How to Find the Best End of Year Deals on a New Car

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The rush of holiday shopping and gift giving is over… but now stores are tempting shoppers to make a few more purchases with end of the year sales. I admit some of the sales have tempted me to make a few post-holiday purchases for myself- but what if you are in the market for a larger purchase- like a new car? If you are considering a new car for the new year USAA Auto Loan Experience lead Glenn Gray, offers some tips for finding the best deals:


How do you find the best end of year deals on a new car?

Glenn: At the end of each year, car manufacturers are keen to clear inventories of that model year (2018), as are dealers.  Usually they will advertise customer rebates and additional savings on cars, but they often offer incentives to dealers to clear out inventory quickly.  Dealers will use those incentives to offer even deeper discounts to clear way for 2019 model year cars. 


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In addition, some manufacturers will offer discounts to members of associations like USAA through their Car Buying Service.  To ensure you get the best deal on a 2018, or even 2019, model car, the USAA Car Buying Service can help you find the right car.  When you stack discounts like dealer incentives, manufacture rebates, and USAA member discounts through the Car Buying Service you can, in many cases, save thousands off the MSRP for new 2018 model car.  In addition, buying through the Car Buying Service can save you up to .50% off your car loan¹. 


How do I choose which model year to buy, the current or next year?

Glenn: Most of the best deals available in January are on 2018 model cars.  The best of those deals will usually be for car models that were completely redesigned for 2019.  Manufacturers will offer steep discounts on the older styled 2018 models.  It won’t be the latest version, but the discounts usually make it worth considering.  For members that want a car that looks like the latest and greatest, consider vehicles that received only minor updates for 2019.  The 2018 models will be virtually indistinguishable and will be available for much better prices. 


Will you start out the New Year in a new car? If so will you be purchasing one of the top ten most popular cars for USAA members? I’m still holding out for a new minivan!


Happy New Year!


About Glenn Gray: Glenn, Lead on the Auto Loan Experience Team, is accountable for the delivery of USAA’s world-class Auto Loan Experiences, focusing on saving members’ money. Glenn is a graduate of University of Texas at Austin with a MBA from University of British Columbia, Vancouver.



¹To qualify for the loan discount offer, the USAA Car Buying Service savings certificate that you use must be no greater than 90 days old, and you must fund the purchase of a vehicle from the USAA Certified Dealer listed on your savings certificate with a USAA Federal Savings Bank auto loan by 1/12/2019. The discount is 0.50% for new vehicles and 0.50% for used vehicles off of the approved interest rate for loan terms up to 72 months. Discount offer is subject to change without notice. Please refer to to learn more about the discount offer and to check for dealers. Car Buying Service is only available in continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and D.C.


USAA Car Buying Service provided by TrueCar, Inc. USAA Bank receives marketing fees in connection with the Car Buying Service.


Between 1/1/2016 and 12/31/2016, the average estimated savings off MSRP presented by TrueCar Certified Dealers to users of the USAA Car Buying Service, based on users who configured virtual vehicles and subsequently purchased a new vehicle of the same make and model listed on the certificate from Certified Dealers, was $3,443, including applicable vehicle-specific manufacturer incentives. Your actual savings may vary based on multiple factors including the vehicle you select, region, dealer and applicable vehicle-specific manufacturer incentives, which are subject to change. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (“MSRP”) is determined by the manufacturer and may not reflect the price at which vehicles are generally sold in the dealer’s trade area as not all vehicles are sold at MSRP. Each dealer sets its own pricing. Your actual purchase price is negotiated between you and the dealer. Neither TrueCar nor USAA sells or leases motor vehicles.


Bank products provided by USAA Federal Savings Bank, Member FDIC.


USAA’s 2018 Top 10 Vehicles List by Branch of Service is based on internal data compiled from the following activities of former and active duty military members who, between January 1 – July 31, 2018: (1) purchased a new or used vehicle through the USAA Car Buying Service; (2) obtained an auto loan through USAA Bank; or (3) added a vehicle to their USAA Insurance Policy.


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1 Comment
Frequent Contributor

Best thing to do is NOT buy a car from USAA.  They are scammers.