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The Best Time to Buy a Car

buying a new carUnlike most of the products you buy, car prices seem to vary from one day to the next. Most goods are sold with a fixed price, whereas dealer networks allow for price variability and volatility. If you know when to buy, you can use this variable pricing to your advantage. Read on to learn the best time to buy a car, and save thousands.

Last Day of the Month

Probably the most obvious choice is to wait and buy a car on the last business day of the month. One of the sales team members might not have made their quota, or perhaps they just want one more sale for some extra padding on their paycheck. Whatever the reason, dealerships mysteriously seem to find more discounts on the last day.

New Model Year

Cars operate on different seasons than you are used to. Rather than sticking to the January – December schedule, the new model year vehicles tend to hit the dealerships in the fall. To make room for all those brand new vehicles, dealers tend to apply steep discounts to the current year model, even if the car is unchanged from year to year. If you are willing to accept an “old” car that is a 2015, rather than a spankin’ new 2016, you will save a lot of cash.

New Generation

Every time a new model generation comes out, there are advertisements, promotions, and hype. That keeps the new model at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, but there are massive discounts for going with the outgoing model. The Ford Mustang is all new for 2015, and dealers had to sell the previous generation 2014 model in order to make room for the new cars. Dealerships don’t want two different Mustangs on their lot causing confusion, so they steeply discounted the old generation, even though it is still a thoroughbred.

Black Friday

This is a rather new one, but the day after Thanksgiving is a great day to get a deal on a new car. Don’t head out for the local electronics store, hit the dealership to get a couple grand off a new truck. The reason for the incentives is that a lot of people have the day off, and are looking to spend anyway. Dealers want in on the massive shopping holiday, and have responded with door busting deals to get people in the showrooms. It seems to be working out for everyone involved, so expect to see more Black Friday deals in the next few years.

Off Season

car keyMany people shop for cars on a sunny spring Saturday after their tax return. This demand means there are less deals available for the average buyer. Instead, take the opposite approach and shop when you are the only one there. Browsing dealerships on a rainy or snowy day means they are more likely to deal with their one customer of the day. This approach is even better if you pair it with an undesirable vehicle, such as purchasing a convertible sports car on a dreary winter day.

Be Willing to Deal

While looking for ways to save money, remember that the sales people need to make a profit too, and will simply walk away if you demand a price that causes them to suffer a loss. You cannot buy a car for less than what it cost the dealer. With that in mind, and these tips on the best time to buy a car, you can both come to a price that makes both of you happy.

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