When is the Best Time to Buy a Car? - Genisys® Credit Union

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When is the Best Time to Buy a Car?

on 11/11/2020

Couple Smiling With Car Keys

With the purchase of a new car comes a lot of decision-making. You may be going through the different makes and models trying to narrow down your choices, but you may also want to consider when the best time to buy is. While it seems that dealerships are always running ads with special deals, there are actually specific time periods where you can get the best deals. 

End-of-Year Sales Quotas 

Car dealerships set monthly, quarterly and yearly sales quotas which their salespeople must meet. However, the end-of-year sales quotas are the ones to pay particular attention to when shopping for a new car.

It’s during this time dealers will be pushing out major deals to sell cars. It’s also a period jammed-packed with holidays so dealers will also be featuring special holiday-themed savings. By timing your auto purchase just right, you may be able to get the dealer to throw in extras, like tinted windows or heated seats, at discounted or no additional cost. Since many dealers are pushing cars off the lots during year-end holidays, they are more apt to throw in extras. Plus, It never hurts to ask. 

Holiday Deals

The two main holidays and events to watch out for are Black Friday (no surprise here) and, if you can wait, New Years Eve. Dealerships take part in Black Friday like the rest of the retailers, so you can expect great deals. This is often a very busy day for dealerships and you can expect fellow bargain hunters to be out and about searching for the best deal. Crowded dealerships are not always ideal (see next paragraph), but when there’s an event like Black Friday, it might be worth a shot. Do a bit of pre-planning on this day to help speed the process along, value your trade, get preapproved for an auto loan at your credit union and always read the fine print.

If you wait until New Years Eve, you might be faced with sales people who are looking to hit their sales quota for the year that could earn them a huge bonus. Finding the best deal on this day could end up working in your favor.

Shop Earlier To Save

The day of the week you purchase your vehicle can also affect the type of deal you get. Since most people go car shopping on weekends when they don’t have work, dealerships tend to be overcrowded. This can result in receiving less attention from a sales person, which could make it harder to negotiate the best deal. 

Visiting a dealership anytime Monday-Wednesday when business is slower may land you a better deal. In addition to the day of the week, timing your purchase around the end of the month is even better. Be mindful of going in on the last day of the month, as this might not have the same effect depending on the sales deadlines. Head into the dealership during the last week of the month to take advantage of the best deals. 

End of the Model Year

Out with the old and in with the new… model year that is! Most dealerships will start getting in next year’s models the summer before. This is a great opportunity to purchase the current year models at a lower price. 

Dealerships have a limited amount of space on their lots for vehicles, so they tend to drastically cut prices on the current year models to make room for next year’s models. Usually an uptick in TV, radio, and online ads will indicate when the new cars are starting to arrive. Also, an increase in incentives and low APR financing are indicators of new model arrivals.

Buying a car during any time of the year requires a great deal of patience. You are faced with many decisions, but once you’ve made the choice on the best car for you, it’s worth shopping during certain times of the year and certain days to get the best deal. Just remember to do your homework, know as much as possible about the car and pricing and then work for the best deal.


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