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If you're in the market for a new car, you're in luck. Chances are that your preferred dealership will offer a year-end car deal to make room for their new inventory. They may also be trying to fill annual sale quotas, so they're particularly keen to promote their current offerings.

Here's how to make the most of end-of-the-year specials:

Research the Models You May Want to Buy

Before you head to the dealership, read up on the cars that strike your interest. Look up their Kelley Blue Book values and read reviews from current owners. The more you know about its market value and performance, the better a position you'll be in to negotiate a good price. You can also time your purchase based on the vehicle you want. For example, December is the best time to buy an SUV.

Pay attention to market trends as well. Buyers were likely to get the best prices on sedans because trucks and SUVs were more popular. A little research into the year's biggest trends can help you determine where you'll find the most value. And even if you have your heart set on a particular model, be willing to test other cars in your price range. You may be able to obtain a lower interest rate or special deal on less popular models or those that are likely to be redesigned in the near future.

Ask About Incentives

Most dealerships will advertise incentives such as cash-back promotions or low-interest financing. But don't be afraid to ask them to sweeten the pot further. They may run seasonal promotions as well, or they'll simply be willing to do whatever it takes to get you to buy the car. Your best bet is to shop during the last days of December since that's crunch time for dealerships to meet their quotas and sell off old inventory. But even if you decide to shop earlier in the season, make sure to ask if there are any other discounts or perks they can include.

Hold out for the Best Deals

Dealerships will advertise big holiday promotions as early as Black Friday, but you'll maximize your savings if you can hold out another month or so. New Year's Eve is the best day to shop as it's the absolute last opportunity for dealerships to make sales. The closer you are to the end of the year, the greater the chance is of getting a car you'll love at an affordable price.

Before heading out to see your options in person, look online at what different dealerships are offering. You may want to check out a few different promotions so you can see which will save you the most money overall.

Aside from getting the timing right, the perennial rules of negotiation apply even on a year-end car deal. Know the value of the car, explore different financing options to secure the best rate, and maintain a friendly and polite rapport throughout the interaction. The good news about buying a car at the end of the year is that you and the salesperson want the same thing, and they're more motivated than ever to make it happen.

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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