Buying a New Car: When's the Best Time?
When you're buying a new car, haggling for the best-possible deal is an excellent way to ensure you'll get a good price on a vehicle you're considering. But while some shoppers believe haggling is the only way to get a good deal on a new car, there's also another important item that car-shoppers too often fail to consider: timing.
Just like in life, timing is everything in car-buying -- and buying a car at the right time can often mean saving thousands of dollars. But when is the right time to buy? And how do you use timing to your advantage to get a great car deal? Here are a few timing tips that will help you secure the best-possible price for your next vehicle.
End of the...
You've probably heard that you can get a better deal on a car if you buy it at the end of the month -- and that's true. But it's not just the end of the month: You can usually swing a better car deal by buying your vehicle at the end of just about any period.
For example, buying a car at the end of a day can sometimes yield better deals, as dealership employees are often ready to go home and not as willing to dig in their heels and negotiate for a long time over a car deal. If you show up rested and refreshed at the end of the day, you might find a slightly better deal than you'd get if you arrive bright and early on a Saturday morning.
Of course, buying at the end of the month is also always a good idea, as car dealers work hard to meet monthly sales quotas. In some cases, salespeople have financial bonuses assigned to their monthly sales quota -- which means they're willing to lose money on a car or two at the end of the month in order to make even more money by reaching their bonus.
And then there's another end period you could use to your advantage: the end of the quarter. Buying a car at the end of the month in March, June, September or December often leads to even better deals than buying at the end of the month, as dealerships are trying even harder to reach even loftier goals.
Last Year's Model
Another way to use timing to your advantage when buying a new car is by getting a vehicle from the previous model year. New-model-year vehicles will start to come out in the fall of the previous year -- for example, a 2018 model will debut in the fall of 2017 -- and dealerships usually want last year's stock gone before the new model arrives. But that doesn't always work out, and if a 2017 model is still on the lot when a 2018 model arrives, dealerships will usually offer heavy discounts on the older model in order to sell it.
Of course, there could be a drawback to this: If you buy last year's model, and the new version is substantially changed or updated with a new look or new features, you won't have the latest and greatest in technology or design. For some shoppers, that's a deal-breaker, but other drivers who just want the best price probably won't mind.
Our last piece of timing-related car-buying advice: Shop during holiday weekends, such as Labor Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day or Thanksgiving.
You'll often see or hear car dealerships advertising huge deals or blowout sales during holiday weekends, and those ads are almost always accurate. Automakers often put out special financing or cash-back deals for holiday weekends, and dealers sometimes add on to those deals with special offers of their own. While you might not want to spend your holiday weekend signing the papers on a new car, doing so could help you save thousands of dollars.
Editor's note: This content has been updated from its original version.