Believe it or not, the time of year (and even the time of day) can make a big difference in how much you pay for a new vehicle.
We’ll tell you about the best time to buy a car including the best day, month and time of year, as well as five other times when buying a car can get you the best bang for your buck.
The best times to buy a car
Generally speaking, the best time to buy a car is usually at the end of a time period, like the end of the month, calendar year, car model year and car design cycle. Let’s get into specifics.
BEST DAY TO BUY A CAR
The best day to buy a car actually depends on how busy the dealership is. Since dealerships are usually busiest on the weekend, we recommend buying a car on Monday or Tuesday – at the beginning of the week. This is typically when dealerships are the least busy meaning salespeople can give you more attention and time. You won’t feel rushed as you browse your options, ask questions and negotiate your deal.
BEST MONTH TO BUY A CAR
The best time to buy is usually at the end of the month since dealerships are trying to clear out older models or the previous month’s showroom. The end of the month is a good ballpark, but if you’re looking for the months with the best deals, we recommend October, November or December. These are the most discounted months of the year since dealerships are trying to clear out the past year’s stock before bringing in new inventory. Chances are, they’re trying to make sales quotas and may be willing to offer you a better deal to get the car off the lot.
BEST TIME OF YEAR TO BUY A CAR
As you could probably guess based on the previous category, the best time of year to buy a car is at the end of the calendar year. December often brings year-end sales events and clearouts, so if you’re looking for the best deal, you should plan to shop in December. According to Edmunds data, you’ll find the highest discounts off MSRP in December. Since dealerships are trying to clear out the previous year’s cars and make a lot of sales before year end, you may be in luck if you shop during this time.
Another 5 great times to buy a new car
BEFORE THE DEALERSHIP CLOSES FOR THE DAY
Last minute car shopping might seem like a bad idea but you can often find a better deal if you show up shortly before close. Like the rest of us, salespeople look forward to heading home after a busy day so if you’re serious about purchasing a vehicle, they may be willing to drop the price if it means they can wrap a sale before the day’s end.
However, be mindful that this only works to your advantage if you have a pretty clear idea of what you want. If you show up right before close to browse and ask a lot of questions, you likely won’t be offered a better deal.
END OF THE CAR’S DESIGN CYCLE
When manufacturers think it’s time to upgrade their latest model, they’ll put it through a redesign, meaning the current model is nearing the end of its design life cycle. Dealerships will want to clear out last year’s model and drop the price to do so. This means that even if you won’t have as many gadgets and gizmos as the redesigned model, you’ll still end up with a great vehicle at a great price.
END OF THE CAR’S LIFE CYCLE
Another great time to buy is when car models are being discontinued. If you’re planning on keeping your car for a while before selling, then any vehicle depreciation shouldn’t affect you in the short-term. This is a great time for you to buy if you’re looking for a deal and don’t mind getting a discontinued model.
DURING SHOPPING HOLIDAYS
Black Friday isn’t just for retail! Dealerships also use these holidays to create sales events with discounts, free add-ons and finance incentives.
Long weekends are also a popular time for similar incentives and deals. If you’re planning on stopping in during these busy times, make sure you’ve done a decent amount of research and preparation beforehand as the dealerships will likely be packed, especially on holidays like Boxing Day. This holiday takes place at the end of the month and at the end of a financial quarter which means it’ll be especially busy! In these cases, you’ll have to evaluate if it’s worth it for you to take the time at the dealership or wait to buy during a less busy time.
DURING DEALERSHIP INCENTIVES
Of course, it makes sense that if you shop during a special incentive, you’ll get a good deal. However, it can be hard to predict when these incentives will run, making it harder to budget for your next vehicle purchase. That being said, it can be worth it to make the jump during an incentive as you may get special cash-back rebates, money-off discounts, loyalty programs, trade-in deals and even low-interest financing.
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, now is a great time to buy. Check out the resources section on our website to see our current promotions.
When you’re ready to buy, all you have to do is fill out an online application to get pre-approved within 24 hours.