The Best Time to Buy a Car

Guest Post By Edward Pacheco

Portrait of Boxleys new car

When buying a new car the main goal for most people is to get the most vehicle for the lowest price. There is nothing better than walking out of the dealership knowing that you got the best of them. Many people do not realize it but there are times when you can get a lower price simply by going car shopping at the right time. In general, it is a somewhat known fact but that there are a few certain times of the year when dealerships are under pressure to move inventory. It is during these certain times that will do whatever they can to sell vehicles.

The end of the calendar year is one of the best times to buy  a car. The day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas are thought to be the best two dates to buy a car. Though you can realize significant savings throughout the months of November and December in general, the largest discounts will be available these two days. The car dealerships know people are in a buying mood these two months, and actually they are able to sell a higher volume during this period which in turn allows them to offer a few at a lower price without feeling bad.  Also, dealers are typically anticipating the slowdown of sales that occur in the months of January and February. These two months are usually slow regarding sales because people tend to have less excess money to spend after the holidays. By moving a lot of inventory in November and December they can compensate for the slowdown in January and February, and might just give you the deal you’re looking for.

The end of the model year of a certain car is also a great time to buy a new car if you don’t mind giving up on buying the “newest.” It should be noted that the end of the model year does not always coincide with the end of the calendar year. In fact, the end of the model year usually occurs somewhere in the middle of the calendar year. During this time, the dealerships want to get rid of the old models to clear room for the new models. This creates a sense of urgency that makes the dealerships slash the prices on the older models. Many times, especially on popular models, the older ones can sometimes be had at the price that the dealership paid for the car. The dealers need room to provide a prominent position for all the new models, and it’s worth it for them to get rid of the old ones. My neighbor recently purchased a new Mercedes (2009 E350) for $12,000 off the original price since the new 2010 (new design) Mercedes came in.

The end of the month is also a good time to buy a new car regardless of where the month falls on the calendar. Car salesmen have a monthly quota that they must meet. To that end, they will be interested in moving as many cars as they have to at the end of the month in order to meet that quota even if they don’t make money—some may be depending on the quote to keep their job. The pressure is on them to make sales so it is easier to work out a better deal. One other thing, be sure to check any available rebates or incentives on the models you’re looking at, you may be in for a treat.

The nice thing about car shopping today is that you have so much information available to you. It is possible to go online and find all the information you want very easily on all of the models you are thinking of buying. When you’re a knowledgeable buyer, you will be equipped to haggle with the salesman since you know how much the car is worth, and how much others are asking for it. The easiest method: Request several free price quotes from various dealerships online (you fill out a few questions about the type, make and model of car you want they will send you back a price quote). Then you use this to your advantage. If you want to contact all the local dealerships in your area  in one step and have them fight over your business, consider researching at and using the “Get Real Dealer Pricing” option for whichever car you’re interested in!

2 Replies to “The Best Time to Buy a Car”

  1. The end of February. Slow sales due to paying holiday bills and nasty weather, and it’s a short month to fill that quota. At the end of the model year you may have trouble finding the equipment you want as as parts for overpriced options are pushed out of the factory. Plus, the tooling is at the end of its useful life, so fit and finish may suffer. You will also take a double whammy on depreciation – which won’t matter if you are like me and drive the car until it dies. My ’97 BMW is still going strong!

  2. Hummm- the best time to buy a gar is the end September. The new car year is exposed and the dealers want the “old ones” off the lot. If you wait until November you run into the Christmas/Hanukkah group. Prices are actually a bit more then because everyone “thinks” they will get a great deal. At least that is what I know from growing up in the third generation of a car dealership family….

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