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Montrell Reid
Montrell Reid

What's The Best Month To Buy A Car



In terms of the best time of the year, October, November and December are safe bets. Car dealerships have sales quotas, which typically break down into yearly, quarterly and monthly sales goals. All three goals begin to come together late in the year.




what's the best month to buy a car



If you're shopping for a new or used car in today's difficult marketplace, please see "Car Buying Tips for 2022" for our experts' targeted, data-driven advice. Note that the article below was originally written before the chip shortage when vehicle prices were relatively stable and predictable. If the shortages continue, there may be a so-called "best time to buy" for the foreseeable future. The best time in the current market is when you find a dealer that has the vehicle you want and is willing to sell it to you at MSRP or better, without any additional options that you may not need.


Buyers are always looking for a way to game the system and save money on major purchases. Much of this thinking revolves around zeroing in on the best time to purchase a particular item. Need a new TV? Shop on Black Friday or around the Super Bowl. Need a new winter coat? Shop in January.


It's no different for cars. Ask anyone, "When is the best time to buy a car?" and you'll get answers ranging from the end of the month to "wait until the new models come out." There are as many theories on this topic as there are days in the year. And, oddly enough, there is a grain of truth to many of them.


  • End of month

  • End of the calendar year

  • Best month to buy a car

  • Best day to buy a car

  • End of the model year

  • End of the car's design cycle

  • End of the car's life cycle

  • Three-day weekends

  • Black Friday

  • Best time to buy a used car



Simply put, here's our advice: The best time to buy a car is when you need it and feel ready to buy, regardless of the time of year. Car buying can be stressful, and it can take more than a month to go from deciding what to buy to actually closing the deal. Why add to that pressure by trying to squeeze your shopping into a certain day of the week or a holiday weekend when everyone has the same idea?


When the month is coming to an end, dealers might be a few cars short of a sales quota that would win them a big bonus. Salespeople will have more motivation to make a deal with a buyer and might deeply discount cars, making up any money lost with the bonus. This is the time when you shouldn't sleep on the car deal. Keep in mind, however, that if the sales team met its quota earlier that month, salespeople may not be as motivated to give you the screaming deal you might be expecting. This is difficult to know ahead of time. But if you're in the midst of negotiating and the dealer offers you a super-low price, take a moment to ask your salesperson why the dealer is willing to potentially lose money on this sale. If the reason makes sense to you, and the price is considerably better than your research says it should be, it could be a sign the dealer is trying to make a sales goal.


If you're feeling nervous about buying in a short end-of-month timeframe, test-drive the car in which you're interested earlier in the month and close the deal as the end of the month approaches. Also, many new-car incentive offers are good for a few days after the month ends, which gives you a bit of a buffer.


While the data shows that December is the best time of the year to buy, there are also a few other viable months. In other words, if you need a car in January, there's no need to wait 11 months to get a good deal.


The months of January through April are generally slow-selling ones and have the smallest discounts off MSRP. In fact, the month with the smallest amount off MSRP is February, with an average discount of about 5.7%. Things get better in the summer months: The introduction of new cars drives down prices on outgoing models. And finally, the discounts improve the most the closer you get to the end of the year.


If you need a car in October and want to get the best deal, you might want to wait until December, even though you'll run the risk of having fewer cars to choose from. Waiting will give you more time to do more research on the right car for you. You'll also be able to gather more price quotes.


Edmunds analysts say that August and September are when they generally see automakers make the most decided transition into the new models. The summer months tend to correspond with a bump in incentives, particularly low APR financing on outgoing model-year vehicles.


Labor Day: This holiday is the sweet spot in terms of selection and competitive pricing. It's not the very best of the year in terms of savings, but you'll have more vehicles to choose from than if you waited for the year-end deals.


As we've noted, you'll find many opportunities throughout the year to get a great deal on a new car. Ultimately, the best time to get a new car is when you need one and only after you have completed your research.


Is there a best time to buy a new car? Yes, there are times that you're much more likely to get a money-saving deal than others. Knowing when to buy can save you thousands on the price of a new vehicle and its financing.


