By Anthony Santiago - Editor-in-Chief

July 25, 2022
When is the Best Time to Buy a Car and Why

When is the Best Time to Buy a Car and Why

Buying a new car is a big decision. It's not just buying a vehicle; it's also making sure you get the right deal. But how do you decide when to buy a car? And what makes a great price?

We already covered that you should use KBB.com or Kelley Blue Book to get a better idea of the vehicle's current market price. I highly recommend visiting Kelley blue book as part of your research and car buying decision. 

There are many factors involved with purchasing a car. Some of these include: financing, depreciation, maintenance costs, insurance, gas mileage, safety features, etc. However, the most important factor is value. In order to determine whether a car is worth the purchase price, you must consider the best time that dealerships are more open on negotiating and making a great deal with you. 

In this article I will share my thoughts on when is the best time to buying car. Plus, we will cover the best time-tested tips on how to find the best deals. If you were in the market for our picks of the best used cars under $10k, check out that article.

When is the best time to head to the dealership and buy a car?

Buyers tend to be more focused on buying a vehicle during the end of the month. In fact, according to our data, buyers are more likely to make a purchase on a Tuesday than any other weekday.

And it makes sense: Tuesdays are typically the final days of the month, and dealership and sales people are looking to close out the financial books for the month.

So what does this mean for you?

Well, if you're considering purchasing a brand new vehicle, consider waiting until the end of the month to do so. You'll be able to save money on taxes and finance charges. And if you're interested in a used car, think about buying on a Monday since most dealerships are closed on Sunday.

What about End of the year, month and model year?

Just Remember September

Did you know that experts agree that the best time to buy a used car is the last week of September?

Why?

The 4th quarter of the year and at the end of the model year. This is because dealerships want to clear out older inventory and make room for new cars coming off the assembly lines. They know that people don't like buying a car in January, February or March, when it's cold outside and the economy isn't great.

Plus, dealerships want to take advantage of the holiday shopping season.

In addition, many manufacturers release their newest models around the same time each year. So, there are fewer options to choose from. If you wait too long, you could miss out on one of those hot deals. Fall is typically when you see more advertisements about Fall Clearance Events for example. 

On the flip side, the worst time to buy a car might be the 2nd half of the year, 3rd quarter and the beginning of a new model cycle. Why? Because automakers are trying to push sales during the summer months, and they're not done making changes to their vehicles. You'll find yourself driving a car that still has some bugs to work out. 

I typically recommend to buyers to wait 1 year or 2 until the kinks are worked out on new models. However, if you are leasing, then everything would be covered during your lease. 

Weekdays vs Weekends

Car buyers should pay attention to what day it is when shopping for a car. On average, dealerships offer bigger discounts during the week than on the weekend. Dealership groups say that sales are lower on the weekend because people are less likely to buy vehicles on Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition, many consumers wait until the end of the month to make purchases, making the weekend a better time to shop around.

What about Mondays?

The best times to buy a car are Mondays, according to Edmunds.com. The site looked at data from over 5 million vehicles sold in the past few years and found that Monday is the best day of the week to buy a vehicle. This makes sense since dealerships are typically less crowded on Mondays.

On the flip side, the worst day to buy a car is Tuesday. Dealerships tend to be busier on Tuesdays due to the fact that most people shop around the holidays.

Monday is the day after a major sale event like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Those events usually lead to lower inventory levels and longer wait times. As a result, the average transaction price drops during those weeks.

Finally, a quick tip....Monday is the day before Thanksgiving, which means there are fewer shoppers out looking to purchase a vehicle.

Any Advantage with Three-Day Weekends?

Three-days weekends are great opportunities to save money on cars. If you're looking to purchase a new car, the three-day weekend is one of the best times to do it. This is because dealerships often offer deep discounts during those days. 

The holidays are also a good time to buy a new car. Dealerships typically cut prices to move inventory out of their lots. They want to make room for the new models coming in January. As a result, many dealerships slash prices on used vehicles during the holiday period.

