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End of the Year Sales Tricks Car Dealers Use

Don't fall for these car dealer tricks.

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Modern beautiful showroom with cars being soldGreentellect Studio/Shutterstock

End-of-the-year Car Sales

The end of the year is often the best time to find deals on cars, but what are car dealers doing to entice buyers to stop into the showroom? Find out some common tricks car dealers will use with end-of-the-year sales to unload inventory to make room for new models.

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A-row-of-cars-on-a-dealer-lotJanon Stock/Shutterstock

Know Which Year They Want to Unload

Matt Jones, a former car salesman, wrote for Edmunds that the end of a model year is a great time to find a deal on a car. Deals will start to pop up around Black Friday, and the last week of the year can be an ideal time to shop for a car. Manufacturers tend to have more incentives around this time, too. Just beware that lots can have two years of a vehicle, so go with the older one for the better deal.

Learn the secrets a car dealer won’t tell you about buying a car.

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Not All Cars are Discounted the Same

Trucks and SUVs likely won’t see many discounts, but sedans will see discounts as redesigned models replace older ones. The previous year’s model of a redesigned vehicle is ripe for the picking for deals.

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It Might Not Be the End of Their Fiscal Year

While car dealers might offer end-of-the-year sales, the truth is that the end of their fiscal year is not the actual end of the year. Real Car Tips reports that many car manufacturers use March 31 as their fiscal year end.

Plus: These are the top 5 cars to buy new and 5 to avoid.

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Beautiful-young-couple-reading-a-booklet-at-the-dealership-showroomNejron Photo/Shutterstock

Dealer Websites

Some dealer websites will ask you to enter your zip code. The reason for this is to pull up regional incentives. Learn these two car buying negotiation tactics and which one is best.

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They Want to Close a Deal Fast

New Year’s Eve can be the best day of the year to buy a car. TrueCar found you can save up to 8.3 percent on the price of a car if you buy on New Year’s Eve. That’s because it’s the last day a dealer has to meet monthly and yearly goals. They’ll want to move cars as quickly as possible.

Here’s the best day of the week to buy a car.

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They Offer Gift Cards for Test Drives

At the end of the year dealers will go the extra mile just to get people in the door by offering a gift card to people that take a car for a test drive. The thought being, once they’ve got someone in the door, they might convince them to buy a car.

Check out some of the dumbest giveaways car dealers have tried.

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These days you can find some crazy-sounding warranties, some places even have a 10-year, 150,000-mile limited warranty. Pay attention to the wording, especially the use of the word “limited.” Warranties typically cover the big ticket items but not the regular maintenance items. Don’t let a warranty sell you on a vehicle or think you’re getting a deal.

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close-up-of-dealer-giving-key-to-new-owner-and-shaking-hands-in-auto-showSyda Productions/Shutterstock

Financing Deals

Car ads will scream zero percent financing to you from time to time, especially when dealers are trying to unload inventory but that doesn’t mean everyone is eligible for zero percent financing. It’s typically available to people with excellent credit scores, 700 or better.

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Car Dealers and Manufacturers Push Cars They Want to Get Rid of

It might sound like the best deal out there, but you will want to think twice about why a dealer or a manufacturer is pushing a specific model of car. Sure, it’s a little cynical, but there’s usually a reason why a car doesn’t sell.

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Hidden Rebates or Dealer Cash

Depending on where you live, some car dealers will offer dealer cash deals to move inventory. If a manufacturer sees there is a lot of inventory in a specific region, they might pass on rebates to dealers to get the cars moving. The dealers can sometimes pass the savings on to customers in the form of steep discounts.