Get Your Car A Birthday Card – Car Pro Commentary

Only the most passionate car owners celebrate the anniversary date of when they got their car. I have known people who actually acknowledge this date with pictures, bows, some extra maintenance procedures, or even a full detail. These are people who really love their cars.
Whether you celebrate the anniversary of when you got your car or not, you really should be aware of your vehicle’s birthday! In fact, your vehicle’s birthday is one of the most important days in your car’s life, because unlike car anniversaries, car birthdays actually cost you money.
When I have talked about this subject on the air, many people didn’t realize that your vehicle’s anniversary and birthday were different. I will explain the difference but more importantly, how it affects you and your pocketbook.
The anniversary part is simple. Just like all anniversaries, it is the month and day the car became yours, that magic moment when you were handed the keys. Odds are, you won’t have the same car anniversary as your friends and relatives, so it will be a unique date to you.
But everybody shares their car’s birthday. In fact, I am thinking it should be a national holiday! Seriously, in just a few weeks, every car in America will have a birthday and turn a year older, and it has nothing to do when it was purchased or acquired.
For as long as I have been in the auto industry, mid-August is the model-year changeover. It is true that every single car in America turns a year older all at the same time. As an example, today a 2010 model car is two years old because as of now, it is still considered to be model-year 2012, but in mid-August, that 2010 car will suddenly become three years old. Again, when it was bought is not relevant.
As you might suspect, when your car does become a year older, it depreciates and loses value. In a few weeks, auction values will fall, the online sites values will drop, and dealers will lower prices on the cars on their lots for sale. By the first of September, the used car market will have adjusted itself down to account for every car being a year older.
If you happen to be in the market now for a new car and have a late-model trade-in, it can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars to wait until the Fall season to buy. I talk to people every year about this time who wait, and they just can’t understand why their vehicle is worth so much less in late August than it was in late July. Unless you have inside information like this, it would be hard to comprehend the big drop in value that occurs virtually overnight.
A lot of people too are used to buying a new vehicle in the Fall due to larger incentives on new vehicles, but I can tell you now, that may not be the case this year. Manufacturers are building cars to demand, to avoid having to pay those big incentives. There may not be any panic selling this year like there has in years past.
Timing is everything when making a major purchase and these factors should be considered when you are thinking about a new vehicle!

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