I’m asked a lot by our members, “When is the best time to buy a new car at a bargain?”

My answer to them is always the same: The best time to buy a new car is when you really need one and can afford to buy within your budget.

“Of course,” they say. “But what time of year can I get the best deal on a new car?”

In my opinion, one of the best times of the year to buy a new car is the fall. Why?

New 2014 models are arriving at dealership lots across the country. This means 2013 models are discounted as dealers look to make room for newer vehicles. If you have your heart set on a new 2013 model, consumers usually save (on average) 10%-20% on a current-year model compared to earlier in the year. It’s a bargain – and definitely something to consider if you’re looking to get the best deal.

Making a new car purchase even more attractive this fall is the fact that interest rates are at or near historical lows, including currently as low as 1.49%* at Navy Federal. Millions of consumers have already taken advantage of these low rates and are replacing their aging vehicles – leading to a strong pace of auto sales that hasn’t existed since before the Great Recession.

If you’re in a position to buy, my advice to you is to begin shopping soon. Rates will eventually climb and as the economy improves, it’s likely that purchase prices on new vehicles will also rise.

Before walking into a dealership, receive a pre-approval. Your pre-approval will not only tell you how much you can afford, but will also communicate to the salesperson that you are a serious buyer with a set price. I always tell members that purchasing power is key when buying a new vehicle.

Who says picking apples, watching football, and eating pumpkin pie have to be the most fun you have this fall?