back to articles | March 05, 2020 | Greg Thibodeau

Categories: Tips & Insights For Car Buying Auto Loans & Financing Buying & Selling Cars

3 Things to Know If You're Planning on Buying a Car in 2020

Planning to buy a car in 2020? Check out this list of 2020 car buying trends for help buying the right car, at the right time, from the right place.


Are you one of the many drivers who is planning on buying a new or used car in 2020? You’re not the only one! There are about 17 million cars sold in the U.S. every year, including 2019, according to To help you in your journey to finding the ride that’s right for you, we’ve compiled a list of 2020 car buying trends! Put them to use to buy the right car, at the right time, from the right place.

1. Know What You’re Working With

When we say “know what you’re working with,” we’re referring to your budget, but also the cars you’re about to go compare. Let’s start with your budget.

Estimating how much you can afford to borrow is always the best first step to take when buying a car. As Money Under 30 notes, you should plan on putting down at least 20% (the down payment), financing the car for no more than 4 years, and keeping your monthly car payment (including the principal, interest, insurance, and other expenses) at or below 10% of your gross monthly income. In the end, you want to avoid spending more than 35% of your annual income on a car.

  • If you make $30,000 a year, avoid spending more than $10,500. (And yes, you can still get a reliable car with many bells and whistles for $10k!)
  • If you make $45,000 a year, you want to avoid spending more $15,750.
  • If you make $60,000 a year, avoid spending more than $21,000.

Borrowing more than you can afford can end up leaving you high and dry come bill time. Do you want to worry about paying your electric bill every time you get in the driver’s seat? Stay within your budget so you can reduce financial stress, protect funds for fun things with loved ones, and help avoid late loan payments.

After you’ve calculated how much you can afford to borrow, compare that number to all of the cars at your disposal! Here are a couple of automotive industry trends you can expect to encounter on your car hunt.

More Connected-ness

Expect to stay connected to your apps, music, and media the moment you walk out of your house and into your car.

“We’ve seen car-equipped WiFi in the past, but moving into the 2020s, we’ll see it become a staple of every new car purchase, rather than an upgrade,” writes David Newman in Forbes.

However, this also means more high-tech, software driven vehicles and potentially higher repairs costs because of it—just something to keep in mind if you’re thinking of holding on to your car for the long-term.

More Electric Cars

The year 2020 is set to be the year of the electric car! There were 40+ electric cars for sale in 2019, and 14 new electric cars are anticipated to make their debut in 2020.

The much anticipated, more earth-conscious vehicles include the Tesla Model Y, Volkswagen ID.3, BMW iX3, Mercedes EQC, and the Volvo XC40 Electric (which will have a price tag less than $50k).

More Help with Maintenance

It wasn’t long ago when an oil change alert on your dashboard felt revolutionary. Today’s cars, however, can do so much more when it comes to predictive maintenance. More systems are always monitoring time and mileage to help drivers stay ahead of potential problems that could jeopardize their safety or wallet!

Predictive maintenance has already been instrumental in improving the commercial trucking industry.

“It’s actually led to a 30% increase in uptime from truck drivers, for instance—predicting failures 30 days in advance with a shocking 90% accuracy,” writes David Newman.

Predictive maintenance is an automotive industry trend we can definitely get behind.

2. Time It Right

Ever tried to make it across town in 5 o’clock traffic, go grocery shopping on a Sunday afternoon, or buy a new TV on Black Friday? If you have, you’ve felt some serious frustration. Your options are limited, the pressure is high, and people are everywhere. It’s overwhelming.

For a smoother experience and potentially better car price, time your purchase just like you time your trips across town—when traffic is low or there’s a special deal to be had!

According to Edmunds, some of the best times to buy a car in 2020 are:

  • End of the model year
  • End of the calendar year
  • End of month
  • Memorial Day
  • Fourth of July
  • Labor Day
  • Presidents Day
  • October
  • November
  • December
  • Monday or early in the week

3. Pick the Best Place

There are about as many ways to buy a car as there are physical dealerships nowadays! You can buy a car online, in-person, or from your smartphone.

If you want to research buying a car online, check out Carvana and Vroom.

  • Carvana’s visuals and user interface are a pleasure. Each car’s mileage and price are clearly listed. There’s not an ounce of clutter on their website. Carvana is also known for its multi-story Car Vending Machines.
  • Vroom doesn’t have any car vending machines near you… but they do boast about some pretty great, consistently below market-value prices.

Buying a car in-person is the one route that hasn’t changed much over the years. (Maybe this is why some analysts predict that car dealerships will be extinct by 2025!) You can buy from a dealership or buy from a private seller. Expect to research the car you want, walk the lot, and test drive a couple of cars.

Want to buy a car using only your smartphone? There’s an app for that! Fair makes it easy to shop over 40 makes and models or get a rideshare-ready car and pay by the week.

“Pick the style, color and brand you want and drive the perfect car with no long-term commitment. Every car comes with roadside assistance, routine maintenance, and a limited warranty. There’s no physical paperwork, just sign with your finger,” says Fair’s website.

You don’t have to buy a car using one of these methods to find the route that’s right for you. You can start anywhere! Like with myAutoloan. We help you compare up to four auto loan financing offers so you can get the money you need to get in the driver’s seat you want.