Can you get end-of-year deals on cars this year? Experts weigh in

Looking for end-of-the-year car deals? Autotrader and U.S. News Autos told WTOP some can be found if you look in the right place.

The best deals on cars are usually at the end of the year, but Brian Moody, the executive editor for Autotrader, said it’s different this time around.

“That’s probably not going to be the case as much as in past years,” Moody said.

So what are the best deals he’s seeing?

“There’s a BMW that has a pretty decent incentive this year — a lease for as low as $369 a month or 0.9% APR on a BMW 3 series. If you do want an SUV, you can look at brands like Buick; they have a decent 0% APR for 72 months,” Moody said.

He said that supply shortages and automotive chip shortages are expected to last well into next year.

So if you’re not finding the deal you want, “You may end up waiting even though that wasn’t your plan,” Moody said.

Jim Sharifi, the managing editor of U.S. News and World Report’s Autos section, said, “Set yourself up for success before you even go into the dealership” — shop around for the best price for any trade-ins, and get your financing ready.

And you might want to consider looking at other options.

“We’re seeing better incentives on deals for purchase than if you were to lease,” Sharifi said.

He added that compact SUVs seem to have the best deals out there right now.

“Ford Escape, for example, available with 0% financing for five years, plus up to $1,000 cashback, which is an excellent deal. Mazda CX5, same sort of thing — very low-interest financing: 0.9% for about three years right now.”

The bottom line, though, is that it might be a good idea if you can wait.

“People are able to trade their cars in and get top dollar for them. But the flip side of that is they have a little bit less negotiating power with that next thing that they’re going to buy,” Sharifi said.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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