Jay talks cars

Columbus County News

By Jay White

My first car was a 1970 Chevy Nova. It was Pine Green. Yes, the color of a pine tree. Ditto for the interior. It was clean as a whistle, had just 70k miles, and my Pops bought it for $1,700. Since then I have owned roughly 35-40 cars, trucks, SUVs and as a 30 year veteran of the car business, I have sold thousands. 

My name is Jay White and for years I have been known simply as, “Jay Sells Cars”.

As you might imagine, I know some things about some cars. I’d like to share with you what I have learned over the years in hopes that it positively impacts you in some way. 

Let’s start with one of the few questions that I have been asked the most over the years.  When’s the best time to buy? 

For years it’s been common knowledge that the end of the month or even better the end of the year is when you have the most leverage as a buyer. However, today that is not the case. 

Since around April 2020 the business began to shift into becoming a seller’s market which has happened for a few reasons.

To keep it simple I will assume you have at least a basic understanding of supply and demand. Demand for both new and used cars has been on the rise in 2021. Production issues have caused an imbalance in supply and demand. Accordingly, prices skyrocketed earlier in the year, with used car prices remaining high due to the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage.

To put things in perspective, according to JD Powers (the marketing firm best known for its automotive research) new car average price is at an all time high of $40,044 and the average used car price is at $25,410 which is a 21 percent increase from 2020. Yes, 21 percent!

Now, I will say this to be fair, if you own a used vehicle right now and are considering selling it or trading it in, the market is definitely in your favor to get top dollar! 

Stay tuned to future articles for more on that! 

Alright back to buying… 

if in any way you can avoid buying now…  do so. 

However, I understand that transportation is vital and waiting for a market to level is not an option for all. So, let me offer a few tips on how to get the best deal possible:

First and foremost, do as much research as possible online. Start with choosing the right vehicle or at the most three choices of vehicles. Look at features and benefits that are necessary or high on your list of wants. Learn packages and options, colors and trim levels. 

Take the time to educate yourself as much as possible on the vehicle. This applies to both new and used. Know what you want before you leave home and visit a dealer, if possible. This is very important. You do not want to be receiving a five minute walk around with a commissioned sales associate showing  you how the kids’ baseball bags will fit in the truck and will assure you that silver is his/her favorite color, but he/she is unable to truly explain/demonstrate to you the  vehicle’s Accident Avoidance Features. This can lead to you being pushed into the wrong vehicle. Let’s avoid that. 

Once you’ve decided on the vehicle, research the potential dealerships that have what you want/need. Seriously, read Google and Yelp Reviews. This is essential to your buying. I promise. Go to the dealership website and if they have a staff page, visit it. Get familiar. Where you buy is equally important as what you buy, in my opinion. In fact 71 percent of today’s buyers still buy from a dealership or sales consultant that they like, know, or trust. If you do not have someone you know already, you can still figure out if you like them or gauge if you can trust them once you contact them. In fact, let’s talk about that now. 

I suggest that you reach out to three potential dealerships via email or phone as soon as you have chosen your potential vehicle/vehicles. Doing so allows you the opportunity to see how they communicate, conduct business, and how much they value you in as little as two to three email exchanges. 

If you call, ask for someone in sales and give them your basic information such as full name, address, phone number, and email address. Tell them what your goal is, specifically. It’s ok to say “I want a 2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited in Bikini Blue and I want the best possible deal on it”. Communicate and ask questions. If they are attentive, ask questions, and are helpful, let them begin the process of helping you. If not, find someone else that will. 

If you send an email (which I suggest you do both) introduce yourself, tell them specifically what your goal is, and give them as much contact info as you are comfortable with. Remember at no time should you be exchanging any info regarding financing until you have decided on a vehicle. However some info is needed to see what incentives you may qualify for from manufacturers on new vehicles. 

Alright. So here we are. We have chosen a vehicle/vehicles and we are in the process of choosing a potential dealership. Let’s hit the pause button on this and get back together and continue where we left off, however…

Let’s do the next few steps together. This can be an intimidating process. If you are in the process of purchasing a new or used car, truck, or SUV… or intend to make a purchase within the next 30-60 days. I’d like to assist you, document it, and share it here as we go. I’d like to have at least two if not three individuals to help. So reach out to us here at Info@ColumbusCountyNews.com to be considered. Of course, if you would rather be a voyeur, tag along for the ride! 

Also, I would love your feedback and input. 

I intend to speak on more than just buying cars, as there’s so much about cars to talk about! 

Until next time, 

Jay Talks Cars