The Best Time to Buy a Car: A Complete Guide

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Best Time to Buy a Car

Your old car is starting to chug a little. It’s time for you to replace it before it finishes shutting down. The problem is that you have a pretty small budget.

When’s the best time to buy a car if don’t have a lot of cash to throw around? That depends. There are many times throughout the year when the dealer might be willing to cut you a great deal.

Some of these days are obvious. Everyone has sales going on during Black Friday, car places included. There are a few less obvious days.

Check out this guide to learn when you should go shopping.

The End of a Month

When your car begins to give out, try your best to make it last until the end of the month. Car salesmen have certain quotas that they need to make by this time.

If they don’t make the right amount of sales, they won’t get their bonus. They may be willing to negotiate a lower price to stop that from happening.

The End of the Year

Getting a new car near the end of the year is a good idea for a couple of reasons. Not many people are willing to go out in the freezing cold to get a car unless they have no other choice.

The salesmen might give you a great price because they know you’re a serious buyer, and it’s not like they are seeing a ton of customers. If they’re going to meet their yearly quotas, they’ll have no choice but to let the car go.

During December, many people are looking to buy a brand new car for their loved ones for the holidays. The dealership won’t have a new car to sell these customers if they don’t have them on their lot to give away.

That’s where you come in. If you’re willing to buy last year’s model, you’ll be able to get a good price for it since you’re taking it off the lot and opening up a spot for a new car to slide into.

Best Day of the Week

You would think that the best time to go get a new car would be the weekends, but you would be wrong. Car buying tips dictate that it’s better to go at the beginning of the week.

There are not as many people in the dealership, so you don’t have anyone to compete with for the salesman’s attention. Looking for car loans is easier because the financing offices aren’t as busy.

We will say that in many parts of the world, dealerships aren’t open on Sundays. This means a lot of people push back their car shopping to Monday. If you don’t want to run into a crowd, go on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

Bonus points if you head to the car lot at the end of the day. The financing department and salesmen are ready to go home but not so ready that they’re about to miss out on a sale. This could give you some negotiating power.

The car buying process will go a lot faster if you go near the end of the day as well.

Go During the Holidays

During the holidays, cars sell like candy. That’s why you see commercials all over the place during certain months of the year that depict vehicles with shiny red bows on them. These are the main holidays where you might be able to get the best car deals.

Memorial Day

If you want to buy a new car, the summer is a terrible time to do it. The weather is nice, so there’s no short of buyers looking around for a vehicle.

Since there’s less competition, the salesman is less likely to give you a good deal. There’s only one exception to this rule, and that’s Memorial Day.

It’s around this time when new models are starting to come out. Dealerships put the old models on sale to make way for the new stuff. This makes Memorial Day a great day for shopping if you’re willing to buy something a little older.

President’s Day

The months around President’s Day are a little slow when it comes to car buying. In an attempt to remedy this, dealerships put cars on sale.

Labor Day

Labor day checks several boxes that we’ve already discussed. It takes place around the end of August. Salesmen will give away cars for cheap during this time to make their quotas.

We will say that at times, labor day falls on the beginning of September, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find good prices the weekend before. Like Memorial Day, manufacturers begin bringing out their new models.

People that are looking to buy the newest thing will flock to the dealerships to snatch them up. To meet this demand, salesmen will try to go through their old stock.

Fourth of July

The Forth of July falls on a long weekend. This gives people more time to head to a dealership and shop. In many cases, salesmen can get a great bonus if they manage to hit a certain quota by the time the weekend ends.

All these factors are the reason why you’ll find plenty of promotions during this time. Dealerships are trying to make the most out of the demand.

Black Friday

Most retail businesses put their things on sale during Black Friday. Car places are no exception to this rule. People are scrambling around looking for the perfect holiday gift for their loved ones.

For many people, this ideal gift is a shiny new car. Hince the sales. Since this is such a busy day, the salesman can make some serious cash.

They can afford to negotiate, and they will. They want to go home and be with their families, so they may be quick to give you a deal.

New Year’s Eve

If your old car is going out, slap some duct tape on it and try to keep it going until the end of the year. Salesmen will do all they can to pump out those extra sales.

They want to meet their yearly quotas and get a big old bonus, after all. They’ll be willing to practically hand a car over to you if you’ll take it off their hands.

Model Changeovers and Lifecycle Endings

Everyone wants the joy of driving a brand-new car. There’s that expectation that it’s going to run much better than a used model. This is true in many cases, but still, don’t dismiss buying an older car.

If it’s been on the lot for a few years, there’s a good chance that a new model is coming out. The dealership will want the other one off the lot. This way, they can cycle it out for the new vehicle.

Take advantage of these changeovers and buy the older car. You might be able to negotiate a great price on it.

If a car is being discontinued, they aren’t removed from the lots right away. The salesmen will still have to sell through their old stock. If you’re willing to buy a car that’s at the end of its life cycle, you can get a good price because the dealership wants to be rid of it.

Overall Best Month to Buy a Car

The absolute best month to buy a car is October. Every manufacturer puts out their new models at different times, but dealerships scramble to put a discount on the old ones way before that.

Most of the time, these sales begin in October. Add Columbus Day and Halloween into the mix, and you can find some serious discounts on vehicles.

November and December aren’t bad choices either because it’s close to the end of the year. There’s also Black Friday and Christmas to think about.

Worst Months to Buy a Car

Don’t buy a new car during the Spring. Everyone is getting their tax return around this time and is using their money to get a new vehicle.

There’s no shortage of new customers which means, the dealership does not need to offer car-buying incentives. They’re going to make plenty of sales regardless.

Choosing the Best Time to Buy a Car

Are you trying to replace your old set of wheels? If you can push getting a vehicle back for a while, try to line up your shopping trip with the best time to buy a car.

During certain points in the year, there are tons of deals that you can take advantage of. Even if you have plenty of cash to throw around on a vehicle, there’s no reason not to negotiate a lower price.

Are you looking for more car buying tips that will help you get a good deal? Check out our blog daily to read additional articles like this one.

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