When is The Best Time to Buy a Car?
There is a good time and even best time for just about everything. When it comes to buying a new vehicle, the best time could mean a saving of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Many car buyers believe in the “negotiating only” policy. As in, only a skilled negotiator can get a car salesperson to come down on the sticker price of a car. But it’s common for those “in the know” of current auto news that there are a few tactics that could get you the best deal.
It important to know that there is no guarantee of savings when it comes to buying a new vehicle, however, putting in the research and knowing when to strike will give you the best chance possible. Dealerships are always looking to move inventory quickly and efficiently—while turning a profit. Here are 5 timing tips when it comes to buying that new car:
Look Before You’re Desperate
This tip is number 1 for a reason. NO matter what time of year, month, or week the best time to buy a car is BEFORE your current vehicle leaves you stranded on the side of the road. If you wait until your current vehicle leaves you high and dry you will miss valuable trade in opportunities as well as the mindset to “walk away” from a bad deal. You can also go in prepared and armed with research. Look into things like:
- Knowing the vehicle that meets your needs
- Choosing a car that has a good ranking
- Securing a pre-approved financing offer
- All of this knowledge will help you score the best deal possible. Going in desperate means you could make a bad decision – a bad decision with thousands of dollars in repercussions.
End of the Year? Month? Week?
Even people not up on auto news have heard that waiting until the end of the year will guarantee you a good deal. That’s true, but there are more opportunities on the calendar.
The truth is, waiting until the end of just about any period will help you get a good deal on a vehicle. That includes the quarter, month and even day!
Day: Buying a car at the end of a day can sometimes equal savings. Like most employees, dealership employees also want to go home. They may be more flexible over the terms of sale.
Month: Buying at the end of the month is also always a good option. Dealers are usually aiming to meet monthly quotas. In many cases, employees have bonuses tied into their monthly quotas. That could even mean they are willing to lose a bit of money on the sale to get that bonus!
Quarter: Buying a car at the end of the month in March, June, September, or December can lead to spectacular deals because dealerships are trying extremely hard to reach quarterly sales goals.
Look at Last Year’s Model
Finding a great deal on an outgoing model is a great way to net big savings. The timing of this tactic usually reaches its peak in the fall months. That’s because new-model-year vehicles will start to come out in the fall for the next year. For example, a 2018 model will debut in the fall of 2017. Dealerships are highly motivated to get the older models off of the lot.
Once the newer models arrive you can bet that salespeople will start pushing the older stock. This could lead to deep discounts on pricey packages. Depending on what you are looking for, this could be the ideal situation, as long as the new model hasn’t changed too much (body, style, etc.)
However, if getting a good deal is your biggest motivator, you’ll probably notice not much change from model to model. Being willing to go without the trendiest color or newest chrome trim might mean hundreds in savings.
Specials usually happen on certain weekends. Look for deals on holiday weekends, such as Labor Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, or Thanksgiving.
You’ll notice that most dealerships are advertising huge deals or blowout sales during this time. They know shoppers will be off of work and have come to expect the extra foot traffic. The dealership realizes that people will have time to do a bit of test driving and usually take on more staff to accommodate.
Use this time to walk the lot and spot savings!
Anytime There Are Incentives
If you have done your homework and can wait a bit—be on the lookout for year-round incentives. Lots of times dealerships offer things like:
- Financing deals
- Cash Rebate
- Lease incentives
- Trade-in Offers
These offers could coincide with a local event or maybe an internal contest or deadline for the dealership. Just stay informed on the current auto news near you to take advantage of all incentives that come your way.
A Few More Tips
The best tool for getting an incredible deal on a vehicle is you. By doing your homework and staying informed you are a powerful buyer. If you know that time is coming, get online and start collecting data.
Know the pros and cons of the models that interest you, have a down payment and financing in order if you have a good experience at a dealership return and you will be rewarded. Most dealerships value return customers and salespeople you’ve worked with before will work harder to find you the best deal possible.