SANTA MONICA, CA — May 22, 2019 — Shoppers in the market for a new car could be in store for significant savings this Memorial Day weekend as dealers aim to move mounting inventory off their lots, according to the car shopping experts at Edmunds. New vehicle inventory hit 4.06 million units in April 2019, marking the third month in a row this year that the industry saw inventory levels above 4 million. Additionally, the average days to turn (DTT) for new vehicles increased to 75 days for the industry in April 2019, a 6% jump compared to last year.
Edmunds experts say that some of the best deals on new vehicles this holiday weekend will likely be found on SUVs and trucks, which are lingering longer on dealer lots than they did last year. According to Edmunds data, DTT for midsize SUVs hit 76 days in April 2019 compared to 63 days in 2018. DTT for large SUVs reached 82 days, compared to 68 days last year. DTT for large trucks also surpassed the industry average at 87 days.
"Car shoppers can usually count on decent discounts over the Memorial Day holiday, but this year we're anticipating some blockbuster bargains, including deals on SUVs and trucks," said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds' manager of industry analysis. "If you know that you want to buy a new car this year, this holiday weekend might be the best time to jump into the ring. Automakers are going to be scaling back production this summer to address weakening demand, and given how expensive financing has become, they won't have the resources to throw as much cash onto other summer sales events this year."
To help shoppers take advantage of Memorial Day sales events, Edmunds editors created an insider guide for shoppers:
- Get a head start at home: Before you even set foot in the dealership, you'll want to know how you'll be paying for the car and what you can afford. Set your budget and start shopping around for prices.
- Locate your car and set up a test drive: You'll want to test-drive a car that's configured the way you want it, so use the Edmunds site or app to make sure the car you're looking for is in stock. Beat the holiday rush by setting your test-drive appointment in advance and locking in an early morning time.
- Get additional price quotes, and make sure the offer feels right to you: Be sure you look at all aspects of the deal, including the interest rate, finance terms, any added fees and the "out-the-door price."
- Complete as much paperwork as possible in advance: If you're ready to close the deal, call the dealership and see what paperwork you can complete online or from home. Before heading into the dealership, make sure you have in hand all your necessary documents, such as your driver's license, insurance information and loan paperwork.
- Review the contract: In the finance and insurance office, be certain the dealer includes all your agreed-upon prices and terms in the contract. Be ready for the sales pitch on aftermarket items and the extended warranty.
"Holiday weekends can get extremely busy at the dealership, but with a little bit of planning and thoughtful strategy, you can still get into your perfect car with enough time to enjoy your extra day off," said Matt Jones, senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds. "Try to do most of the work now, so by the time the weekend rolls around, you already know what car you can afford and whether you are leasing or buying, and you've narrowed your car list to about three models at most."
Edmunds guides car shoppers online from research to purchase. With in-depth reviews of every new vehicle, shopping tips from an in-house team of experts, plus a wealth of consumer and automotive market insights, Edmunds helps millions of shoppers each month select, price and buy a car with confidence. Regarded as one of America's best workplaces by Fortune and Great Place to Work, Edmunds is based in Santa Monica, California, and has a satellite office in Detroit, Michigan. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.