You might consider heading over around Thanksgiving to buy car Black Friday for example. Most people are retail shopping and dealerships are typically less busy. Black Friday is the time when all businesses are trying to boost their sales numbers. 

As mentioned previously, the fall sellout season is another great opportunity to score a deal. During the summer months, manufacturers release new model vehicles. These vehicles tend to sit on dealer lots for several weeks before being sold off. By the end of September, most dealerships will have moved their remaining stock into storage.

This is why September is one of the best months to look for a new car. 

Should You Buy a Car in the Month of May?

May is the time to start thinking about buying a new car or truck. As dealers begin rolling out new models, you might want to consider buying an older model vehicle. This could mean saving thousands of dollars over what you would pay for a brand new vehicle. However, if you can wait until the fall season, you can score good deals as dealers try to clear out old inventory.

Dealers will roll out new vehicles throughout the months of May and June. Look for special promotions like zero down financing, low interest rates, and extended warranties. You might even find some deals where you don't have to put anything down.

Should You Buy a Car in the Month of October?

In addition to September, October is a good time to buy a new vehicle because it’s usually the lowest priced month of the year. Used car prices drop in November and December, too. 

Dealer incentives vary widely by region and state, but here are some common types of discounts offered during the month of October:

  • Manufacturer rebates – These come directly from the manufacturer, and are generally applied automatically. They include things like zero percent interest financing, cash back, and lease offers.
  • Lease deals – Most dealers offer lease specials during the fall months. Some leases require that the customer trade in his/her current vehicle, while others allow customers to purchase the same make and model.
  • Customer Cash – This type of discount is given to customers based on how much money they spend on their new vehicle. For example, a $3,000 rebate might translate to a $1,500 bonus off the price of the vehicle.
  • Trade-in value – If a dealer wants to sell a specific vehicle, he/she will give a certain amount of money towards the selling price. This is called the trade-in value.  The used car market is hot at the moment for 2022 and continues to remain steady.

Should You Buy a Car in the Month of November?

Dealerships offer deep discounts during the month of November, making it a great time to shop for a new car. Cash back programs are offered on most vehicles, giving shoppers the opportunity to earn extra savings on their purchases.

Should You Buy a Car in the Month of December?

Dealerships will try to unload every car they've got on hand because it's the month of Christmas. Salespeople are hoping to find buyers who'll finance or lease their vehicles. Manufacturers are doing what they can to turn things around.

Best time to buy a car: Model changeovers

The best time to purchase a vehicle is during a model changeover period. This is when manufacturers release new models every few years. If you wait too long, you could miss out on some great deals. Here are three tips to help you find the best deal on a used car.

  1. Check for model changeovers. Manufacturers often release new vehicles every few years. If it’s been awhile since your preferred make and model was introduced, chances are good that a new version is coming soon.
  2. Find sales. Sales are always happening, even during the holidays. You might be able to save big bucks by buying a car at one of these events.
  3. Shop around. Don't just go to the dealership where you bought your current car. There are many different dealerships, each with their own inventory and pricing strategies. Go to several to see what options are available.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, buying a car is a huge decision. There are lots of factors to consider, from price to safety features to gas mileage.

First, don't pay too much attention to the sticker price. Dealerships are more included to make a deal and negotiate with you during the key times during the year. This is around September through the end of the year, December. 

Secondly, think about the future. While you might love the idea of owning a brand new car right away, you might end up regretting it later. That's because you never know what sort of maintenance costs you'll face over the years.

Keep in mind older outgoing models need to be sold by dealerships in order to make room for the new models that typically roll out in the fall. You can use this to your advantage and find the best deal for your budget. 

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Anthony Santiago - Editor-in-Chief

About the author

I am a passionate car enthusiast who likes to help people save money and avoid headaches when it comes to cars. I believe that everyone can find the right car at the right price. I share my tips and experience so you can learn quickly and maximize your next SUV, truck or car purchase.

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