Whether it’s helping a new driver hit the road or a fun gift for yourself, a new car is one of the most important purchases you can make in any year.
With the average price of a new car exceeding 40,000 euros, buying a car must be accompanied by careful research and thought. And while things like make, model, cost, and paint color are important considerations for any motorist, there’s another factor you should keep in mind before visiting a dealership: when you intend to pull the trigger to buy a new car.
The best times to buy a car
You’ve done your research, you’ve taken out a down payment or a car loan, and you’re counting the days until you smell like new. It might seem like the perfect time to buy, but your calendar might be telling you otherwise.
Although automakers continually announce their latest models throughout the year, it’s important to note that the best deals only happen on specific dates.
Just as there are better days to buy electronics and fitness products, there are better times to buy a car. In fact, it all comes down to the desire of traders to sell their existing shares.
Cars left on the lot are a huge loss of revenue for the dealership and can cause problems when new models start arriving. Add to that the quarterly sales quotas and you can start to see the best times to buy a new car.
1. End of month/quarter
One of the most important things to keep in mind when buying a new car is the fact that almost every salesperson at the showroom has monthly or quarterly sales goals. These goals may come with additional bonuses for the sales team if they are met, but it also means that they may be more willing to negotiate the price of the car to secure the sale.
2. End of the year
The holiday season, like Christmas, is the perfect excuse for a special year-end sale, which makes it the perfect time to hunt for a bargain. Buyers get a head start as December culminates in a trio of year-end, quarterly and monthly sales targets.
In the past, there have been times when consumers have obtained favorable financing options, cash rebates, or price cuts by waiting until the end of the year.
3. The beginning of the year for used cars
If dealers try to end the year with a sales boom for new cars, they try to do the same at the start of the year for used cars.
This is largely due to the fact that the months of January and February are usually marked by a massive influx of used cars, as buyers trade in their old car for a new one.
4. Major holidays and long weekends
Christmas and New Year’s Eve aren’t the only holidays that help dealerships sell cars. Labor Day and Black Friday, other days when many people are off, are used by merchants attract clients in galleries. The same applies to three-day weekends when a public holiday falls on a Friday or Monday.
5. At the beginning of the week
If you intend to negotiate with a seller, it is important to have his undivided attention. During the weekend, when the agents are busy, this may not be the case.
Shopping on a Monday or Tuesday gives you the chance to be the only person asking questions, getting a test drive, and negotiating the final price. Also, since financial institutions are open during business hours, it may be easier to apply for a loan.
6. The end of the model life cycle or design cycle
Like most consumer goods, cars have an expected life cycle. Over time, manufacturers stop producing a particular model or redesign it. When this happens, dealers want to empty their inventory of older models to make room for new ones. Sure, you won’t have the newest car on the road, but you can get a pretty good deal.
7. During the model change
New models usually arrive in showrooms in early fall. At that time, dealers want to sell as much of their inventory from the previous year’s models as possible to make room for the new model.
If you agree to continue in the previous form, you may to save money upon purchase. Depending on how well the car sells, you can try to negotiate a significant drop in price.
8. When the merchant offers additional benefits
Sometimes the best time to buy a car is when the dealership is running a great promotion. Offers such as cash rebates, leases with low monthly payments, and low or no-cost deposits are usually offered by the builders themselves.
The worst time to buy a car
Just as there are good days to negotiate a deal, there are other days when you should avoid buying a car. If you are able to wait a bit before making a purchase, it is best to avoid the following periods:
1. At the beginning of the model year
If you’ve got your eye on a brand-new car before you even hit the dealership, consider tempering your transactional expectations. Dealerships are much less willing to try to sell newly made cars than they are with old stock.
On the contrary, the beginning of the new model year is the best time to negotiate the remaining model, as they want to make room for the upcoming new cars.
2. Immediately after launching a new model
Manufacturers spend fortunes to market their new models, which aim to stimulate demand. It is unlikely that you will be able to get a bargain, so wait or go see an earlier model.
3. At the beginning of the new month
If the end of the month is one of the best times to buy a car, the opposite is true for the beginning of the month. The beginning of the month resets the salesperson’s monthly sales goals, and they are less likely to ask their manager for wiggle room in a deal.
You can always negotiate a better deal, but be prepared to work beforehand to prove that you are serious about your buying decision.
Can we negotiate better prices during favorable purchase periods?
As a consumer, it is your prerogative to search for the best possible deal. When you walk into a car dealership during one of its most pressing sales times, you’re carrying more weight than at any other time of year.
If you’re comfortable haggling a bit and negotiating the nitty-gritty of the deal, you’ll likely get a better price than expected.
Is there a specific time of day when you must visit the agency?
When shopping for a new car, it’s usually best to get to the dealership as early in the day as possible, preferably on a weekday.
The reason for this is twofold: Salespeople are generally more rested and less stressed in the morning, when they haven’t yet had to deal with the rigors of selling face-to-face.
Second, the dealership will likely be empty because most of your shoppers will be at work. This often helps speed up the buying process and get you a more direct interaction with the sellers.
Can your lease be used in a deal?
If you have a rental car and are getting calls from the dealership, chances are they want to re-offer your car to their inventory as a used option to other buyers rather than waiting for the lease to expire.
It’s a program that ends the lease early, adds the vehicle to the used dealer’s inventory, and puts the consumer back in the rental cycle.
When it comes to buying a new car, do everything you can to stay in the driver’s seat. By educating yourself about the car you want and choosing the best time to find a deal, you put yourself in the best position to get a good deal.