The Witness - - YOURMONEY -

KEEP the “woe, woe” out of your “ho, ho” when buying a car this fes­tive sea­son!

What if all you want for Christ­mas is a car?

Here are the five im­por­tant things you need to know when shop­ping for wheels over the fes­tive sea­son:

1. Buy on auc­tion right now Ac­cord­ing to Dar­ryl Ja­cob­son, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of True Price, auc­tion houses close mid-De­cem­ber. Deal­ers at­tend ve­hi­cle auc­tions to source stock. “Th­ese auc­tions are not closed to the pub­lic. Mem­bers of the pub­lic are wel­come to bid against the deal­ers, thereby sav­ing the dealer mar­gin.”

2. Avoid shop­ping for stu­dent or en­try-level cars

If you’re look­ing to buy an in­ex­pen­sive (sub-R150 000) car, don’t shop now.

This is prob­a­bly the worst time of the year to be shop­ping for one of th­ese cars.

The mar­ket is flooded with buy­ers — es­pe­cially par­ents who are buying a car for their chil­dren who are about to en­ter univer­sity.

“Thanks to this de­mand, you will pay top dol­lar,” Ja­cob­son warns.

Jan­uary is a bet­ter time to buy one of th­ese cars. It is tra­di­tion­ally the qui­etest month at ve­hi­cle auc­tions. Sell­ers will be hun­gry to make a sale, mean­ing you will get a bet­ter deal.

3. Go for an ex­pen­sive car De­cem­ber is the best time to buy a more ex­pen­sive car.

Deal­ers try to liq­ui­date their stock be­fore year-end. The last thing that they want is a high-end car sit­ting on their showroom floor.

In Novem­ber, the new car mar­ket reg­is­tered a de­cline of 1 764 cars (or 5,4%) ver­sus the 32 818 new cars sold in Novem­ber last year.

The deal­ers will be look­ing to bounce back in De­cem­ber.

There are usu­ally lots of spe­cials on high-end new cars at this time of the year and, given a Novem­ber mar­ket that was off the boil, this will be even more so the case this year.

4. Buy a “fixer-up­per”

Are you will­ing to buy a car that needs to be re­paired?

De­cem­ber is a great time to buy a “fixer-up­per”. This is be­cause all the pan­el­beat­ers close.

Ac­cord­ingly, deal­ers will not buy th­ese ve­hi­cles and, if they have one in stock, they will be keen to dis­pose of it.

They can­not fix it up in or­der to sell it, and they don’t want a ve­hi­cle like this one sit­ting on their books.

5. Shop on De­cem­ber 29

Want that once-in-a-life­time deal? Satur­day, De­cem­ber 29, is the best day to shop.

This is the last trad­ing day for most deal­ers, be­cause they will close on Sun­day the 30th and Mon­day the 31st. They will be ex­cep­tion­ally keen to liq­ui­date their stock be­fore yearend. — Busi­ness Edi­tor.

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