When Is The Best Season To Buy A Car
In terms of the best time of the year, October, November and December are safe bets. Car dealerships have sales quotas, which typically break down into yearly, quarterly and monthly sales goals. All three goals begin to come together late in the year.
when is the best season to buy a car
If you're shopping for a new or used car in today's difficult marketplace, please see "Car Buying Tips for 2022" for our experts' targeted, data-driven advice. Note that the article below was originally written before the chip shortage when vehicle prices were relatively stable and predictable. If the shortages continue, there may be a so-called "best time to buy" for the foreseeable future. The best time in the current market is when you find a dealer that has the vehicle you want and is willing to sell it to you at MSRP or better, without any additional options that you may not need.
Buyers are always looking for a way to game the system and save money on major purchases. Much of this thinking revolves around zeroing in on the best time to purchase a particular item. Need a new TV? Shop on Black Friday or around the Super Bowl. Need a new winter coat? Shop in January.
It's no different for cars. Ask anyone, "When is the best time to buy a car?" and you'll get answers ranging from the end of the month to "wait until the new models come out." There are as many theories on this topic as there are days in the year. And, oddly enough, there is a grain of truth to many of them.
Simply put, here's our advice: The best time to buy a car is when you need it and feel ready to buy, regardless of the time of year. Car buying can be stressful, and it can take more than a month to go from deciding what to buy to actually closing the deal. Why add to that pressure by trying to squeeze your shopping into a certain day of the week or a holiday weekend when everyone has the same idea?
When the month is coming to an end, dealers might be a few cars short of a sales quota that would win them a big bonus. Salespeople will have more motivation to make a deal with a buyer and might deeply discount cars, making up any money lost with the bonus. This is the time when you shouldn't sleep on the car deal. Keep in mind, however, that if the sales team met its quota earlier that month, salespeople may not be as motivated to give you the screaming deal you might be expecting. This is difficult to know ahead of time. But if you're in the midst of negotiating and the dealer offers you a super-low price, take a moment to ask your salesperson why the dealer is willing to potentially lose money on this sale. If the reason makes sense to you, and the price is considerably better than your research says it should be, it could be a sign the dealer is trying to make a sales goal.
While the data shows that December is the best time of the year to buy, there are also a few other viable months. In other words, if you need a car in January, there's no need to wait 11 months to get a good deal.
If you need a car in October and want to get the best deal, you might want to wait until December, even though you'll run the risk of having fewer cars to choose from. Waiting will give you more time to do more research on the right car for you. You'll also be able to gather more price quotes.
All the new model-year cars used to debut in the fall, making the end of summer a good time to shop for leftovers. These days, however, there is no unified new model-year season. For example, we see cars from the upcoming model year debuting as early as March of a calendar year. Even so, Edmunds data indicates that the end of the summer is a sweet spot for outgoing model-year vehicles.
Edmunds analysts say that August and September are when they generally see automakers make the most decided transition into the new models. The summer months tend to correspond with a bump in incentives, particularly low APR financing on outgoing model-year vehicles.
Something to note: It's worth looking at the incoming model-year cars to see what features have changed and to get a feel for pricing. It's rare, but there have been instances when a car from the incoming model year has had better incentives than a car from the outgoing model year, particularly if you're looking to lease.
Memorial Day: This holiday kicks off the summer buying season and is a solid time to get a deal. It's also when you will have the largest selection of outgoing models to choose from. Shop around this time if you're particular about a certain color or option package.
Labor Day: This holiday is the sweet spot in terms of selection and competitive pricing. It's not the very best of the year in terms of savings, but you'll have more vehicles to choose from than if you waited for the year-end deals.
As we've noted, you'll find many opportunities throughout the year to get a great deal on a new car. Ultimately, the best time to get a new car is when you need one and only after you have completed your research.
Figure out the market value of the car using Edmunds tools, and factor in any incentives and rebates. Take a look at our new car pricing or used cars for sale where we rate a number of the vehicle prices to assist with negotiation and provide perspective on whether you have a fair offer. Watch for unexpected add-ons. Then make your deal. In the long run, this approach makes more sense than trying to predict the effects of weather, holidays, and the seasonality of your car purchase.
The best time to buy a car depends on many factors, including your circumstances, the state of your current vehicle, and whether it's more important to get the lowest possible price or have the best selection from which to choose. Because the discounts that sellers offer are generally temporary, it's wise to go in with a clear vision of what you want and how much you can spend so you can act when you find the right deal.
It depends on how flexible you are. Prices fluctuate based on supply and demand, so you can often find deals on last year's models when new models are coming in (typically in the fall). As the calendar year ends, fewer models from the previous year will be available. However, discounts will likely increase as dealers try to eliminate the old stock. If you want a specific color, car trim level, or feature set, it may be better to act earlier. Deals on last year's models will typically be limited to the available stock.
Many deals are limited time offers, especially if they're the result of salespeople trying to make quotas. If you approach a dealership on the last day of the month, they may make an offer that they won't repeat the next day when the quotas reset. Be prepared to encounter time-sensitive deals and negotiations. Know your budget, what you're looking for, and your deal-breakers. If you find the right vehicle at an excellent price, you're ready to act. Similarly, knowing your credit score will help you understand what you can expect in terms of financing.
Many deals are limited time offers, especially if they're the result of salespeople trying to make quotas. If you approach a dealership on the last day of the month, they may make an offer that they won't repeat the next day when the quotas reset. Be prepared to encounter time-sensitive deals and negotiations
January, February, and December are the three best months to buy a used car, in that order. According to iSeeCars, in general, late fall and early winter are good times to purchase a used car with a deal.
Zack Friedman is the Founder & CEO of Mentor (mentormoney.com), a leading online financial marketplace where you can shop for loans and credit cards. Zack is the bestselling author of the blockbuster book, THE LEMONADE LIFE. Apple named The Lemonade Life one of \"Fall's Biggest Audiobooks\" and a \"Must-Listen.\" The Lemonade Life debuted as the #1 new business book on the Apple bestseller chart. He is an in-demand speaker and has inspired millions through his powerful insights, including more than 230 million people who have read his advice. Zack's writing has been translated into 8 languages. Previously, he was a chief financial officer, a hedge fund investor, and worked at Blackstone, Morgan Stanley, and the White House. Zack holds degrees from Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins.
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