September 16, 2023 | Allison Robertson

The Best Time to Buy a New Car

The Right and Wrong Times to Buy a Car

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Purchasing a new car is a significant financial decision, and timing can play a crucial role in ensuring you get the best deal possible.

Choosing the wrong time to purchase a new vehicle can hit your wallet harder than you might expect. Dealerships have specific periods when they're more inclined to negotiate and offer discounts.

However, buying during peak times or when new models have just been released means you could be paying a premium.

It's like buying a hot concert ticket at its highest demand; the price reflects the immediate desire. Being patient and timing your purchase can make the difference between getting a stellar deal and paying top dollar.

If you've ever wondered when the best time to visit a dealership is, read on for insider tips on the ideal moments to make your move and potentially save thousands.

1. End of the Calendar Year

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As the year comes to a close, dealerships are eager to meet annual sales targets and qualify for manufacturer bonuses.

This makes December a prime month for discounts.

2. End of the Model Year

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When next year's models begin arriving, dealers want to clear out the previous year's inventory. This typically starts in late summer or early fall.

3. End of the Quarter

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Dealerships and salespeople have quarterly goals. Meeting these can mean bonuses or other incentives, making the end of March, June, September, and December particularly opportune.


4. Holiday Weekends

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Think Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. Dealerships often have sales promotions during these times, making them great opportunities to negotiate.

5. During the Weekdays

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Weekends are prime shopping days, meaning dealerships are busier. By visiting on a weekday, particularly a Tuesday or Wednesday, you might find salespeople more willing to negotiate because of the decreased foot traffic.

6. When New Models Are Released

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As soon as the brand-new models hit the showroom floor, older versions lose some of their luster (and hence, their price tag). Even if it's the current year's model, it might be considered "old" once its successor is out.

7. When Incentives are Offered

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Manufacturers occasionally offer incentives on specific models. These might be due to overproduction, competition with a rival brand, or efforts to boost a new model's presence in the market.

8. Late in the Month

Man and woman are looking documents at car dealership.Antoni Shkraba , Pexels

Much like the end of quarters, monthly sales targets can spur better deals, especially if the dealership is just shy of its goal.

9. During Bad Weather or Off-Season

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Few people shop for convertibles in winter or all-wheel drives in sunny seasons. Similarly, a rainy day might deter potential buyers from visiting dealerships. These off-peak times can work in your favor.


10. Online Year-End Sales

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With the rise of online car shopping, many platforms offer year-end discounts or incentives to boost their annual sales.

Timing It Right

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Timing your car purchase can lead to substantial savings. While the factors above indicate when you're more likely to strike a good deal, always ensure you've done your research, secured your financing if necessary, and know what you're willing to spend before heading into negotiations.

Remember, being an informed buyer is as crucial as picking the right moment to make a purchase.