If you’re planning on buying a new car, chances are you’re looking for the best deal possible. Cars are expensive investments, so of course you want to save where you can. But what does that mean, exactly? And is there really a ‘best time’ of year to buy a new car?
The answer is yes, but with a few disclaimers.
Generally speaking, your best bets are to go during the late summer/after labour day because dealers are trying to clear out room on the lot for the newer car models. If you choose to buy a car during this time, you’ll likely save more money and still get a great car (just not the brand spanking new model, which most likely isn’t all that different anyway).
Another great time to go car shopping is in December, but be prepared for limited selection as you’ll be stuck choosing from what’s left at dealership rather than browsing the full selection. Whatever car you choose will likely be less customizable as well. If you don’t have a particular car model in mind and are okay with making some compromises, this is probably the best time to go.
If you’re not looking for a specific time of year but rather a specific day of the week, then weekdays are always better than weekends. The emptier the lot is, the better the deal you’re likely to get. By the same token, you might have more luck coming at the end of the day rather than the beginning depending on how many sales the dealer’s locked down so far. If your car dealer’s had a slow day with few sales, they’ll be more likely to cut a good deal with you. Sometimes the opposite is true and you can get a great deal on a Saturday if your car dealer’s had a less than ideal sales week and is trying to get in a last minute boost to their numbers.
The same concept applies to coming into a dealership at the end of the month. Dealers will be more likely to cut you a good deal in order to make their monthly quota, so coming in after the 25th is always worth a shot.
Spring time in general is a terrible time to go new car shopping because the lots are packed with other car buyers who are hoping to get some new wheels now that the weather has finally improved. The more people at the dealership/the more customers there are to serve, the less inclined the dealer will be to cut you a deal as there’s far less incentive than there would be on a slow day. People are also more eager to buy without haggling after they’ve gotten a nice financial bump back from their taxes. It’s definitely worth noting that Easter Sunday is the worst Sunday in the year to go to a car dealership.
No matter when you choose to go car shopping, don’t make any deals or agree to anything if you’re in a rush or feel like you’re under pressure. No ‘deal’ is worth it if you feel like you’ve been pushed into the decision and haven’t had time to really think it over and decide whether it’s right for you, no matter what the dealer says.
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