NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Edmunds.com has recorded a nice uptick in the new-car market: Its September Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) shows the sale of 12.9 million light vehicles in the U.S. – the most new car sales since April.
If there is a moderate run-up in business at U.S. auto dealers, that would be great news for the economy. More new-car purchases could mean a boost in consumer sentiment – a trend that is supported by today’s retail sales number (up 1.1% in September).
Sure, just two economic barometers don’t mean the economic storm has passed, but Edmunds isn’t taking any chances – it’s publishing a new “how-to guide” for new car buyers who may or may not be really edging back into automobile showrooms over the next few months.
The Santa Monica, Calif.-based online vehicle sales giant claims to take consumers through a “step-by-step” process of buying a car, from choosing the right set of wheels to executing the best price.
"Many people see car buying as a maze, complete with dead ends and obstacles all along the way," said Carroll Lachnit, features editor at Edmunds.com, in a statement. "Using expert advice and insider knowledge, our guide will show them that the car-buying process can be a lot easier than they might think."
The guide breaks down as follows:
- How much car a buyer can afford. Edmunds says that 21.8% of new-car buyers still had an average of $3,789 in negative equity on their trade-in. Thus, Edmunds says it’s a good idea to establish a target monthly payment for new-car buyers – a target price that not only includes the price of the vehicle, but the price of the title, registration, and taxes linked to the purchase. The company also advises sticking to a 60-month car loan – it’s the “right” balance between a short- and long-term loan.