Strategies for buying new or used cars

As a fleet manager, your job will entail managing your company's current fleet and deciding when the time is right to procure more vehicles.

Whichever vehicle you choose to buy, it will fall under one of two categories: new or used. What you end up purchasing will depend on factors such as your budget, but it is important to note that there are very distinct strategies for approaching any vehicle purchase.

When you are purchasing new cars, timing is essential, according to American car website

This doesn't just mean you should take the logical step of buying at the end of the year, says's editor Brian Moody. You should also think shorter term and consider purchasing at the end of the month or quarter.

"Just like at the end of the year, dealers have monthly and quarterly sales goals," explains Moody.

"If they're just shy of the target, they could get more motivated to get the deal done."

Moody also suggests considering other timing factors, such as going at the end of the day when salespeople are keen to close out some last quick sales and get home, or on days with bad weather, when less people will be out and about and demand will be low.

On the other hand, if you are wishing to keep costs low and buy a used vehicle, a recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research suggests that playing on the seller's psychology is a crucial strategy.

Authors Promothesh Chatterjee, Caglar Irmak and Randall L Rose claim that people intrinsically feel threatened when selling used possessions, and therefore tend to increase their value and set a high price.

In order to counteract this, the authors suggest complimenting and flattering the seller about things unrelated to the car, to bring down their guard and make them feel less threatened.

Once you have purchased new vehicles for your fleet, whether they are new or used, a proper fleet management program is vital in prolonging their life span and maximising their efficiency.