Depending on who you ask, you are likely to receive very different answers to the question, “When is the best time to buy a car?”
If you ask the dealership, the answer is always, “Right now.”
Our answer at Greater Niagara FCU is when you’re financially prepared.
However, there are several times throughout the year when buying a new or used car can save you money. Some consumers go so far as to recommend specific months, days, and even hours when the best deals can be struck with your automotive dealership.
We’ve put together a few of our favorite recommended times to purchase a new vehicle. But before you go shopping during any of these windows, you want to be sure to contact your Greater Niagara FCU Loan Officer first.
End of the Month
At the start of the month, salespeople are starting with a clean sales quota slate. Free from time-constraints and supervisors reminding them there are only X number of days left in the month to meet their goals. At the end of the month, dealers are looking to clear inventory, meet their monthly (or quarterly) sales goals and are more eager to get a deal done, giving you—the consumer—a little bit of an edge.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the months of October, November, and December are the best times of the year to buy a new car. This is typically the time of year that automakers release the next year’s models of vehicles. Why is that good for you? Well, it means that dealers are more likely to cut a deal on last year’s models still on the lot to make room for newer, more expensive inventory.
Plus, November and December are the last two months of the year. According to TrueCar, buyers save an average of over 10% off MSRP in the month of December. So similar to waiting to buy at the end of the month for monthly sales quotas, waiting until the 11th and 12th months of the year could potentially put you in a position to pay less on a vehicle as salespeople look to hit their annual sales goals.
Saturdays are typically the busiest days at a dealership, so we recommend you stay away. Or at least one more day. According to TrueCar car-buying data, consumers who bought new cars on Sundays saved an average of 10% off MSRP. Tuesdays are the next best day to save on new car deals.
Buy When You Don’t Need To
There may not be a consensus best time to buy, but there is a worst time to buy a new car. That time is when you absolutely need to buy one. Do not wait until your daily driver finally kicks the bucket and forces you to go shopping for a vehicle to get you to and from work, school or the store immediately. This sense of urgency places more pressure on you in what is already considered to be a high-pressure sales environment. Our advice? Start shopping before you need to buy a new vehicle and then begin the negotiation process by agreeing to a trade-in value that you feel satisfied with.
Car dealerships always run promotions on certain vehicles all throughout the year. And many of those limited time offers center around holidays. You can expect cashback bonuses, low-to-zero financing windows, waived registration fees, and much more if you wait to shop during Memorial Day weekend, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Black Friday, New YEar’s, and (of course) Christmas. You can maybe even get the dealer to throw in one of those larger-than-life red bows to place on the hood.
When You Know
But perhaps the best time we can recommend is when you have all your information. If you’re trading in your current vehicle, know exactly what it’s worth. Know what you want in your next vehicle. Know your budget. And know that as a member of Greater Niagara FCU, we can get you on the road to greater financial decisions.