The two main areas to save money on a new car purchase are in the negotiation of the auto loan or lease and the negotiation of the price of the vehicle. Shoppers who are interested in a Japanese vehicle may lose their negotiating power on the price soon, as prices are expected to climb in the coming weeks.
New car shoppers are encouraged to buy now, as the earthquake in Japan and rising fuel prices will soon start to affect car prices here in the U.S., CNNMoney reports.
Factories are shutting down, which will affect parts needed to assemble new vehicles, even for domestic automakers. It won’t matter which country the vehicle is assembled in if the parts aren’t available.
"We haven’t seen the biggest climb (in prices) yet for most cars," Jesse Toprak, an auto sales analyst for Truecar.com, told CNNMoney. Toprak predicts new car prices will start increasing later this week and will continue to rise through April.
A shortage of fuel-efficient Japanese vehicles, like the Prius, is expected to cause new car prices to rise.
Car shoppers could choose a domestic vehicle brand instead of a Japanese vehicle, but there’s no guaranteeing the prices will stay competitive on any brand, due to supply and demand. General Motors has already temporarily closed down a factory in Louisiana that produces mid-size pickup trucks because of a shortage of Japanese parts.
New car shoppers should realize they may not get the color and options they want on their new vehicle and may have to go to a different dealership that may have what they want in its inventory.
Used vehicles are another option, but prices on used models have been up for several months. Consumers are holding onto their used cars longer and the government’s cash for clunkers program required that vehicles be recycled, which also took a lot of used vehicles off the market.
If you can’t bring the price of the vehicle down in negotiations, remember that you can always save money by negotiating the auto loan or lease. Get pre-approved for an auto loan through your bank or credit union before you go to the dealership and see if they can beat it. Shoppers can also negotiate fees and add-ons to save money on a new vehicle purchase.