Buying an Affordable Pickup Truck
For the past few years the majority of RVs bought in Canada have been of the towable variety. That means, excluding some of the smaller micro-campers and trailers, most RV buyers either already have or are looking to buy a truck.
If you’re in the latter group, trucks are expensive, so you’re going to be looking for the best deal possible when shopping for your new truck. Everyone intuitively knows that there are good times and bad times to buy a new vehicle. So the question is, is there a way to determine when the market is to the buyer’s advantage? As it turns out there is, but it takes some research and some surveillance of market conditions. But the payoff for the diligent can be in the thousands of dollars. Here are some things to keep an eye on to determine the optimal time to buy that new truck.
Dealer Sales, For Real Or Just A Come On?
A lot of people are convinced that sales are just a gimmick to get buyers on the lot and that dealers cleverly manipulate prices and costs to give the illusion that buyers are getting a deal. There may be some truth to that, but conditions in the market are the major determinant of when sales will happen.
If you pay attention to what’s happening with the manufacturer’s you’re interested in through business news sources, how well their products are selling, as well as the state of the economy in general, the availability of credit, and interest rates, you can tell if a sale is for real or not.
How Dealer Pricing Works
The prices on the dealer’s lot are a reflection of what is known in the industry as the ‘pipeline’. This is the amount of inventory on the dealer’s lot, the number of vehicles that are on order, and the number of production days the factory is ahead or behind on filling those orders. If that number is high, say over 90 days, the prices will be lower. If less than say 40, they’ll stay high. It’s just a question of supply and demand.
The other major factor in pricing is overall annual sales in the current year compared to last year. So it’s a safe bet that if the current year’s sales are lagging and the pipeline is full you’re going to get a better deal and the sales will be legit. If this situation continues for more than a couple of months, manufacturers will start to offer incentives. They have to move their inventory off the lot because vehicles that just sit there are costing them money.
Model Year Change Overs
Another good time to buy a new truck is when there is a generational changeover, roughly every five years or so. When the new generation trucks start arriving the incentives and the deals start to kick in because both the dealers and the manufacturers want inventory off the lot so as to not interfere with the new models coming in. If you’re in a position to buy when a changeover is happening and the market is down at the same time, then you’re truly in the driver’s seat.
Other Ways to Keep Purchase Costs Down
Special editions, options, and add-ons are the bread and butter of manufacturers. Single-item ordered options are where they make most of their money. The base model with no options represents the least profit for the manufacturer and the dealer, and it’s also the best value for the purchaser.
But most truck buyers want those options, which dealers are well aware, so they’ll order a package of options from the factory that they know will be popular with their clientele, and then offer it as an all-inclusive deal on a batch of trucks. Thus the bargaining power of the dealers is working to your advantage.
It’s always a good idea to buy off the lot if you can. Every day a vehicle sits on the lot its worth a bit less, and the dealer has to pay carrying costs to the bank on unsold inventory, so they are always looking to move trucks off the lot.
To Trade-In or Not to Trade-In? That is the Question.
You should sell your old vehicle yourself if you can. It will simplify the deal you make on your new truck, and you’ll generally get more from a private buyer if you’ve kept it in good condition.
So, if you pay attention to the business and auto news and changes in the market, you can find a great deal on a new truck.