Car Dealer Problem in Coming Weeks Is Good for Buyers

Car Dealer Problem in Coming Weeks Is Good for Buyers

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Troublesome signs ahead for the auto market could translate into a big opportunity for buyers. But they're going to have to act in the next six weeks or so.

Data from Auto Week show that "supplies of unsold vehicles have ballooned to the highest level since the recession, and U.S. sales growth has slowed significantly in the past five months."

The publication call that an "ominous sign" that should, however, work out great on visits to dealer lots, where "bigger discounts" should be available.

It's not just Auto Week touting opportunities for new car shoppers. Scott Painter, founder and chief executive at TrueCar, says the coming days are going to be an epic time to get a deal on a new car, thanks to to a combination of auto-buying trends and extreme winter weather.

"According to TrueCar data, the average transaction price of a car in February is just under $30,000 — making it the second-best month of the year to buy a car," Painter says. (The best is August.) "Extreme weather conditions have caused dealer inventories to rise to their highest levels since 2009. With incentives on the rise, if you're willing to brave the elements,┬áthe next 30 to 45 days will be an epic time to buy."

Auto dealers are finding that their inventories are at their highest levels since 2009, with cars spending more than 60 days on the lot, Painter says. Thanks to higher inventory, incentives are expected to increase throughout February and March.

The 2014 Ram 1500 and the 2014 Cadillac ATS are February's "best deals," according to TrueCar, with consumers saving more than $5,000 off the manufacturer's suggested retail price.