December 7, 2023 | Allison Robertson

The Best Time to Buy a New Car


The Right and Wrong Times to Buy a Car

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Buying a new car is a big financial decision. Timing is critical in making sure you get the best deal possible.

Choosing the wrong time to buy a new vehicle can hit your wallet harder than you might expect. In fact, dealerships have specific times when they’re more likely to negotiate and offer discounts.

Buying during peak times—like when new models have just been released—means you could be paying a premium. The price reflects the immediate desire.

Being patient and waiting for the right time can make a big difference between getting a good deal and paying top dollar.

If you’ve ever wondered when the best time to head to the dealership is, keep reading. This article provides insider tips to help save you thousands on your new vehicle.

End of the Calendar Year

A couple taking a new car for a test driveAntoni Shkraba, Pexels

Dealerships are more eager to meet annual sales targets at the end of the calendar year as they often qualify for manufacturer bonuses.

This means December is a prime month for discounts.

End of the Model Year

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Dealerships often prefer to clear out older models when next year’s models start arriving. This typically starts in late summer or early fall.

End of the Quarter

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Dealerships and salespeople often receive bonuses or other incentives when they meet quarterly goals. This means end of March, June, September, and December can be a good time to buy that new car.

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Holiday Weekends

A woman is talking with a man wearing black suit in car dealership.Antoni Shkraba , Pexels

Holiday weekends, such as: Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day, often have sales promotions. Depending on the deal, this could be a good time to negotiate.

During the Weekdays

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Typically, prime shopping days are weekends, meaning dealerships are busier. If you visit on a weekday, particularly a Tuesday or Wednesday, you might find salespeople are more willing to negotiate.

When New Models are Released

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As soon as those new models hit the floor, the older models seem less interesting—and the price tag will reflect this. Even the current year’s models will be considered “old” once its successor is out.

When Incentives are Offered

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Sometimes, manufacturers will offer incentives on specific models. These might be due to overproduction, competition, or efforts to make a statement in the market. Either way, this can be a good time to find a deal on a newer model.

Late in the Month

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Similar to the end of quarters, monthly sales targets can encourage a good deal—especially if the dealership is close to their goal.

During Bad Weather or Off-Season

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Think of it this way, not many people are shopping for convertibles in the winter or all-wheel drive vehicles in the summer. In the same sense, less people visit dealerships on rainy days.

These off-peak times can work in your favor.

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Online Year-End Sales

A person going over the purchase details of a new car.Witoon, Adobe Stock

Online shopping is quickly becoming the way of the world, and dealerships are joining in. You may be surprised to find many online dealerships offer year-end discounts to boost their online sales.

Timing it Right

A young woman hugging a brand new carGustavo Fring, Pexels

Timing your vehicle purchase can lead to big savings. Although the above suggestions may increase your chances of a good deal, it is important to do your research before you shop.

Always secure your financing beforehand, and know what you’re willing to spend before you start negotiating.

Remember, being an informed buyer is just as important and choosing the right moment to buy.