End of year shapes up to be prime car-buying time

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DETROIT (AP)—If the spirit of giving—or of treating yourself—has inspired you to buy a car this holiday season, you’re in luck. Many local auto dealerships are overflowing with sedans, trucks and SUVs, so there are deals to be had.

Most dealers have abundant supplies of 2013 models, and 2014s are arriving as automakers keep factories humming. Since dealers pay interest on money borrowed to buy the cars, they’re probably anxious to sell them soon.

“We have a lot of inventory right now,” said Tammy Darvish, vice president of a 21-dealer group in the Washington, D.C., metro area that sells Toyota, Ford, Kia, Chrysler, Volkswagen and other makes.

The December holiday season normally is a good time to buy as dealers clear out old models and sales people feel pressure to meet year-end targets. Some sales ran early this year as automakers tried to get a piece of the Black Friday retail holiday.

Normally you can get 5 to 6 percent off the sticker price when dealing, but that could rise to 8 or 10 percent this month, said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. That means, for instance, you can get roughly $1,880 to $2,351 off a 2014 Chevy Malibu 1LT with a sticker price of $23,510.

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