There are some times in life when you don’t have the luxury of deciding when to get a new car. Accidents, mechanical failure, life changes...these things can all mean a quick research period and an urgent hunt for the perfect new or used car. For others, they know what they want and it’s a very particular model, special order even. And for still others, they know it’s time to start the hunt, they have some loose requirements, and they want a good deal. So, when is the best time to buy a car?
Fall/Winter is the best time to start looking for a good deal. The new model years come out starting in late summer, leaving brand-new leftovers from last year to languish (and take up valuable space) on lots. If you’re looking for the best deal on a new car, swooping in on last year’s model is the way to do it. Dealers are looking to get these cars off their lots so there are often significant incentives available to the savvy shopper. Fall and winter have another advantage for new car shoppers, as the number of rainy days increases. When it’s raining, fewer people make their way to the car lots, making dealers a little more willing to negotiate than they might otherwise be. Most new models typically hit dealers in September, but you can expect the biggest pricing reductions around December for the few lingering cars in unpopular colors or configurations or at low-traffic dealerships. If you can, try waiting until the last days of December. Many dealership salespeople have yearly quotas they're trying to meet, and a salesperson who hasn't met his quota yet can be very eager to get you in the car you want at a good deal. If you aren't in a rush for a new car and you know exactly what you want, keep your eye on specific dealership sales during December and jump when you see a deal you can't pass up.
Fall/Winter is a good time to think about buying a used car, too. Because people are buying last year’s clearance models, they’re either trading in or selling their old cars. It’s also a great time to pick up lease returns, as frequent lessees are upgrading to the brand new models hitting dealer lots in the fall. This is also a great time to hit up any auctions in your area, as dealers and small lots are also looking to take advantage of the booming used car market and move some of their stock around. The better the economy gets, the more other people are buying new cars and finally saying goodbye to their trusty old wheels. This means there will be even more used cars on the market than ever, which is great for you! Both dealerships and individuals will be selling cars, so make sure you do your shopping to find a car that meets your needs. And be sure to have a trusted mechanic check it out before signing any papers.
This probably won’t come as much of a shock, but if you’re looking for a deal on a classic car, Fall and Winter are the best seasons to purchase these as well. Collector car shows shut down for the cooler months, and owners are thinking ahead about their holiday budgets and wondering if it’s worth keeping their classic in the garage for another winter. December listings for classic cars are full of great deals, and few buyers. You already know it's not a good idea to buy a car as a gift for someone else, but maybe this year you can treat yourself! No matter what kind of car you’re in the market for, Fall and Winter can be a great time to make the move if you have the flexibility to do it. Used, new, and classic car sales offer great deals as the weather gets cooler and people are starting to save up for the holidays.