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Best Month Of The Year 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.




best month of the year to buy a car



The J.D. Power predicts average transaction prices to reach $45,971 in the third quarter of 2022, which will be a 10.3 percent increase from the same time last year. A higher demand and a lower supply are contributing to this price increase.


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.


Each manufacturer handles the end-of-the-year selldown differently. So some car dealerships will have a better selection of outgoing-year vehicles late in the year, while the pickings could be slim at others. Be sure to check Edmunds' Incentives and Rebates for customer cash rebates, low-interest incentives and lease specials.


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.


All the new model-year cars used to debut in the fall, making the end of summer a good time to shop for leftovers. These days, however, there is no unified new model-year season. For example, we see cars from the upcoming model year debuting as early as March of a calendar year. Even so, Edmunds data indicates that the end of the summer is a sweet spot for outgoing model-year vehicles.


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.


Something to note: It's worth looking at the incoming model-year cars to see what features have changed and to get a feel for pricing. It's rare, but there have been instances when a car from the incoming model year has had better incentives than a car from the outgoing model year, particularly if you're looking to lease.


Sometimes the manufacturer announces that it will stop making a car altogether. There's potential in this situation for even bigger savings. You should know that the car will depreciate steeply if it's being discontinued, but if you plan on keeping it for a while, it won't affect you. It's also worth looking into why the automaker pulled the plug on a given vehicle. Is it a matter of changing tastes, or was the car truly bad in terms of performance or reliability? In recent years, for example, SUVs have surged in popularity and many domestic automakers have discontinued (Ford dropping all but 2 cars from its North American dealerships) many of their sedans. Going further back, vehicles such as the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet never really found an audience and the Pontiac Aztek had a face only Walter White could love.


Fourth of July: There should be a greater mix of incoming and current-year vehicles around the Fourth. It's worth taking a look at what's on the lot if you're unsure whether you want the car from the outgoing or the incoming year.


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.


It's the biggest retail shopping day in the U.S. And people have been known to camp out for hours for deals on big-screen TVs and other electronics. The same shopping fervor happens on car lots after Thanksgiving. In recent years, automakers and dealers have been offering more incentives, discounts and "doorbusters" as a means of capturing some of that retail excitement. Black Friday also signals the end of the model year, so you'll see greater discounts on outgoing models.


New car models used to debut in the fall. But these days, there is no single time of year. Vehicles for the next model year can debut as early as the spring of the current year. And some cars don't debut until the spring or summer of their model year. In other words, you'll see some 2022 vehicles for sale as early as the spring of 2021. Some 2022 models, meanwhile, won't show up in dealerships until halfway through 2021.


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.


The ways we can buy cars has changed a lot over the last few years. Beyond a test drive, there's really no reason to spend a lot of time at the dealership (unless you want to). Shoppers can browse vehicles using their smartphones on breaks from work or scour the websites of dealerships miles from where they live. In fact, much of the work involving a car purchase can be done online.


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.


If you have a deadline on getting a new set of wheels, you may not be able to find exactly the car you want on a dealer's lot. Even though the supply-chain disruptions of recent years are improving, there are still shortages. The pickings on the lot may be slim if you wait to go shopping until the day you absolutely must buy a car.


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. 041b061a72


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