If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, there is good reason to hold out for the end of the year. Car dealers are highly motivated to sell the current model year cars before the coming year models take their place on the showroom floor. And they may also be keen to make year-end sales goals. Armed with this knowledge, here are some tips to buying a car in December and getting the best deal possible.

1. Look for year-end incentives. Historically, December is one of the biggest months for dealer incentives. Typical incentives include low- or no-interest offers as well as cash back “rebates” on certain makes and models, but be sure to look at the fine print. Interest rate offers are usually still dependent on credit rating, and if you qualify for the lowest rate, you’re unlikely to negotiate other savings. Cash back is usually applied to your down payment – so don’t expect to walk away with a new car and a wallet full of cash. However, if the incentive applies to the car you want, and the financing works for you – these year-end deals can save you thousands on a new car.

2. Shop the last week in December. If you’ve already waited until the end of the year, saving your shopping until the last week could be another money-saving tactic. One reason is low competition with other buyers – many folks will have spent heavily on holiday shopping and be reluctant to make a large purchase. The pressure on the dealer, to meet sales goals and move cars off the lot, will be at its highest.

3. Make sure the dealer has your car. If you’re planning to swoop in and negotiate a killer deal, make sure the dealer has the car you want on their lot. Start by checking online, then follow up with a call to the dealer to verify their online inventory. You don’t want to waste time visiting a dealer unless the car you want is ready to drive home in. Year-end shopping is all about timing, so make sure time is one your side.

4. Do your homework. It’s always a good idea to research before heading to the dealer, but even more so if you’re hoping to get the best deal possible. Check websites like Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds to find out the sticker price, what equipment comes as a standard package and what’s included at each trim level, what financing and rebate offers are available and more. Based on all the information you gather, decide on the amount you are willing to pay before you head to the dealer.

5. Get pre-approved for an auto loan. Once you’ve found the car you want, secure a great rate and financing through Advancial Credit Union before you head to the dealer. Pre-approved financing allows you to shop as if you have cash in hand, and you can let the dealer know you’ve been pre-approved for the amount you want to pay.

Use these tips to capitalize on a prime buying time and find a great deal on the wheels of your dreams. Remember, good things come to those who wait … until December to buy a new car!

Get pre-approved, shop, finance and buy – all online!

Pre-approval is fast and easy and can be done online. Advancial has partnered with AutoSMART to give members a head start when car shopping online. Both sites have incredible inventories of cars listed – and both have special partnerships with Advancial that makes shopping, financing and purchasing a seamless experience.

Visit www.advancial.org/loans/auto-loans/ and start the process now.