When is the Best Time to Buy a Car?
More than 2 million new vehicle sales took place in Canada in 2018.
If you’re planning to add to those statistics this year, you may wonder, “When is the best time to buy a car?”
Everyone wants the best deal possible. It makes your payments more affordable and keeps more of your money in your pocket.
Ultimately, the best time to buy a new car is when it makes sense for you financially. Getting a great deal on a vehicle doesn’t make sense if you can’t afford any car payment right now.
Still, certain times of the year may give you better deals on your vehicle purchase.
Keep reading to find out when those times are.
Why Are Some Times Better Than Others?
Car pricing and deals can be confusing. Do you negotiate or pay sticker price? Why does pricing fluctuate?
Certain times may be better because manufacturers and dealerships have quotas they want to reach. Ascertain deadlines approach, they start running out of time to reach those sales goals. That means they’re more motivated to make a deal and get you in a new vehicle.
Large inventories on hand can be another motivating factor. Dealerships want to move vehicles that have been on the lot for a while, especially when new vehicles are on their way.
When the dealership and salespeople are more motivated to sell, they’re more likely to give you a better deal.
Earlier in the Week
Weekends are a busy time on the car lot. People tend to show when they’re off work.
If you shop earlier in the week, think Monday through Wednesday, you may have less competition on the car lot. That means your salesperson can give you more attention.
You may also be able to get a better deal.
If the salesperson doesn’t have many people stopping by on those days, they may be more willing to negotiate with you. They have more time to put toward the negotiation price.
On the weekends when there are plenty of customers, the salespeople want to move on to the next person in hopes of getting as many sales as possible. That may mean less time with you to negotiate.
You may also benefit by going toward the end of the day. The salespeople not only want to get in one last sale for the day, but they also want to go home. They may be more willing to give you a better deal to speed up the negotiation process so they can wrap up the sale faster.
End of the Month
Near the end of the month, salespeople know if they’ve reached their sales goals for the month or not. Even if they’ve met their goals for the month, they want to slip in a few more sales before the month closes out to boost their commissions.
The dealership also wants to end the month with as many sales as possible. They may be more willing to approve bigger discounts during the negotiation process.
Keep in mind that sometimes the deadlines for sales quotas for the month don’t go until the very last day of the month. It may be better to show up between the 26th and 28th to get the best deals before the sales deadline for the month passes.
End of the Quarter
Car dealerships often have quarterly sales goals as well as monthly goals. The fiscal year quarters include three months. They run from January through March, April through June, July through September, and October through December.
Look toward the end of these quarters to find yourself a better deal. If you go toward the end of the month in the last month of the quarter, you may get the best deal. The salesperson is trying to meet both monthly and quarterly goals at that point.
End of the Year
In the last few months of the year, salespeople and dealerships are coming down to the wire on meeting their sales goals for the year. They’re ready to make deals to hit or surpass those goals.
October, November, and December tend to be the best months to buy a vehicle for this reason.
In December, you have the end of the year and the end of a quarter lining up. Head to the dealership toward the end of the month, and you may find the salespeople especially willing to negotiate.
Car dealerships often have special sales around holidays. You might find a Black Friday special at a dealership or a special sale around other holidays.
The period between Christmas and New Year is often a good time to buy. It’s typically a slow period for dealerships.
Many people are spending money on holiday gifts instead of vehicles. Others are out of town for the holidays. If it works in your budget, buying at that time could help you get a better deal.
When New Models Come Out
The new car models typically reach dealerships in the fall. They need to make room for those models, so they want to get rid of the current year models.
That can work to your advantage if you don’t care about having the newest model. You’re still getting a new car, but you’ll likely be able to negotiate a better price. You’re helping the dealership make room for the latest model.
When You Need a New Car
You can’t always wait for the perfect time to buy a car. You may see the signs that you need a new car right after the new year and nowhere near the end of the month. You may need to find something sooner to keep yourself in a working vehicle.
Sometimes you’re not ready yet to buy a vehicle when there’s a big sale. You might not have the room in the budget, or you may not be sure you’re ready to make such a big purchasing decision.
You’ll feel better about your purchase when you know it’s the right time for you personally.
You can negotiate with the dealership to get the best deal at any time of year.
When Is the Best Time to Buy a Car?
Figuring out when is the best time to buy a car comes down to what works best for you. If the traditional times for better deals work with your financial situation, use that timing to save a little money. Otherwise, use your negotiation skills to get the best deal whenever you need a new set of wheels.