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Car buying time

So when would be a good time to buy a new car? End of year (leftover)? End of month? Beginning of the year? Any thoughts? Rocketman

Best time is when you are ready to buy. While there are times that may be better than others for you to buy, the information you get from the dealer or manufacturer telling you how great a deal they can give you NOW is meaningless. You may well be able to do better tomorrow or next week.

If you are a dealer, you will want to sell the car for as much as possible. But most important is they have to sell you the car. Maybe the sign on the car is 5,000 You still may be able to get it for 4,500 or maybe next week you will not be able to do better than 4,900.

While there is no one sure fire best way of buying a car. The last couple of cars I bought I put them into competition with other dealers. I chose a car and went to several dealers and told each one the exact same thing.

"I am buying this car (Make model color or what ever) and I am gong to visit several dealers, including out of town dealers. The dealer with the best price wins my business. Remember the dealer has to sell cars or starve. You can always go to another dealer or even a different make. The only one thing I have yet to understand was why the time I had decided on a car and we agreed price for a car, When I came back to sign the paperwork, it was $500 less than I had agreed on. When I read it and asked if it was right, he just smiled. I still have that car.

I Like The Last Week Or Two Of The Last Month Of The Year, Right About Now.

I like getting my very best deal at this time and then when it looks like I’m about ready to close the deal I tell the dealer I need a little better deal and I will think about it. Before I leave I tell them how they can sweeten the deal and to give me a call if they decide to do it. One time I asked the dealer to pay the sales tax and was told that was ridiculous because I was already buying below cost. I walked. Between Christmas and New Years Day I got a call, went and bought the car, paid no tax.


At this time there are many leftover 2012 models for sale at deep discounts since most dealers now have 2013 models on the lot.

I saw a loaded new 2012 Dodge Caravan minivan for just over $20,000. If you are planning to keep the vehicle a long time, that’s the way to buy.

Years ago I worked for an outboard motor company. At year’s end we always had some “non-current” models left over which were sold at a great price to the buyer.

This might be the best time of the year. Floor traffic is low due to the holidays and winter weather if you live in the north. Start dickering with the dealer now, but don’t buy and sign anything. Most dealers want to move inventory before the end of December so there is less inventory to account for on yearly taxes. Also the dealer may need a certain number of sales, or sales $$ volume in the year to meet sales quota’s or qualify for mfg’r incentives and bonuses.

Let the dealer sit on your deal for a few days and if they are in a mood to deal they’ll call you to sweeten the deal. Also, work with a couple of dealers, one might be more willing to deal than another.

A lot can depend on what kind of car you’re considering too. An in-demand car will not get you much leeway in dealings on the price and cars for which demand is low (a.k.a. lot lizards) could be easily negotiated at any time. It’s all about cash flow.

The door sticker should tell you how long the car has been on the lot. If it has been more than 3 months, the dealer should be very willing to sell it. At this point, only 2012s will fit that description. And as stated above, any dealer will be anxious to move leftover cars from the past model year. If rebates or dealer incentives exist, they tend to be on the 2012s, too.

I prefer to buy a new car in March, when some of the prior year models are still there on the lot. You can likely get a good buy on a 2012 in March of 2013. If all the prior year models are sold, or the cars are sold as soon as they get to the dealer however – like for example if the car is very popular — then the time of year you buy the car won’t make much difference.

When the W says that she needs a new car. Typically about Monday, 4am.