The time to buy a car is right now, according to editors at AutoTrader.com.

Now’s the time to buy a car, experts say

If Americans have been biding their time about when they want to enter the car buying market, the best time may be right now, according to a new estimate from industry experts.

The editors at AutoTrader.com recently stated that the autumn is the ideal period of the year to purchase an automobile, due to the fact that kids are back in school – making transportation means more necessary – and because sticker prices tend to be more affordable.

Brian Moody, AutoTrader.com editor, added that this is also the time of year in which automakers unveil next year's models.

"As the new 2015 vehicles start arriving on dealer lots, more incentives are offered on the 2014 vehicles to make room," said Moody. "While this is a fairly well-known and well-advertised event, what many car shoppers don't realize is that this is also a great time for savings on some certified pre-owned used cars as well."

He added that with more 2014 vehicles being certified pre-owned, the larger supply tends to result in lower prices, as suppliers and dealers try to move as many cars as possible by making them less expensive to purchase.

Toyota, Mini Cooper highly recommended

The Toyota RAV4 and Mini Cooper – both 2014 models – were cited as the best vehicles that combine value, safety and comfort, AutoTrader.com stated. Additionally, the website pointed to the Volkswagen Golf, Mazda3, Kia Forte and Honda Accord as 2015 models that are sure to please.

"We feel these models – as well as the outgoing 2014s – are at a great price point considering the quality and features offered," said Moody.

He added that for those who have never purchased a car before, they should be sure to establish a budget before beginning the shopping process. It's also important to identify the characteristics that a vehicle ought to have, not just the ones that are nice but not necessarily must-have.

Something else shoppers should be mindful of is safety features. Though there are a variety of factors that help determine auto insurance rates, one is how they perform in crash safety testing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has detailed information for how various models perform after an accident. The best performers are bestowed with IIHS' coveted Top Safety Pick designation.