PENNSYLVANIA, USA —
Now that the holiday shopping season is in full swing, it’s also the time of the year when many people think about finally buying a new vehicle.
But with the pandemic, some wonder if this really is a good time to get that new car?
Newswatch 16’s Ryan Leckey talked with some car selling experts to get the inside scoop.
December traditionally is a great time to finally “take the plunge” and buy that new vehicle you’ve been dreaming about. But this year being anything but normal, the big question is: does that “car buying tradition” still hold true during a pandemic?
With much uncertainty in the world these days, we went straight to the source and took our car-buying questions to three local experts; Blaise Alexander of the Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships in Central PA, Mark Gillen of Motorworld in the Wilkes-Barre area, and Wally Zabrowski of Tony Domiano Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Eynon.
Best deals on new rides:
"If you're in the market for a pickup truck, I think the deals on the pickup trucks, big and small or medium size, and the bigger full-sized trucks, I see some real, real great deals on new stuff right now," said Alexander.
”Jeep is even offering zero percent for six to even seven years right now. So the Cherokee is a pretty, pretty hot seller at the moment," Wally Zabrowski.
”So I would venture off of new and go with preowned. Our preowned inventory is massive right now. And with the interest rates as low as they are, you could really get a deal,” suggests Gillen.
Going with preowned:
Buying pre-owned seems to be the choice a lot of car buyers are making right now, and all three car selling experts tell us used cars are “hot.”
"Well, we are pretty much sold out of our used inventory currently. I think we only have a few left on our lot, but there is quite a demand for used,” said Zabrowski.
"Yes, we experienced a huge growth in used cars since we've come back from the pandemic shut down, and it's still very hot right now, driven primarily by low-interest rates and big inventories,” said Gillen.
Shrinking price gap between new and used cars:
When asked why it seems that some new cars are selling for maybe just three grand more than like a used car, here's what our experts had to say.
"The supply and demand is definitely the answer to that question. As the supply of new cars becomes scarce, people will pay up to get a quality used car, and then the certified preowneds come into play with that, where you're getting a manufacturer's warranty on a certified preowned vehicle. So they'll pay up for that,” said Gillen.
"If you have a shutdown on a line if you need one part on an automobile and there's a COVID-19 scare in that line, they shut it down. It shuts down the production of a whole factory that makes the vehicles, scarcity of new causes used car prices to be higher,“ said Alexander.
Looking to sell your old car?
Looking to unload your own used car? Will you get more bang for your buck this year than you would have maybe years past?”
"As strong as it is, they would certainly get more than traditionally,” said Zabrowski.
Will the new car deals continue?
Whether it’s selling used or new, these experts tell us the market is getting better.
"Well, after that shutdown, which was really scary, we're down for about a month, a month and a half. So we had a pent up demand and combine that with some cash in the pocket. A lot of people had quite a bit of money, three or four thousand dollars. There's a good down payment. So we saw a real surge. It was a really, really good late spring and summer,“ said Alexander.
Car buying tips from the pros:
All three experts agree. When it comes to purchasing any vehicle, it “pays” to know who you are buying from.
"I tell people, look, if you choose your family doctor carefully, you choose your family attorney carefully. And just like Walter and Mark here, choosing a dealer means a lot. It means everything. Reputation is everything. And you want to buy from somebody you can trust,” suggests Alexander.
"Buy from the people that are good and have a good reputation in your community, the people that have been around the longest are traditionally the ones that are going to take care of you the best,” said Gillen.
"We're just getting in our shipment of big bows in, because a Jeep makes a great Christmas gift,” said Zabrowski.
The experts also tell us it’s a good idea to check the dealer’s website before you go shopping to see if there’s a vehicle on the lot that you really like and that you could get a great deal on.