You may think the obvious answer is yes, at least a few weeks to a month, but as usual, it’s never black and white. Speaking of which, please avoid cars that are black, white, silver, or gray…
If you are looking at a NEW mainstream Toyota, Dodge, Ford, etc… I think you should wait. Right now most brands are doing 0% interest for up to 84 months (7 years) and deferring payments for 90 days. While the savings in interest will save you quite a bit of money, you really should be looking for the discount off the car itself.
Auto sales were down substantially in March with a projected small rebound in April. However, automakers have run production based on 2019’s very good year and have large and growing inventory levels. I’m not 100% certain on this, but dealers need to pay both interest and taxes on the cars while they sit in inventory and will be eager to sell. Use this to your advantage.
Hyundai for example, actually increased production in March, so if they don’t store them in California, the dealers will have a lot of cars to sell. Additionally, car rental companies like Hertz have basically no customers and will stop fleet sales. This hurts Ford, GM, Dodge, the most.
Use all of these things to your advantage over the next month, but don’t wait too long as the companies have also stopped production. Inventory will catch up eventually.
If you are in the market for a used mainstream car, don’t buy it. Even if you can’t get a huge cash discount, 0% for up to 84 months is a free loan, used cars won’t have this rate and your payment may actually be lower if you buy new.
If you are in the market for a luxury car it becomes murky. BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, Audi, and Porsche have always had big discounts, so you need to work a little harder for a really good deal. It is unlikely you will find a new luxury car for more than 15% off as you can already do that on many models (sedans).
If you want a used luxury car, I would suggest you act now… if you see the car you want. Used cars with the correct options, low mileage, warranty, etc are very difficult to find and at this point dealers are near the bottom of what they’re willing to take. If the car you want is harder to find, once it’s gone, it’s gone.
One last thing to consider, not all companies will survive this, so warranty and repairs could be a factor if you want anything on my death-watch list: