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Save Your Benjamins: Presidents Day Car Buying Tips and Deals

New car

Every February, as citizens of the United States honor our past Presidents with the observance of the Presidents Day holiday, many businesses also celebrate the occasion with a variety of retail sales on everything from clothes and home goods to electronics. After all, what better way is there to observe a holiday than with some celebratory shopping? New car shoppers also have reason to celebrate as automotive manufacturers use the occasion to offer their own incentives on new cars. 

Buying a new car or truck can be easy if you're well prepared before you ever enter the dealership. To help consumers join the festivities AND save money at the dealership, Military.com is sharing the following car buying tips and providing some of the new car and truck models you can expect heavily discounted prices on for the Presidents Day Weekend. Information is power and informed shoppers can save as much as 16 percent off their bottom line this Presidents Day Weekend!

Learn About the Car You Want
To get the best possible price on a new car, learn as much information about the vehicle you are shopping for before you ever enter the dealership. Consider several vehicles and research the accessories, features, and trim levels available on each one ahead of time, so you know what trim levels interest you, and which ones you would not want to pay extra for. Nearly every manufacturer offers a website with comprehensive specifications on their vehicles, and they often allow shoppers to build a model online so they can compare trims and features -- and learn what is included in each trim level, and what other extras add to the cost of the car. Many of these manufacturer "Build and Price" sites also show you what your monthly payment will be based on the manufacturer's suggested retail price for that model with the options you have selected and any manufacturer financing incentives or offers. The Military.com Car Buying Service also offers a vehicle configurator to help shoppers choose features, and discover how those additions can affect your vehicle's price.

Be Prepared to Choose from the Dealer's Inventory
Keep in mind that most vehicles are packaged according to each model's trim levels, and can't always be purchased to specific requirements without a special order. After all, you could theoretically build one of a hundred -- or even a thousand -- different configurations, and it's not possible for the dealers to have every possibility in their inventory, so be prepared to find the car you love on their lot, or ask if you can have a car custom-built to your requirements.

You'll most certainly be walking around the dealer's lot to find the car you want to test drive, so don't forget to bring a jacket and umbrella when the weather is wicked. This is also the perfect time to evaluate the benefit of cold weather features like heated seats and steering wheels, so be sure to turn those on during your test drive.

Know What You Can Afford
It's important to know what your budget will allow before you fall in love with a vehicle you can't afford. A simple rule of thumb is that a new car will cost about $20 a month for 60 months for every $1000 financed (for buyers with good credit), so keep that in mind when you're looking at the bottom line.

To get an idea on what you might expect to pay, use the Military.com Car Buying Service which utilizes TrueCar.com data to show car buyers what other people have actually paid for a new car locally, regionally, and nationally in the past 30 days. This gives car buyers an idea what is a fair market price for a new car - Military.com customers using the Car Buying Service are provided with a fast, no-hassle car buying experience.

Find Out About Car Insurance Before You Commit
It might seem backwards to check with your insurance agent before you actually purchase a new car, but if you knew the premiums were going to be sky-high for a certain vehicle, would you be inclined to choose a different vehicle or trim level? For example, you might discover a significant difference in the premium between the two- and four-door versions of a specific model, or that one trim level might cost less to insure than another. Would it affect your purchase?

We already know that age, gender, and driving record are key factors that affect your insurance premium, but so does the actual vehicle you drive. It goes beyond just what the vehicle costs to buy: Vehicles that cost more to repair, frequently stolen vehicles, and high-performance cars also cost more to insure. While you might think that a sport/utility vehicle might be a safer vehicle to drive, SUV's typically have higher insurance rates than mid- and full-size cars. Why? Even though they might have some of the lowest injury claims, SUVs are among the most frequently stolen vehicles, and they are more expensive to repair than most other cars.

We Expect Large Discounts off MSRP on Select New Cars this Presidents Day Weekend *
If you're buying a new car this Presidents Day Weekend, you will want to follow all the tips above and be sure to check out the chart below, which shows anticipated sales prices to be up to 16 percent below Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for certain popular models: 

 

Year

Make

Model

Trim

MSRP

Average Price Paid

% Discount

$ Discount

2012

Ram

1500

2WD Reg Cab 120.5" ST

$22,815

$19,040

16.5%

$3,775

2012

Dodge

Avenger

4dr Sedan SE

$19,845

$16,707

15.8%

$3,138

2012

Chrysler

200

4dr Sedan Touring

$22,220

$19,013

14.4%

$3,207

2012

Ford

Escape

FWD 4dr XLS

$22,265

$19,240

13.6%

$3,025

2012

Jeep

Liberty

RWD 4dr Sport

$24,255

$20,973

13.5%

$3,282

2012

Chevrolet

Malibu

4dr Sedan LS w/1LS

$22,870

$20,161

11.8%

$2,709

2012

Lincoln

MKS

4dr Sedan 3.7L AWD

$44,265

$40,353

8.8%

$3,912

2012

Jeep

Grand Cherokee

RWD 4dr Laredo

$27,920

$26,013

6.8%

$1,907

2012

Honda

Accord Sedan

4dr I4 Auto EX-L w/Navi

$30,525

$28,666

6.1%

$1,859

2012

Toyota

Camry

4dr Sedan V6 Auto SE

$27,400

$25,780

5.9%

$1,620

 

We wish you happy car shopping this Presidents Day Weekend using the Military.com Car Buying Service!

*TrueCar, Inc. ("TrueCar") operates the Military.com Car Buying Service. The Average Price Paid set forth in the chart above represents TrueCar's forecast of the average selling price over Presidents Day Weekend for the model shown based on that vehicle's average selling price from January 6, 2012 – February 3, 2012 and includes manufacturer rebates and other incentives. The information presented in this release is for noncommercial, personal use on an "as-is, as available" basis and may be used for informational purposes only.  TrueCar makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained herein and the results of the use of such information, including but not limited to implied warranty of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement.  The information contained herein may include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors.  Neither TrueCar nor any of its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, or their respective partners, officers, directors, employees, or agents shall be held liable for any damages, whether direct, indirect, incidental, special, or consequential arising from or in connection with your use or reliance on the information presented here.

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