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Timing is important when buying a car
When is the best time to buy a new car? Spring is a busy time at auto dealerships. Many people are looking to get a new ride for an upcoming summer trip or to surprise graduates for a job well done — but bargains can be found at other times of year.
Spring is a popular time, but maybe not the best time to buy!
If you have extra cash on hand from a tax refund, or you’re just excited by warmer temperatures, longer days and the prospect of riding in the breeze with the top down or a sunroof open, you’re far from alone… and auto dealers know it.
As CheetSheet.com tells us, you may want to consider putting the brakes on your springtime buying aspirations. There is greater demand for cars in the spring, meaning dealers aren’t as motivated to sell because they’re moving inventory and don’t have to reduce prices and provide incentives to close transactions.
Better deals can be negotiated later in the year
As U.S. News & World Report notes, if you can tap the brakes on your buying urge and wait until later in the year, you may be able to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
New model-year vehicles arrive at dealerships in the fall, which creates a double opportunity to get a great price.
Automakers want their next-year models on the road so that other drivers can see the new designs and generally “ooh” and “ah” over what may become their next ride. To encourage new buyers, the manufacturers often offer incentive packages for their newest models. They see new cars on the road as one of their best advertisements.
The other half of the fall-buying advantage is inherent in current model-year vehicles as well. Manufacturers and dealers want to move the “older” new cars off lots to make way for more of the next year’s models. They also want to keep used-car sales moving and usually have a larger inventory because of an increase in trade-ins.
In many jurisdictions there are also tax implications for vehicles that remain in a dealer’s inventory past the new year, so they’re more willing to negotiate a better price rather than incurring additional taxation.
Shop early in the week, late in the day
CarFax suggests that shopping earlier in a week – regardless of the time of year – can be advantageous. On weekends, sales people are typically working with a larger number of shoppers and simply don’t have enough time to devote their efforts to one individual. Early in the week they have time and are more likely to negotiate when foot traffic is slow.
Considering shopping at the end of a month or a quarter. Sales staffs and dealerships are judged on results at these intervals. If they haven’t met their quotas and the clock is ticking toward the end of a sales period, they might make a deal today that they won’t consider tomorrow.
Making an offer later in the day may also work to your benefit. If a salesperson hasn’t closed a deal on a particular day, he or she may be eager to move a vehicle and could be more willing to make an attractive offer to avoid being shut out when the business closes for the evening.
Research before you shop
No matter what hour, day or season you walk into the dealership, make sure you’ve done your homework first. Check various dealers’ ads. Compare prices. Look up values of models you really like online with great resources such as the Kelly Blue Book and use that information to your advantage. As an informed vehicle buyer, you are going to be better able to cut through the clutter of the car shopping experience and get the model you want at a price that fits your budget.
Is it time to buy a new or used vehicle? LightStream may be able to help with competitive auto loan rates.