Cars can be hugely expensive over their lifetime, so you want to make sure you start off on the right footing by keeping your costs to a minimum. But with so many , where should you start? If you want to get more bang for your buck when it comes to buying your next car, here are a handful of tips and tricks that should stand you in good stead when it’s time to negotiate.

1. When you buy matters

If you want to get the best deal, make sure you save your money over the Christmas period and buy in January, when everyone else is recovering from the holidays. If you have your eye on a specific model, another good period to buy is between August and October, when you can get a deal on the current year at a discount. Plus, head to dealerships at the end of the month when salesmen will be trying to hit their targets.

2. Always shop around

The best thing you can do before visiting a seller is to arm yourself with as much information as possible. Shop around the various dealerships in your area and look for what offers are on; if two are very similar, go and check out the condition of each vehicle, and always haggle the price. Don’t be afraid to walk away if you know you can get it cheaper elsewhere – all that research could save you hundreds.

3. The same goes for your trade-in

It’s likely if you currently have a vehicle that you’ll want to trade it in as part of the deal – it will certainly make things much more stress-free and convenient.

However, beware of accepting the first price someone offers you; the value of your vehicle will vary from place to place, so in the same way you shopped around for the price of the car you want, do the same for the car you have. Negotiate a good rate, but .

4. Make a note of incentives

While you conduct your research, look out for any incentives being run by dealerships; be sure to weigh any add-ons and extras that are being thrown in against the price of a lower-cost vehicle at another garage. Plus, whenever new models are brought out, going direct to the manufacturer could save you money, as they’ll often be looking to attract early interest.

5. What you buy matters

Thinking long-term, don’t forget that whatever vehicle you buy will depreciate in value, but that some will depreciate more than others. Some new cars can lose up to 19% of their value in the first year alone. If you’re a money-saver, aim to buy an older car in good condition, which is more likely to hold its value.

If you’d like more information on how to get the best price for your next car, . If you have any tips of your own, don’t forget to leave them in the comments section.