Consumer research and ratings firm J.D. Power has released its August auto sales forecast, and the trends aren’t looking spectacular for the industry: Sales will continue to fall, and vehicles will sit longer on dealers’ lots than at any time since July 2009, despite big discounts for buyers. And with dealers offering even bigger savings during Labor Day weekend, especially on older models, potential buyers will certainly be asking: Is now a good time to purchase a car?
At the moment, the market appears to be tilting in favor of the consumer. But it’s worth looking more deeply at the specs. Should buyers apply for financing from banks, credit unions or manufacturers? Which manufacturers offer the best financing and leasing terms? How do interest rates compare for new versus used vehicles?