When is the best time to buy a car?

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As with many things in life, when it comes to buying a new car, timing is everything. You’ve likely done a ton of research already, and have even taken test drives of the cars you’re considering. But when should you actually pull the trigger and sign the dotted line? Is there a time of year, a day of the month or a specific season that’s better than another? Will there be a better selection of vehicles available on the showroom floor or dealership lot in the winter or summer?

As it turns out, if you can hold off on making that new car purchase by a few days – or even a few weeks – you can potentially save some serious money when it’s time to sign on the dotted line. Some of this information applies to both new and used cars, so if you’re looking for a deal, this is the information you need.

When is the best month to buy a car?

The absolute best time of the year to buy a new car is in late December. That’s when a dealership’s yearly, monthly and weekly sales goals all converge. Meeting these goals can unlock lots of incentives and rewards for the dealer, meaning they’ll likely be more eager than usual to finalize a sale.

Of course, there are still plenty of other good times to buy a new car. Here are a few of the big ones, as well as the times when you might be better off waiting.

When is the best time to buy a new car?

The end of the month

Car dealerships have monthly sales quotas, and individual salespeople often have bonuses tied to these goals. At the end of the month, a salesperson might be willing to let a car go for less than they otherwise would since the financial reward for meeting a sales goal can often outweigh the amount of money lost by lowering the price of a new car to make a sale.

The end of the day

Any good car salesperson knows to not let a customer leave empty-handed. By trying to negotiate a purchase price at the end of the day, a salesperson might be more prone to cutting a deal. After all, there’s no guarantee that you’ll come back to that dealership once you walk out the door.

What is the cheapest day to buy a car?

Monday is the best day of the week to buy a new car. This could be because the dealership isn’t as busy at the beginning of the week, or salespeople are eager to get a head start on their weekly goals. Whatever the case, multiple studies over the years have shown that car buyers often get better purchase deals on Mondays.

What are the best holidays to buy a new car?

Black Friday isn’t just for lining up outside the mall. Car dealerships have started posting Black Friday deals in recent years, with extra incentives tied to this popular shopping day. New Year’s Eve is also a great day to buy a new car, since that’s when a dealer’s yearly, monthly and quarterly goals all align. New Year’s Day can also offer some advantages, as dealerships sometimes have year-end closeout deals that extend into the first few days of the new year.

The worst times to buy a new car

Avoid buying a car early in the month, as salespeople aren’t as eager to hit their monthly sales goals. Saturday is also the worst day of the week to buy a new car, since dealers are often at their busiest on Saturdays, and salespeople have plenty of other sales prospects throughout the day.

It’s also smart to avoid buying a new car when that specific model is in high demand. When a hot new car hits the scene, dealers have a tendency to place high premiums on their limited stock. If you don’t have to have the latest and greatest new car right when it launches, waiting a few weeks or months can save a lot of money.

Other things to consider when you want the best deal on a new car

Always check for local rebates when buying a new car. Call around or check out the dealerships’ websites to see if there are incentives specific to that location. Just because a car costs one price at one dealer doesn’t mean it’ll have the same price tag at the dealership one town over.

Look at the previous model year. If the car you’re researching hasn’t gone through a major redesign, dealerships are often eager to get rid of last year’s stock to make room for fresher models. The differences between last year’s model and the new version might be so minor you’d never notice, but going for the prior year could result in big savings.

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