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In the market for a fresh set of wheels? You may want to wait a bit before pulling out your wallet. Instead of buying on impulse, it’s wise to understand the best time of year to buy a car. Because many factors can play into the actual price you pay for your car, it’s important to know that timing is one of them—that is, assuming you’ll want to get the best deal possible.
There is certainly a best time of the year to buy a car, right down to the day you buy the car. Seriously! If you want to snag your dream vehicle for the lowest price possible, keep in mind the following information when you go shopping.
When is the Best Time of Year to Buy a Car?
So, you’re browsing Edmunds or Vroom, and you’re gearing up to the day you finally choose a car and put down a payment. But even when you do find your dream car, it’s not that simple! Sometimes, the best time of the year to buy a car can come down to the day, and other factors also weigh in. For the purpose of this article, though, we are going to explain what you need to know in terms of timing.
Days with Deals
Remember that not all days are created equally. All those insane Black Friday sales on televisions and clothing aren’t just limited to items that can fit under the Christmas tree—many dealers will run special promotions around Black Friday and the holidays to convince consumers to buy a car (even if that wasn’t their intention). If you can wait for this time of year to purchase a car, it can really pay off for you.
Additionally, there are usually huge deals on three-day weekends. These weekends are known for shopping deals, and those deals—again—don’t end at small retail items. Keep all the biggest shopping holidays in mind if you want to take advantage of a great deal.
End of the Month, Quarter, Year
Another thing to keep in mind is that car dealerships are extremely sales-focused. They rely on you for business. Every month, quarter, and year, these companies set goals, or sales quotas, that they strive to meet. The closer it gets to the end of a month, quarter, or year, the better your chance is for scoring a deal. That’s why you see so many ads for big savings at the very end of the year in December—this is their big blowout while they try to get rid of inventory to make room for new makes and models. If you can’t that long, though, the end-of-the-quarter sales are usually pretty sizable.
If nothing else, at least wait until the end of the month to put a little more leverage on your side. A salesman would much rather give you a lower price and sell the car than not sell it at all! The key to negotiating is knowing what the other side needs and using that to get what you need.
When Not to Buy a Car
Just as the above moments are the best times of the year to buy a car, there are also notably worse times to pull out your checkbook. The worst time to buy a car is springtime because it’s the time many people have just received tax refunds and they have money burning a hole in their pockets. When there are more shoppers to accommodate, salesmen will be much less willing to knock the price. They figure if you don’t buy the car at that price, someone else will.
When Not to Buy a New Car
If you’re eyeing a brand new car, stay away from purchasing just as the new model year rolls around. During this time, there will be huge price cuts on the previous year’s model, which means if you still want the newest version, dealers will take advantage and make you pay full price. The best time to buy the newest model would be towards the end of the year when the sellers are trying to move the metal off the lot. Many times, there are few improvements made to the following year’s model, so it might be worth it to buy the year-old model at a much better price.
Be Seasonally Minded
Lastly, there is a seasonal component to car demand. In the wintertime, in snowy conditions, people are much more likely to be browsing SUVs because they handle better in snow. On the adverse, summertime makes everyone long for a convertible, so consider getting your fun top-back vehicle when it’s not on everyone’s minds.
Feel ready to walk into a dealership and land a sweet deal? Great! This information is also useful if you’re car shopping online somewhere such as Autos.com. You may also want to consider purchasing a dash cam for your new ride if it doesn’t come with one—it’s a fantastic safety feature everyone can benefit from.