How to Find a Deal While Car Shopping

New vehicle prices are near all-time highs – averaging nearly $36,000 – slightly below their all-time high in August.

Expensive SUVs and pickups are to blame for that trend, but there are other ways to find a deal on a new ride.

For example, many dealers are now in “sell-down” mode – the period when they get rid of current model year vehicles in order to make way for the next year’s lineup. That often leads to many deals for outgoing models.

Looking for a new ride? Here are five tips to find a deal:

Buy a smaller car

These vehicles are a good deal now because their body styles have fallen out of favor.

In August 2018, compact car prices averaged $23,184 and dealers provided discounts worth about 12.7 percent, according to Edmunds. That reflected the highest incentives for any nonluxury segment.

Choose wisely when considering a crossover

Most major automakers offer a compact crossover so they can enter the market share.

According to Edmunds analyst Ivan Drury, "They’ve taken over compact-car and midsize car sales. We see a lot of trade-ins going directly into compact SUVs."

Edmunds states that discounts are averaging 12.1 percent, totaling about $3,465 per vehicle.

Go hybrid or electric

 Sales of hybrid and electric vehicles have been slow, partly due to low gasoline prices and insufficient battery range.

Consider a  luxury vehicle

The entry-level luxury car segment is the most heavily discounted of all categories at 15.1 percent off an average price of $46,208. That translates into nearly $7,000 in incentives per vehicle.

Think about a lease

Due to rising tariff prices and interest rates, dealers and automakers allow consumers to turn in a leased car for cash off a newly leased vehicle.

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