Last Updated on October 20, 2023 by SPN Editor
Buying a car stands as one of the most significant financial commitments you’ll make. Consequently, optimizing your savings becomes paramount. In this guide, let me unveils the best days to buy a car. Also predicts which months, and seasons for securing a car purchase at the most affordable and discounted prices.
Best Months for Car Purchases: While December is undeniably the best time to buy a car according to the data, there are other attractive months for prospective buyers. In other words, if you can’t wait until the end of the year, there are other times during the year when you can still find great car deals, incentives, and rebates.
End-of-the-Year Deadlines: Similar to the end of the calendar year, the conclusion of the model year is a prime time for buying a car. Dealers offer more discounts and rebates at the end of a model year because they want to make room for the next year’s new models. You can also probably get deeper price cuts on models that are selling slowly or are about to be redesigned or discontinued.
End of the Model Year: Another great time to buy is when a car’s model year has ended. While other shoppers are more interested in buying newer models, you can get a lower-priced older model. This could especially work if you don’t care about the new features the new model may have.
End-of-Car Cycles: Along with end-of-the-year sales, you should take advantage of end-of-cycle deals. There are two cycles to keep in mind if you want savings: the end of a car’s design cycle and the end of a car’s life cycle.
End-of-Car-Design Cycle: This happens when an automaker completely redesigns a car model. Similar to the end of a model year, there are attractive sales for outdated models.
End-of-Car-Life Cycle: This is when a car is discontinued. You can save even more money than you would on a car that’s being redesigned. However, it’s important to find out why a vehicle is being discontinued. If it’s because of a lack of interest, that may not be a big issue. However, if that car model has low performance or is unreliable, it’s probably best to steer clear.
Best Time of the Month to Buy a Car: Towards the last week of any month or financial quarter, you’re likely to find competitive car-buying deals. This is when car sales people are more motivated to lower prices, even if it means lower commissions. The reduced commissions are balanced out by company bonuses for meeting sales targets.
End of the Month: As the month draws to a close, car dealers often find themselves very close to meeting their sales targets and unlocking substantial bonuses. This is a strong incentive for salespeople to offer attractive deals, sometimes with significant price reductions, to make up for any financial shortfalls with their bonus earnings. It’s a great opportunity for car buyers.
However, it’s important to note that if the sales team has already met their quotas earlier in the month, their enthusiasm for offering deep discounts may decrease. Unfortunately, predicting this in advance is challenging. If you’re in the midst of negotiations and the dealer suddenly offers a very low price, it’s a good idea to ask why they’re willing to potentially lose money on the sale. If their explanation aligns with your expectations and the price is significantly better than your research suggests, it may indicate that the dealer is determined to meet their sales target.
If the end-of-month deadline adds pressure, consider test-driving the car you want earlier in the month and then finalize the purchase as the month comes to an end. Additionally, keep in mind that many new car incentives remain valid for a few days after the month ends, providing you with a safety net.
Best Time of the Week to Buy: Monday is typically the best day of the week to buy a car. Showrooms are usually less busy, which means you’ll likely get more attention from sales staff and more time for test drives.
Edmunds suggests that Tuesday is a better option than Monday if the dealership is closed on Sundays. Dealerships that close on Sundays tend to be busier on Mondays because salespeople are catching up with their work. Automotive dealerships are busier on weekends, but you might get lower car prices on a holiday weekend.
Best Holidays for Car Buying: While you may have seen local car dealership commercials promoting clearance sales on holidays, some car-shopping holidays are better than others. Typically, the best holidays to buy a car are Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, Memorial Day, and Black Friday.
New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve: If you can wait, buying a car on New Year’s Eve can be a wise choice. Car salespeople are often working hard to meet their annual, quarterly, and monthly sales goals at the end of the year.
Memorial Day Weekend: This is another ideal time for car shopping, as it marks the start of summer sales. During this time, dealerships have a large inventory of outgoing models.
Black Friday: Falling near the end of the year, Black Friday is a good time to get deals, especially since it coincides with the end of the model year.
Labor Day: Although not as popular as other holidays for car deals, Labor Day brings more car inventory and competitive pricing. This means more choices compared to the end of the year.
Fourth of July: Similar to Memorial Day, the Fourth of July offers a nice selection of new and current-year cars. This is ideal if you have specific car preferences.
Presidents Day: While Presidents Day is during a slower time of the year, it’s not the best time for discounts. According to Edmunds, the average discount off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) in February is about 5.7%, which is the worst discount of the year. End-of-the-year holidays are more likely to offer the best deals.
End of the Calendar Year: If you’re looking for the best deals on a new car, consider December as it offers a unique opportunity for significant savings. Look for vehicles from the previous model year with generous incentives.
In December, data from Edmunds shows that discounts off the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) reach an average of 6.1%, making it the month with the highest incentives. Car manufacturers and dealerships aim to finish the year with strong sales and clear out the previous model-year cars, motivating them to offer competitive deals.
It’s important to note that different manufacturers handle year-end sales differently. Some dealerships will have a larger selection of previous-year vehicles late in the year, while others may have a more limited choice. Be sure to check Edmunds’ Incentives and Rebates for information on customer cash rebates, low-interest incentives, and lease specials.
1. When is the best days to buy a car?
The best days to buy a car include the end of the month, end of the calendar year, and when car models are at the end of their design or life cycles. Specific months and certain holidays like Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve also offer great opportunities for car buyers.
2. Why is the end of the month a good time to buy a car?
Towards the end of the month, car dealers often need to meet their sales quotas to earn bonuses. This motivates them to offer attractive deals, including potential discounts, making it a golden opportunity for buyers.
3. What are the advantages of buying a car at the end of the calendar year?
December, being the end of the year, offers unique savings opportunities. Dealerships aim to clear out previous model-year cars, leading to substantial discounts. It’s a great time to find deals on vehicles from the preceding year.
4. Are there specific months that are better for buying a car?
Yes, besides December, other attractive months for car purchases include May, when there’s a large inventory of outgoing models, and when car models are at the end of their design or life cycles.
5. Why is it beneficial to purchase a car at the end of a car’s design or life cycle?
Buying a car at the end of its design cycle or when it’s being discontinued can lead to significant cost savings. Dealers offer discounts to make room for new models or to sell remaining inventory, making it an opportune time for buyers.
6. What is the best day of the week to buy a car?
Monday is typically the best day to buy a car, as showrooms are less busy, allowing for more personalized attention and time for test drives. Tuesday can be a good alternative if the dealership is closed on Sundays.
7. Are holiday weekends a good time to purchase a car?
Yes, certain holidays like Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, Memorial Day, and Black Friday are great for car shopping. Dealers often provide attractive deals and incentives during these holidays.
8. Should I test drive a car earlier in the month and buy it later for better deals?
Yes, test-driving a car earlier in the month and finalizing the purchase towards the end of the month can be a smart strategy. Many car acquisition incentives extend beyond the month’s end, providing extra time for buyers.
9. How can I find information on the best car deals and incentives?
To find information on car deals and incentives, you can refer to reputable sources like Edmunds, which provides data on discounts, rebates, low-interest incentives, and lease specials.
10. Are the best times to buy a car the same for new and used vehicles?
In general, the best times to buy a car apply to both new and used vehicles. However, the extent of price fluctuations and incentives may vary depending on the vehicle’s condition.