A Chinese proverb claims, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” I’m not going to say the same rule applies to the auto industry, but there are similarities. In this article, I will explain why today is the best day to buy a new car and why the longer you put off buying a new one, the more you could regret it.
If I were to edit that Chinese proverb to make it relevant to the auto industry, I’d probably change the first part to “The best time to buy a new car was 60 years ago.” I’m a massive fan of classic muscle cars from the 1960s and 1970s, so I’d love to have a Chevy Camaro SS from the late 1960s or a tasty Mustang from the 60s or early 70s. Will any of today’s cars become as desirable as those classics if there are any still around when the 2080s arrive? I’ll leave that for you to decide.
The second part of the proverb also needs editing to fit the current situation in the auto business. If I stick to the idea that a 1969 Camaro is more desirable than a 2023 Dodge Challenger, you could say that today is the second best time to buy a new car. However, a lot has changed in the world over the last couple of years, so I’m saying today is the best day to buy a new car. And here are my nine reasons why I say such a thing.
1. New cars have never been better
Okay, many of today’s cars might not be as cool or as sexy as classics of years gone by, but even the most nostalgic auto enthusiast has to admit that some of the technology in today’s new cars is pretty amazing. You might like the idea of cruising the Pacific Coast Highway from LA to Monterey in a 1960s Mustang convertible or a 1956 Thunderbird, but do you really want to go without climate control, parking sensors, Bluetooth, anti-lock brakes, Apple CarPlay, or Android Auto?
The new car you can buy right now today is a technological marvel. Even if your current car is only five or six years old, the difference you’ll experience when you step into a brand new model in a decent specification can be staggering.
2. New cars are unlikely to get any cheaper
I’m not going to try and convince you that new cars are cheap at the moment because I’m sure we all know that’s certainly not the case. However, I will suggest they will not get cheaper anytime soon. Even if the current supply chain issues get rectified in the next year or two (unlikely), automakers and dealers know that we’ll all be used to the high prices by then.
Do you think they will return to shipping new cars out of the door at or below cost as some have done in the past? Not a chance. In fact, there are plenty of reasons why prices will continue to rise, and most of them are not the fault of automakers or dealers.
If you think the new car you want is too expensive right now and you’re going to leave it for a while, it’s almost certain you’ll end up paying more down the road. There are several reasons why that’s likely, so you’ll be better off finding the best deal available today than waiting until the price of the vehicle you want increases again.
3. Our favorite new cars are becoming extinct
There’s an extinction-level event going on right in our midst, but it’s not the human race or another animal species that I’m talking about becoming extinct. What we’re seeing wiped out right in front of our eyes are vehicles that many people will start to miss very badly once they’re gone. You might not miss the Ford Focus, Chevy Volt, Ford Fusion, or the final generation of the Chevy Impala, but what about the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Durango Hellcat, Toyota Land Cruiser, or the Mazda6?
Sedans and hatches have fallen out of favor with buyers worldwide, so, understandably, automakers are concentrating their efforts on SUVs. But what if you don’t want an SUV? What if you prefer a sedan? I think the Dodge Challenger is fabulous, although the Charger would be my preferred choice in Hellcat form. I know they’re dinosaurs with their outrageous, gas-guzzling engines, but I drive because I love cars and driving and not just to get from one place to another.
An SUV will do the job, but a crossover is unlikely to make you feel as connected or as emotional as the roar of a Challenger SRT as it powers away from the line.
4. Governments don’t want you to own a car
It’s not just individual new car models that are under threat of extinction. If most western governments had their way, most of us would own a vehicle of our own at all. Supposedly “progressive” politicians from the White House right down to your local council want you out of your car and onto public transport or a bicycle. Any chance they get to discourage car ownership, they’ll take it.
Do you think for a moment that “progressive” administrations are concerned about high gas prices? If they were honest, they’d put gas up to $30 if they thought it would get everyone to abandon their cars, trucks, and SUVs.
If they can’t covertly discourage you from buying a new vehicle, eventually, they’ll find ways of stopping you from buying the car you’d really like and make the available options so expensive or unpalatable that you won’t want them either.
No western government will dare to take the car you already have away from you because it doesn’t fit with their “progressive” agenda. If you buy that brand new V-8 Challenger today and look after it, you can stick two fingers up at the authorities in years to come when the only new cars they allow on sale are models you wouldn’t want for free.
5. Engines will never be better
With governments forcing the auto industry to concentrate on electric cars, how much research and development do you think is going into internal combustion engines these days? The answer is very little.
Over the last 15 years, gas and diesel engines have advanced massively. They’re now cleaner and more efficient than ever, but they’re not going to get any better than they are right now. And that’s because it’s not financially beneficial for automakers to keep developing internal combustion engines when many countries intend to ban the sale of gas, diesel, and hybrid cars, trucks, and SUVs as soon as they think they can get away with it.
