- You can get the car you want within your budget if you buy at the right time
- If you buy a car during certain times of the week or month, you’re likely to get a better deal
- Prepare in advance, so you’re ready to buy when the time is right
Buying a car is a significant expense. Whether the vehicle is new or used, leased, or purchased outright, the cost can make a noticeable dent in your monthly cash flow.
Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to control how much you pay for your car. Making choices about the make and model of your car is one way to go. Negotiating to get the best financing deal is another. A third way is to time your purchase for the right week or month of the year. There really is a best time to buy a car.and we’ve got the details on when that is and why the timing of your purchase matters.
The best times of the year to buy a car
According to Kelley Blue Book, the last three months of the year are the best times to pull the trigger on a new car purchase. This is primarily because sellers want to have as much inventory as possible that they can register as sold before they close their accounting ledgers on December 31st. In the case of new car dealers, sellers also want to move as much of the previous year’s inventory as possible. Keeping this principle in mind, savvy buyers may even want to consider waiting until December 30th or 31st to see if last-minute timing can work in their favor.
Another reason why December is such a great time to buy a car is that sellers are offering a ton of incentives tied into the holiday season. These sales support their overall goals of getting as much inventory off the books as possible and of cleaning out the old stock to make way for new models. The sales can provide significant savings opportunities.
The best time of the month to buy a car
In the same way that car dealerships are looking to get as much inventory off of their books by the end of the year, they are also trying to close as many sales as possible by the end of the month. Timing your purchase for the last week or the last few days of the month can work in your favor. You can either save money off the price or receive additional perks, features, and other incentives that might not have been available earlier.
How to get ready to make the best deal when the timing is right
If you want to be prepared to get the best deal on a car during the best time of the year or month, there are a couple of things you can do to “strike while the iron is hot.” Research, prepare and get to know dealerships and car sellers. If you know exactly what you want and what you think you should pay, that information will help you turn as much of the negotiations as possible in your favor.
It isn’t too difficult to do enough advance research to help you get the best deal on your vehicle.
So, where can you start your research? First, check out places like Kelley Blue Book, visit dealerships, and talk to friends about their experiences. Test drive a few models. Read up on the car in car magazines or places like consumer reports. Sure, these tactics seem simple, but, in the end, they can save you money by getting you the right car, at the best possible time.
A deeper dive – Related reading from the 101:
- You can negotiate your auto insurance, here’s how | Finance 101
- Car wreck? Here’s how much your insurance will increase | Finance 101
Here’s another way to save on car-related costs.
Will your car insurance premiums increase if you get into an accident? Maybe.