Buying Tips: 2013 vs. 2014

Are you happy grabbing the nearest carton of milk on the shelf at the grocery store? Or, are you the person who bends and torques herself to get at that freshest carton way in the back of the row? These are the questions we ask when working with our car shoppers, because they’re telling, and they’re important.

Some drivers consider the late summer months to be prime car buying season. Indeed, many 2014 models are hitting the lot with fresh updates, and some 2013 models can be snatched up for great value. And all of the commotion provides an interesting choice for some car buyers: should I buy a new 2013 or a new 2014? Truth be told, there are a number of factors to consider when choosing between two model years. But first, let’s dispel a common misconception that we hear all the time: does buying a new 2013 car mean that I’m purchasing a car that’s been sitting around for the past year? No! New cars are shipped to dealers on a weekly basis, so the difference between purchasing a 2013 and a 2014 probably amounts to a matter of weeks, in terms of overall age of the car. Now, in the interest of making things easy for car shoppers, we put together a list of relevant 2013 vs. 2014 considerations. We hope they help you make the right decision when it’s your turn to test drive!

By now, last year’s 2013s have generated a year of on road performance data. You can consider the past year a real-world product testing phase subsidized by the early adopters who bought in 2012. For example, you can research any documented safety problems or product recalls. You might also be offered a better price, as some dealers may be motivated to clear room for incoming models. However, buying a 2013 might not all be upside. If you do find a model that strikes your fancy, finding one with the perfect match of colors and features might be difficult or impossible. This could mean paying a little extra for features you don’t want, or sacrificing the ones you do want. Buying a new 2013 might also mean skipping a design or technology advancement offered in a 2014 version. If you’re focused on track record and value, you might not care. However, if you’re a tech geek who likes to be the first on the block with everything, this might be a non starter.

With more 2014 models on the way than remaining 2013s available, if you have your heart set on a particular color and feature combination, it might be easier to find it in a 2014. Also, technical and design improvements from the previous year might have been made, and often times technology is added to lower level packages to appeal to your pocketbook and to one up the competition. Still, you should look before you leap. Any changes to the car could result in safety downgrades or product recalls. Additionally, if you opt to wait on an unreleased 2014, you might not like the design and technology changes when you finally see them – and worse yet, you might have waited too long to pick up a 2013!

To recap, once you’re ready to test drive cars this summer, you might have a choice between a 2013 or a 2014. If you like to play it safe, maximize value, and you’re less picky about precise feature fit, you might be more happy with a 2013. On the flip side, if you like new technology and a precise feature fit, you might be more happy with a 2014.

We hope this has been helpful. Happy test driving. Get your calcium. Let us know if we can be of assistance!   🙂

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