It's a good time to buy a car
Right now could be the best time ever to buy a vehicle, if you aren't worried the maker will go out of business, shutting off parts and service and ruining resale value.
"There are going to be fabulous deals. ... It's a buyer's market," says Tom Libby of Power Information Network.
Because of the economy, sales are falling faster than automakers can cut production, leaving dealers with a good selection.
"Virtually everybody can find what they want," says Jack Nerad, executive market analyst at car-shopping site kbb.com. "The only place they're thin is pickups and large SUVs." Production was cut months ago.
It's also a terrific time to buy what you're leasing. Automakers "really don't want that car back, so you can negotiate hard," says David Champion, senior auto tester at Consumer Reports magazine.
If the maker of your car or truck goes under, you could be in trouble.
"There is a federal regulation that parts have to be available for 10 years. But who do you enforce that against if there's no entity there?" Nerad asks.
If the maker is absorbed by another or is kept running under bankruptcy protection, parts, service and warranty work would be available. But if a car company goes into liquidation, "People will be left holding the bag," Champion says.