Car Buying

Buying a New Car: How to Get a Great Deal at the End of the Year

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author photo by Eric Brandt October 2019

Toward the end of every year, we all get bombarded with advertisements about special deals happening for the holiday season -- many of which are ads for cars. Most of us aren't like the people in the commercials giving cars as gifts, but it's true that the end of the calendar year is a great time to buy a new car. Here are a few reasons why that's the case and how you can get a great deal this year.

Why Buy at the End of the Year?

There are a few reasons why manufacturers offer some of the best incentives in December. For one thing, dealers want to sell as many cars as they can while it's still 2019 to boost their sales numbers for the year, so they will try to move as much 2019 inventory as they can out the door before 2020 comes around. Also, they don't want to get stuck trying to sell 2019 models in 2020, which is a generally less appealing prospect for shoppers looking to buy new cars.

Another reason for the great deals at the end of the year is that buying a car is the last thing on a lot of peoples' minds after they have spent a load of money on gifts for the holidays. If you forgot the holidays are in December this year and didn't budget accordingly, checking off everyone on your nice list can become expensive and cause some unpleasant surprises. However, dealers are still looking to make sales, so if you need to buy a vehicle during that time, the deals are certainly out there.

If you live in a snowy climate, that's probably one more reason not to spend the day on a car lot in December. If the lot is covered in snow, it becomes a lot harder to see the cars, and who wants to go for a test drive on snowy roads? However, if your plan is to save money on a new car despite the cold weather, it can be an ideal time to save.

How Do I Get the Best Deal?

The best way to get a good deal on your new ride is to keep an eye out for the ads when they come up. As with every month, we'll do a roundup of the best deals we can find on new cars, SUVs, and trucks for December plus the best lease deals, so watch Autotrader for some of the best incentives.

As we noted above, dealers want to get rid of 2019 models at the end of the year, so if you want the best deal, make sure you're looking at 2019 models rather than 2020 models, as there should be some generous price-cutting on vehicles from the outgoing model year.

What's the Catch?

The closest thing to a catch here is the fact that you'd be buying a 2019 model right as the year is about to end. However, if it doesn't bother you to drive a 2019 model in 2020, then buying a car from an outgoing model year is a great way to save a bunch of money on a car.

So yes, all of the hype about buying a new car at the end of the year is true. Just remember not to go too crazy with your holiday shopping so you can afford it!

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Buying a New Car: How to Get a Great Deal at the End of the Year - Autotrader
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