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When Is the Best Time to Buy a Used Car? 3 Ways To Get Deals


When is the best time to buy a used car? The last four months of the year (October through December) are considered the best time to buy a used car because there are typically more discounts and incentives available unless there are fewer cars being built by manufacturers, which can cause price hikes.

You can find competitive pricing where the new car inventory is not as low and when the dealerships have not met their annual sales goals. December averages the lowest average transaction prices of the year, making it the ideal time to purchase a new car.

Buying a car is a significant financial decision for most people, so it’s natural to want to get the best deal possible. But when is the best time to buy a new or used car to ensure you’re getting the most value for your money? In this article, we will explore the different factors and considerations that can help you determine the best time to make your purchase.

When Is the Best Time To Buy a New and Used Cars?

While there isn’t a definitive answer to when the absolute best time to buy a car is, understanding the various factors that can influence pricing and deals can help you make an informed decision. Consider the time of year, month, and week, as well as specific holidays and the current state of the car market, when planning your purchase.

Ultimately, it’s crucial to approach car buying with research, patience, and negotiation skills. By combining these elements, you’ll increase your chances of finding the best deal on a new or used car that meets your needs and budget.

New car

New car sales are often accompanied by special financing options and incentives from the manufacturer. These incentives can include cash-back offers, low or zero percent interest rates, and discounted prices.

When the dealer is a few cars short of its monthly goals, they may be more willing to negotiate and offer additional discounts on new cars. All of these options can help you lower your monthly payments.

Used car

If there are no supply chain disruptions, you are going to be able to find deep discounts on used auto sales as dealerships try to clear out their inventory. Additionally, buying a used car can also save you money on insurance premiums and registration fees compared to a new car.

However, it’s important to thoroughly inspect the used car and consider its maintenance history before making a purchase. This will help ensure that you are making a wise investment and avoid any potentially costly repairs in the future.

Best Time of The Year to Buy a Car Based On Calendar Year

Vehicle inventory plays a crucial role in used car values, so it’s important to consider the time of year when making a purchase. If, by any chance, there are supply chain issues with new cars, then the used car inventory may be limited, causing prices to increase.

The summer buying season tends to have higher prices due to increased demand and limited supply. Let’s discuss the best time to buy a car by answering the following questions:

What Time of Year Is Best To Buy?

The time of year can have a significant impact on car prices and the deals available. One of the most opportune times to buy a car is at the end of the year when dealerships are looking to clear out their current inventory to make way for new models. Starting in September and continuing through December, you can often find substantial discounts on both new and used cars.

Additionally, the end of the model year is another good time to snag a deal. As car manufacturers release new models, dealerships may be more willing to offer discounts to move the previous year’s inventory. Keep an eye out for the latest models hitting the market, as this can be a great time to get an unbeaten deal on the outgoing models.

What Time of Month Is Best To Buy?

When it comes to the best time of the month to buy a car, the end of the month can be advantageous. Many dealerships have monthly sales quotas that their salespeople need to meet, so as the end of the month approaches, they may be more motivated to negotiate and offer attractive deals to reach their targets.

If you can time your purchase toward the end of the month, you may have a better chance of getting a favorable deal. According to Edmunds, the maximum reduction off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) in February is around 5.7%, the lowest markdown of the year. You’ll find the best discounts on new car models between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

What Time of Week Is Best To Buy?

Believe it or not, the day of the week you choose to visit a dealership can impact your car-buying experience. Generally, weekdays are less crowded, and salespeople may have more time to dedicate to you. Mondays and Tuesdays specifically tend to be quieter, so if you’re looking for a more relaxed car shopping experience, these days might be your best bet.

On the other hand, weekends, particularly Saturdays, tend to be busier as more people have time off work to go car hunting. While the dealerships may have more staff available on weekends, the increased foot traffic can lead to a more competitive buying environment. If you prefer a quieter and potentially more focused experience, visiting the dealership during the week might be the better option.

What Holidays Are Best To Buy?

Car dealerships often run special promotions and discounts during certain holidays, which can present excellent opportunities to save money on your vehicle purchase. Here are some holidays to keep in mind:

Memorial Day

Often seen as the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day weekend is a popular time for car shopping. Many dealerships offer discounts or special incentives during this time.

Labor Day

Labor Day weekend is another holiday when dealerships may have promotional offers and discounts available. It’s also a convenient time for many people to go car shopping, as they have an extra day off work.

Black Friday

Traditionally associated with electronics and other retail items, Black Friday is becoming increasingly popular for car shopping as well. Some dealerships offer exclusive deals and incentives on this busy shopping day.

While these holidays can be advantageous for getting a good deal, it’s essential to keep in mind that many other car shoppers may have the same idea. As a result, you may encounter more competition and potentially less negotiating power during busy holiday weekends.

Current Market: Is it a Good Time to Buy a Car?

Aside from considering specific timeframes, it’s crucial to assess the current state of the car market to determine if it’s an opportune time to make your purchase. Factors such as supply and demand, economic conditions, and industry trends can all influence the availability of deals and pricing.

For example, during times of economic uncertainty or downturns in the car industry, dealerships may be more willing to offer incentives and discounts to attract buyers. On the other hand, during periods of high demand or limited supply, such as when a particular car model is in high demand, prices may be higher, and deals may be harder to come by.

How To Get the Best Deal On A Car

While timing your car purchase can increase your chances of getting a good deal, there are other strategies you can employ to ensure you’re making the most of your money:

Do your research

Before stepping foot in a dealership, make sure you’ve done your research on the car make and model you’re interested in. Understanding the average price range and market value will give you a better idea of what constitutes a good deal.

Compare prices and negotiate

Take the time to visit multiple dealerships and compare prices. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the salesperson to get the best price possible. Remember, they want to make a sale, so they may be willing to work with you to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

Consider buying used

Buying a used car can often save you a significant amount of money compared to purchasing a new one. Used cars also tend to have lower depreciation rates, which means you may get more value for your money in the long run.

Get pre-approved for financing

By getting pre-approved for a car loan from a bank or credit union, you’ll have a better understanding of your budget and the interest rates you qualify for. This will give you more confidence and bargaining power when negotiating with the dealership.

Timing your trade-in

If you plan on trading in your current vehicle, consider timing it to align with your car purchase. Certain times of the year or month may offer better trade-in values, which can further enhance your overall deal.

Fix your credit score

The best financing deals would only be available to car buyers with a high credit score. If your credit score is not in the best shape, take the time to improve it before applying for a car loan. This can help you secure a lower interest rate and potentially save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Additionally, monitoring your credit report for any errors or discrepancies can also help you boost your score and increase your chances of getting approved for favorable financing options.

Best Time to Buy a Car: FAQ

What is the cheapest month to buy a car?

While there isn’t a single cheapest month to buy a car, the end of the year, particularly September through December, is often seen as an opportune time to find deals on both new and used vehicles.

Are there any other good times to buy a car?

In addition to the end of the year, the end of the month can be advantageous, as dealerships may be more motivated to negotiate and meet their monthly sales quotas. Additionally, holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Black Friday often come with special promotions and discounts.

Is it cheaper to buy a car in September?

September is generally considered a good time to buy a car, as it marks the end of the model year for many car manufacturers. Dealerships may offer discounts on outgoing models to make room for the newer releases.

Last Updated on: December 14, 2023

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