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When Is the Best Time to Buy a Car?

Woman with car keys in the convertible.

For a typical American, there are five areas of spending where they will put over 50% of their earnings over the course of their lifetime.

These areas are their home, their car, their education, their children, and their retirement.

While buying a new car can be a major milestone in your life, there is no reason to spend more than you have to. Many people might not realize that your ability to cut a deal with a new or used car dealership can have a lot to do with the time of year, the time of the month, and even the time of day.

Let's take a look at the best time to buy a car.

Best Time of Year to Buy a Car

What is the best time to buy a car? If you're wondering what time of the year you can get the best new car deals or use car deals, the answer tends to be the last three months of the year.

During October, November, and December, car dealerships are motivated to fulfill their sales quotas. These quotas usually break down into sales goals on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. At the end of the year, all of these quotas come together.

All dealerships are motivated to have the newest cars on their lot as the new year approaches. If they end up having car models from the last year taking up space, it's likely that they will be more willing to make a deal.

That being said, if you choose to buy a car at the end of the year, you will have to be flexible. You won't have as many choices in terms of colors, options, or features.

If this option doesn't work for you, there are still other times of the year when dealerships might be willing to offer the best deals. These include at both the end of the month and the end of the quarter. Ultimately, you want to shop when the dealership is motivated to move inventory.

Remember, a good deal only a good deal if the car ends up being reliable and trustworthy. If you're worried that you are about to buy a car that is a lemon, check out our article on what a lemon car is.

Best Month to Buy a Car

It appears that December is the best month to buy a car, however, that doesn't mean that you should overlook all of the factors in order to wait for the month of December to roll around.

You can expect that there are discounts on new cars when new car models are introduced. As a basic rule, the more new car models there are out there sharing lots with old models, the better the deal you'll be able to get.

The most discounted months, typically, are October, November, and December. If these loans are an option, your next best that are May, June, July, August, and September. January through April are considered to be the months when you will find the least discounts as dealerships.

The introduction of new cars during the summer months helps to drive down the prices on older models. Basically, as you get closer to the end of the year, the discounts will continue to improve.

If the most important thing to you is getting the best beyond the car rather than having the most options, you might want to factor all of this into your decision-making. For example, if you decide to buy a new car in October, you might opt to wait until December, as you have decided that you would rather get a better deal than have more options.

Best Day to Buy a Car

Some sources say that the best day of the week to buy a new car is on Mondays. This is because the dealership will have fewer people shopping around for cars, so the representatives have the ability to put all of the focus on you.

In general, it's better to go early in the week if you are shopping for a car. If you go on the weekends, you will be competing with everyone else that is taking advantage of the time off of work to shop for a car. You're more likely to wait around and not have the full attention of the salesperson, and the finance office likely will get back up during this time.

When you go to buy a car early in the week, on the other hand, you will have the space to ask as many questions as you need to. It will also ensure that the transaction happened as fast as it can.

You want to take into consideration the fact that in some parts of the country, car dealerships are not open on Sundays. For this reason, in these places, Monday can actually be a very busy day for the dealership. If you live in an area where the dealerships are closed on Sundays, then you will likely want to go on a Tuesday or Wednesday instead of a Monday.

(Is it time for you to get a vehicle history report for the vehicle you're thinking of buying? If so, check out our sample vehicle history reports.)

Best Holidays to Buy a Car

Black car keys in the hand

The answer to the question "when is the best time to buy a car?" is actually more complicated you might expect. While you might find good deals during specific months or days of the week, it can also be advantageous to buy a car during certain holidays.

During this time, you might be able to find a really good deal on a car.

Presidents' Day, for example, falls within the month listed as some of the worst times to buy a car. That being said, many dealerships and manufacturers will have sales at this time in order to help incentivize consumers.

Memorial Day is also an exception to the time of year rule. Even though the summer can be a bit expensive to buy a car, you might notice that there are reductions in prices and deals around Memorial Day. At this time, next year's models are starting to trickle out, so the older models will start to reduce in value.

If you go shopping on Memorial Day, however, you should be aware of the fact that you will likely be competing with many other shoppers. This is a popular time of year to shop for a car, so there will be a lot of foot traffic at the dealership.

Another holiday where you can score a good deal on a car is July 4th. These might not be the best discounts of the year, but if you find yourself in need of a new car quickly around this time it could make sense to purchase your car during the Independence Day holiday.

Labor Day is a huge day for new car sales. There might be lots of discounts available, but you also be competing with a lot of other auto shoppers at the same time.

Even car dealerships participate in Black Friday. This can be a good time to buy a car because the manufacturer will offer incentives in order to boost sales in the salesperson is motivated to make sales for their own commission. Everyone is looking for some extra money around the holidays so that they can celebrate the holiday as they please. Car salespeople are no exception.

While you may prefer to do other activities on New Year's Eve, the last day of the year can really be one of the best days as of the entire year to buy a car. This is because, as mentioned earlier, car dealerships are often interested in meeting their yearly, monthly, and quarterly quotas. Basically, if they meet their goals for the different time frames, they could be rewarded with a hefty bonus.

Basically, if you buy a car on the last day of the year, you might find salespeople far more willing to give you a favorable deal. Plus, you'll have something worth celebrating as the clock strikes midnight.

The Best Time to Buy a Car: It Depends on Your Personal Preferences and Needs

Sometimes you might choose to buy a new car because you're tired of your old one, or it might be out of necessity because your previous car is no longer performing in the way it needs to. Either way, nobody wants to spend more money than they need to for what they want.

That being said, your personal preferences might dictate that you have specific features and colors that you want out of your vehicle. Perhaps this is more important to you than scrimping and saving every last penny on the deal. If that is the case, then you should certainly not wait until the very end of the year to make a choice out of slim pickings. For you, the best time of year to buy a car is now!

When you are thinking about buying a car, it can be a good idea to run a VIN check. This can give you a bunch of vital information about your car so that you can make an informed purchase. Click here to use our free VIN check today!

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