTree before you visit the dealer.  Depending on your credit, you may find the best auto loan rates online simply by submitting an application and receiving quotes from multiple lenders.  If you qualify, getting pre-approved for an auto loan ahead of time puts you in a better negotiation position with the dealer while helping you get the best auto loan rates in the process.

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