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3 On Your Side: Spring Auto Buying

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It was a long and sometimes lonely winter for auto dealers in many parts of the country. Now, with temperatures heating up, they’re eager to welcome you back. 3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan has some spring shopping advice for those in the market for a new set of wheels.

Since this winter slowed down auto sales, spring can lend itself to some big discounts.

Some of those price cuts are on models at the end of their line, and Consumer Reports says there are two sides to that.

“That can create a great opportunity because often a car in its last model year, is its most reliable. But at the same time, it’s going to look outdated in just a few months,” said Jeff Bartlett with Consumer Reports.

From style to pricing, most of a Consumer’s research can be done before ever meeting a salesperson.

Some big things to consider, space and storage needs. You also have to factor in ownership costs like fuel economy and maintenance and of course, your financing plans.

Those looking to take more time with the process may consider shopping on a weekday.

“It’s nice to have that extra time and a little quieter environment maybe rather than our busy Saturday events, and you’ll still get the same deal,” said auto dealer Vince Sheehy.

And shop on the final days of the month for the best deals.

“Often there are hidden incentives for the dealership that encourage the dealership and the sales staff to try and hit sales numbers. They’re going to be a little bit more open to negotiation,” said Bartlett.

Just know what a good price range is before negotiating. The more research done ahead of time, the smoother the ride can be, and don’t forget the actual test drive.

For more information, visit: http://www.edmunds.com/ http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm,
and http://www.iihs.org/