When is the Best Time to Buy a Car? | Find Out When Car Prices Are the Lowest

A car is a major purchase for most people, and one that requires a fair amount of planning. When you’re looking for your next vehicle, it’s important to take your time and not rush the buying process. Learn to recognize car price trends to find out when prices are at their lowest. Buying a car at the right time could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Is your buying time flexible?

When you want to buy a car, the most important question to ask yourself is ‘Do I need a car right now?’ Your old car may have just bit the dust, in which case you’ll probably need a replacement immediately. But if your car purchase is planned, and you have time to wait a few months, then you’ll have more options to consider.

New or used?

Best Time to Buy a CarA major factor in the car price is whether it’s new or used.

Used car prices are fairly stable, but they will go down gradually over time. Outside factors may also affect the price of used cars, such as high gas prices, which could lower the price of large SUVs and raise the price of smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles.

New car prices don’t fluctuate drastically, but you will find deals on end-of-the-season models, especially if you decide to buy rather than lease. When car dealers prepare for the next year’s vehicle inventory, they will often reduce the price of the current year’s vehicles to move their stock.

When is the best time to buy?

End of the day – Car salespeople are just like everyone else in retail; when it’s closing time, they want to go home. This isn’t guaranteed to work, but if you arrive at the dealership 15 minutes before they close, there’s a chance the sales representative will skip the two-hour negotiation in favor of a slightly lower selling price.

Early in the week – Since car dealerships do most of their business on the weekends, early in the week is the best time to get the undivided attention of a salesperson.

Late in the month – Compensation programs vary between dealers, but you may find a salesperson who is a car or two away from meeting their monthly quota. This can make negotiating a lower car price much easier.

When you’re ready to buy, don’t waste the hours you’ve spent researching car prices by insuring the vehicle without comparing rates. Make sure to get automobile insurance quotes from several different companies before you make your decision. This is especially important if you need full coverage auto insurance since rates for these policies can vary greatly between providers.

Resources:

  1. When to Buy Your Next Car
  2. The Best Days to Buy a Car this Month
About Jason Price

Jason Price is a family man saved by grace, passionate about faithful financial stewardship (1 Cor 4:2 NIV), soccer and the Pacific sun.

  • http://www.debtblackhole.com Dave @ DebtBlackHole

    To add something to your list- if you combine the “end of the day” with the weekend, I’ve found you’ll do even better. Many dealerships offer bonuses if you sell a certain number of units on Fri & Sat. So if you go in late on Saturday and they’re close to the bonus goal- they’ll do whatever it takes to get your deal done & on the board!

    Happy Negotiating!

  • Jenny

    I appreciate your goal of always trying to save $$; very important in the world in which we live. HOWEVER, I would also personally appreciate consideration given to the salesperson that you are keeping way from his/her family with your “rush in last minute approach”. Yes, they go into work at 8 am, just like YOU do, but then are often forced to stay late 9,10 pm DAY AFTER DAY, working that “deal” because the customer arrived 15 minutes before closing. Car salespeople have families at home, too! Just a request, that’s all. Be sensitive and considerate as often as possible. Thank you!

  • Brady

    I think that it is important when you are considering a new car vs used is to consider the reliability of the car that you are choosing. With the high price of car parts and hourly mechanic rates, reliability is definitely important.

  • http://psychomoney.com KC @ PsychoMoney

    I also heard that the best day of the year to purchase a car is on black friday. Makes sense since the dealers are trying to clear out all the current year inventory and make way for the next years stuff coming in.