We have some very good news about car buying right now. Our U.S. car makers have seen an increase in sales from last month of 7.5%. Who would expect this to happen in this midst of this huge recession and with the economy still so difficult and people having problems with jobs? We did see that our foreign car makers have decreased sales, and we think that was because of the earthquake in Japan. Our U.S. automakers have benefited, and we’re delighted to see that because just a few years ago we were giving them up for dead. Here they are, back again.
We know that one of the reason people are buying cars is the average age of the car is eleven years old. Certainly, cars are lasting longer than they used to, but when it’s eleven years old, you must do something. We still are seeing very good deals, and the interest rates are very, very low. We’re also seeing some special incentive rates out there, so it’s a good time.
We always have to ask the question: Should I lease or should I buy? I am a big proponent of going ahead and buying. The lease can make it attractive, because they’ll promise a lower monthly rate; but we have very low interest rates, which makes it easier to buy. Buying offers more flexibility, because you’re not limited on that mileage that you have with the lease. Owning last for years, because, again, those cars last a lot longer than they used to, so you have something when that lease is up.
The other question is: Should you buy a used car or a new car? We used to always talk about used cars being a great deal, because they’re already depreciated; but the problem right now is that the used car prices are very high. A new purchase may offer lower financing, and you certainly can get longer financing which means that monthly payment can be a lot easier to swallow.
We still have some incentives out there for 0% financing for 60 months. This is going to be for particular models (the Camry, the Malibu, the Fusion, and if you’re into fuel efficiency the Altima Hybrid). Shop around, because you can find some good deals. It may be time to buy.