For example, the efficient 2.7-liter turbo-four under the hood of the new Chevy Colorado is a superb powerplant with excellent power and torque. It’s a small displacement engine with a turbocharger, and it’s light, powerful, fuel-efficient, and its emissions are pretty low too. But before you know it, Chevy will have to replace it with electric motors and a battery with a questionable lifespan and limited range. You’ll miss small-displacement turbocharged engines when you can buy them new anymore, and that’s before we even think about V-6s and our beloved V-8s!
6. Delivery times
Americans have always bought new vehicles in a very different way from other parts of the world. While Europeans have always been used to placing an order for a new car and waiting for anything from a few weeks to a few months to take delivery, in America, new cars are already on the dealer’s site, waiting to drive away. I’ve written for dealers with 500 new vehicles or more on their site waiting for buyers, but it’s not like that anymore.
You can still go to a dealership and drive away in a new car the same day, but if that’s what you want, you’d better be prepared to take what they’ve got. If they don’t have the exact specification or color, you might wait a long time to get exactly what you want. And that’s if you ever get it at all.
It’s not been uncommon over the last couple of years for manufacturers to fail to fulfill existing orders for certain model years. The orders have carried over to the new model year, but that won’t go on forever. Before too much longer, you might find your order getting canceled altogether. In that case, wouldn’t you wish you’d bought something sooner?
7. Limited choice is better than no choice!
Following on from the above, don’t you think it’s better to have fewer choices today rather than no choice tomorrow? I will admit that if you click the link below to get the best prices for a new car, you’re probably not going to have as many options regarding available models, colors, and trim levels as you would have had three or more years ago. That’s just the way it is, but don’t expect it to get better.
When I leased my latest new SUV last year (leasing is definitely the way to go, by the way), I didn’t begin my search for a new vehicle intending to get the model I ended up leasing. In fact, I didn’t even want an SUV to begin with. But when confronted with a chronic lack of new inventory, I soon realized I’d have to make the best of a bad situation.
I still ended up with a great vehicle and a great deal, which you can do if you get free quotes today. But I had to make a selection from what was available. And as each day goes by from now until new combustion engine cars are banned from sale completely, your choices will continue to become increasingly limited.
8. The increasing cost of living
There’s no denying the increasingly worrying rise in the cost of living. Everything costs more and more, from gas to electricity and clothes to rents. It would be understandable if you thought that was a reason NOT to buy a new car right now, but I’d beg to differ. At least in certain circumstances, anyway.
If you’re starting to struggle with the cost of living and you can do without a car, or you have a car that’s paid for and never lets you down, then you might want to forget about buying a new car for the time being.
However, if you rely heavily on your car like many Americans do and know your current ride isn’t one you can rely on, now’s the time to take the plunge and buy, lease or finance a new model. It might be a little scary as we gaze into an uncertain economic future, but can you afford to put your job at risk with a car you can’t rely on to get you there that’s also going to cost more and more money to maintain?
Life is full of risks we have to take every day. But you can limit some risks by having a new car with a full manufacturer warranty that you can rely on.
How about a new Kia or Hyundai, for example? They come with a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty, a 5-year/100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty, and a 5-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan. I don’t know what would if that doesn’t add up to five years of peace of mind. If you buy a Kia or a Hyundai today on a five-year finance plan, your payments will be very reasonable, and you’ll know your exact vehicle budget for the next 60 months.
9. Interest rates and finance
If you’re a relatively young driver or just looking to buy your first car, you don’t know what it’s like to have to pay “normal” interest rates on finance agreements. Interest rates in the Western World have been historically low since the financial crisis of 2008, but that’s definitely starting to change.
Trust me; it’s not normal for interest rates to be close to zero. A more normal base interest rate would be around 5%, but I remember a time when interest rates where I lived were 15%! I’m not saying interest rates will go anywhere near 15%, but they will steadily increase in the coming months and years.
The good thing about a car lease or auto loan is you agree to set monthly payments at the start, and they stay at that rate for the duration of the agreement. I have never advocated for 60 or 72-month auto loans and leases in the past because most people don’t keep their vehicles that long, and they can end up in negative equity.
However, I revise my opinions when the facts change, and the facts around the auto market have definitely changed. With bans looming on the horizon for the sale of internal combustion engine cars and increasing prices and interest rates, buying a brand new car today on a lengthy agreement to keep it indefinitely looks increasingly appealing.
Buy a new car today on finance, and you’ll be locking yourself into an interest rate that will look like a bargain a couple of years from now. On top of that, you’ll probably be driving a car you love and want to cherish. Buy smart today and avoid increasingly expensive regrets tomorrow.
If any of what I’ve said here has struck a chord with you, get on with buying your next new car today before it’s too late by getting up-to-date, no-obligation, free quotes for the vehicle of your choice with the form below.