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Best tips for buying a new car in April

April is a good time to buy if you're in the market for a new car.

April is the slowest month of the year for new car sales because half of it is taken up by school leave and public holidays.

But guess what? Car dealers still need to sell the same number of cars as any other month.

That means if you're in the market for a new vehicle, chances are you'll get crash tackled if you walk into a showroom.

"I wouldn't say dealers are desperate but, if I were buying a car, April would be the month I would choose," says a spokesperson from Australian Automotive Dealer Association.

"They (dealers) might be susceptible to being a bit more relaxed on price," they say. "I think people would be surprised to find what deals are available." We've assembled our top five car buying tips, no matter what month it is:

1) Buy at the end of the month

Dealers work on monthly sales targets and start to get twitchy about 10 days from the end. If you know what you want, the car is in dealer stock, and you have finance arranged (always compare dealer finance with the banks and other lenders), that's the time to haggle.

2) Sort it out

Once you know exactly which car you want to buy, select the three dealers nearest you. Then go to the furthest of those three dealers first, and work your way back until you finish at the closest one.

Dealers have an incentive from the car company to sell to customers in their area. The last dealer will be able to tell you've done your homework and know that you're ready to buy.

But if the best price and the best customer service is from the dealer across town, buy there. You can still get your car serviced at your local dealer.

3) Not all drive-away prices are created equal

If you see a special drive-away price advertised or on a car company website, there may not be much room to bargain.

But if the dealer taps out a quote on a car that's not on special, and there is still $2000 or more in dealer delivery fees, aim to rip that up as a starting point. But be polite.

4) Manners and respect go a long way

Car sales staff are human too, they are under incredible pressure to reach sales targets and maximise profit on each deal. But no-one wants to be forced into discounting a car.

Ultimately, it's still up to the dealer or sales manager. Try this: tell them you have $X to spend (hint: choose a realistic figure, see point No. 5), and that you know this doesn't leave a lot of profit in the deal, but if it's a quiet month and they want an easy sale, to give you a call.

5) What's a fair price?

If there is no drive-away special on offer, ask the dealer to spell out the cost of the car before dealer delivery and registration fees are included. For example, a car listed at $19,990 plus on-roads will often calculate out to $22,990 drive-away with all fees included.

As a general rule you want to aim for $19,990 drive-away, or maybe even $20,490 drive-away. The dealer won't like doing that deal but they can scrape a slim profit out of it if they're desperate. What's already a fair price? For example, a Kia Cerato at $19,990 drive-away with auto transmission and seven-year warranty is so sharp they won't even throw in floor mats.So be fair and do your research. And don't sign anything until you've visited at least three dealers. Any dealer can match a price or beat it by $50, but it takes great courage to offer a sharp price from the get-go. Good luck.

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