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New Car At Christmas: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

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On: Sat, Dec 6, 2014 at 9:16AM | By: Karen Cook

New Car At Christmas: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

The idea of waking up to a new car on Christmas morning is exciting and a dream come true, according to television commercials anyway. It would be great if Santa could deliver the perfect car for you with no strings attached. The scenario is definitely possible even if Santa doesn’t bring one, and if the Black Friday numbers are any indication, there will be cars under trees in a few weeks.

Kelly Blue Book has reported that car sales are up, with a lot of the gain coming from the sales during the holiday weekend. Of the total sales in November, 25-30% happened last weekend. Interestingly, the National Retail Federation reports that retail sales (in malls and the like) fell 11% from last year.

This discrepancy can be accounted for by the promotions that dealerships offered during the holiday weekend along with low interest loans which are still available. AAA shows that gas prices fell 23 cents in November, putting a gallon of gas at $2.76 on average which is a four-year low. Subaru had their best November ever and Chrysler had the best in 13 years. Both rose 20% over last year due to a strong sales figure in SUVs. GM, Toyota, Honda, and Volkswagen also experienced a surge in sales.

As exciting as it is to think of giving someone a new car for Christmas or as wonderful as it would be to drive that snazzy new car you keep picturing in your head, it is worth noting that, in the surveys that have been done over the years, most people who buy cars at Christmas regret the purchase. It’s more than a wonderful gift. Someone has to make the payment every month, renew the tag every year, and keep the insurance premium paid. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, or taking, as the case may be.

It’s simple to avoid buyer’s remorse though. First and foremost, don’t get caught up in the buying frenzy which is so prevalent this time of year. (Actually, that could save you some pain in the bank account when applied to any purchase, not just cars.) Make sure that the car you are considering is a good value and that the promotion is a good deal. Do the research and don’t buy on the spur of the moment.

Next, make sure that the car fulfills a need and will suit you or the recipient all year. The red two-seater may look great when you drive it to holiday parties, but where will you put the kids and the groceries in January?

Finally, ask the dealership about their return policy. Some places have them, but you can bet they aren’t going to advertise it. You’ll need to ask. Even if it’s possible to return the vehicle, the window may be open only for a limited time. Some dealerships may offer total cancellation policies if the car is returned within a day or so, but many will have fees associated with taking back a vehicle. It doesn’t hurt to have the information just in case.

Just be sure that the big bow on the new car doesn't turn out to be a noose.

12-5 arm


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