It might sound backward, but the best time to buy a car is before you need to. If you have to make a last-minute car purchase or lease, you may not have time to do the research necessary to make a smart auto loan, leasing or buying decision.


Whether they're selling big-screen TVs or Toyotas, most retailers and their sales associates have monthly sales goals. When the end of the month is approaching and a dealership or salesperson hasn't reached its goal, you're much more likely to be offered a deal. They might not tell you why they're offering the discount, but it's likely because they just need a few more sales to go over the top and reap the benefits of meeting their quota.


Another benefit of buying on a Monday is that many lenders are only open on weekdays. You'll have more of an opportunity to talk with local lenders, such as credit unions and community banks, to ensure you're getting a good financing deal. When you buy on a weekend, you have to take the salesperson's word that they're offering you a good deal. Of course, having a pre-approved financing deal in place before you visit the dealer is the best way to get affordable financing.


The exceptions to the avoid weekends rule are three-day weekends. Dealers frequently have some of their best sales around holidays, though the dealership will likely be busy. The weekends where you'll most likely find heavily promoted deals include Memorial Day, Labor Day, Fourth of July and February's Presidents Day weekends.


In addition to certain times of the week or holidays, some months are better to buy or lease new vehicles or purchase used cars than other months. In general, May, October, November and December are the best months to visit the car dealership. Read on to learn why.


For most of us, the annual calendar runs from January to December. For the auto industry, the new year really kicks off in October, with many all-new and redesigned models arriving in dealer showrooms. That means they need to get the old models off the lots. The changeovers lead to more incentives and discounts than shoppers will find in most other months.


Dealers and their salespeople spend the month of December sprinting toward the finish line of their month-, quarter- and year-end sales goals. The month builds up to the best days of the year to buy a new car. The dealerships are typically supported by automakers offering attractive financing and cash back deals.


Like other holidays, do your research ahead of time and be prepared with a pre-approved loan. If you're considering leasing, be sure to understand the pros and cons of car leasing versus buying. Knowing how much you can afford with your monthly lease payments and the total cost of the lease is critical to getting the best deal.


New Year's Eve and the New Year's Day holiday are some of the best times to buy a new or used car. The days are typically packed with special end-of-year sales events and supported with great financing and lease deals from automakers.


Since it's the end of the month, end of the quarter and end of the year, there are plenty of sales goals that salespeople, dealers and automakers are trying to hit. Because of the way automakers report sales, you don't usually have to complete the deal by the last day of the year. Deals completed on New Year's Day (and sometimes even a day or so later) usually go toward the previous year's sales targets.


Not every vehicle is a home-run in the marketplace. Sometimes a car, truck, SUV or minivan needs a bit of a boost to meet an automaker's sales or leasing goals. Those boosts come in the form of incentives such as cash back, financing deals or lease offers with low monthly payments and a smaller-than-usual sum due at signing.


You can find the best auto loan and rebate car-buying incentives on our new car deals page. Our lease deals page showcases the best offers in the leasing marketplace. You won't typically find cash back offers on used cars, but our used car deals page shows the best financing deals automakers are offering on certified used cars.


Many of the same rules about timing your new car purchase apply to used car purchases. One exception is holiday weekend and other significant sales events. In those cases, there are a couple of reasons why it's best to wait until a few days pass before you buy.


When a car is brand-new or is the best-selling model in its class, it's time to wait a while until its prices settle down. The same goes when there are supply disruptions or vehicle shortages. There are plenty of buyers out there willing to spend more than sticker price for the latest and greatest, but it's worth waiting instead of spending the extra money.


Our recommendations are based on a combination of peer-reviewed research and opinions from experts in the field. We spoke with experts at car-shopping sites Autotrader, Edmunds and Cox Automotive about the best time to buy a car, how to negotiate the purchase price and other car-buying tips. We also scoured online articles and reviews to find out how to time your car purchase to score the best deal. 041b061a72


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