What times of year are the best to buy a new car?
My wife and I have bought at least 16 new cars since 1970. Some got traded early, some later and a couple were driven into rustyness. If you want to get the most initial use for your depreciation dollar with a new car, buy early in the model year. If you want to have a better bargaining position, then shop for a current model year car just before the next year’s model appears but you may not save much. If you want to save a little more, buy a new leftover but your choices in trim and options may be limited. If you keep a car for a long time, it matters little how much you saved on the buying price.
If you live in a cold snowy area, the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year can be good for striking a bargain. Many dealers in the north see a sharp decline in floor traffic due to the holidays, cold weather, and people not wanting to drive a new car in sloppy winter weather.
If the dealer does a year end inventory on Dec. 31st for tax purposes even better. Some dealers end their business accounting year in March or April, but many still use the Dec. 31 calendar year for business accounting.
Fewer buyers coming to the showroom and an urgency to sell cars to reduce inventory can work to the buyers advantage.
A week before your old car dies.
Black Friday. Seriously.
Right now is a good time. The selection is lousy on leftover 2012 cars, but you might get a great deal on one. The dealers should be willing to sell at a break even cost; maybe even better to move last year’s cars.
As mentioned above, if you can purchase a 2012 when they have 2013’s on the lot, that is usually a good time. They want to move the 2012’s and will often discount them or offer manuf rebates, etc. Ask if/when the 2013’s in good numbers will appear at the dealership.
The last couple of days of any month. At a dealer its all about the numbers and all managers, sales, parts, service, body start faoming at the mouth the last week trying to build a good month. The last couple of days is a mad house and they want to sell. SELL, SELL, SELL!!!
@meaneyedcatz, good post. But listen to this! lol … One time I went to a dealership at the end of the month for a look-see at what was available, the the saleman there talked to me about 2 minutes, then told me unless I was going a buy a car that afternoon, “get lost”!
This article is a couple of months old, but it still may help you find a well-priced new car.
How about when you need it.
Start shopping well ahead of when you are going to need it. That way you will have a better idea of what the market price really is.
Jos…I feel,has the best answer. The best time to buy is when the car you have has lost it’s useful life to you. The guy who does all his homework and gets a great trade in and price on a great new car when the car he had has years of good service left, still hasn’t bought at the right time.