Timing considerations when buying a pickup truck
Yes, I get it, the really cool piece of information is knowing when you’ll get the highest discount – or lower price – on a new vehicle. Which happens to be October, as mentioned above.
That does not mean it’s going to be the best time for you.
There are other things to consider when trying to time your purchase. Let’s spread them out here before I start throwing out dates and such.
When do you need the truck?
Everyone’s needs are different. What are yours?
Did your old pickup break down and you need a new one to work with next week?
Are you just toying with the idea of buying a pickup – whenever…?
Do you need a new(er) truck for that big road trip coming up in a couple of months time?
Only you know your own level of flexibility with timing the deal just right. And it’s perfectly ok to have to pay a bit more because you’re buying in the “wrong” month if that means your business will gain from a better vehicle.
When will you be able to afford the truck?
Pickup trucks aren’t cheap. A new Ford F-150 Lariat begins at over $40,000. A Chevy Silverado 2500HD with crew cab won’t be any cheaper. And that’s just the sticker price. Expect to pay hundreds to thousands more for extras, fees, and taxes.
If you can just whip out your credit card and pay for that, then good for you. Sounds like financing isn’t an issue.
However, if you do need help with financing your new truck, or even if you need to get money out of saving plans and other investments, this could affect your timing. Loan rates fluctuate all the time, and you may want to wait for a time where you can get better rates. Don’t forget to check with your bank. Avoid relying solely on financing by the dealership and shop around for best loan rates.
How much time do you have to search for deals?
Believe it or not, this could be a determining factor.
If you have all the time in the world to shop around, you could end up with a far better deal. This is especially true with used trucks. If possible, wait for that perfect truck and that hurried impatient seller who may be more flexible with the price.
Searching for deals can also pay off when working with dealerships. Shop around – possibly out of state too. Don’t be shy and go back and forth, encouraging a price war of sorts. That’s the kind of war where sellers lose and customer wins.
If you’re too busy for that, that’s ok too. It just means you’re likely to pay more money – but you will be saving on time.
Finally – what’s the best time for closing a deal – Market Considerations
So now that you know you’re own time constraints, what about the market?
If you could buy a pickup any time of the year, when could you expect the best price?
The answer is probably October.
That’s not just me saying that. This is what the stats collected by TrueCar indicate. These people monitor millions of actual vehicle sale deals. They’ve analyzed the data in the year 2015 and released their conclusion: Buying a large (i.e. full-size) pickup truck is cheapest during the month of October.
They say that this is when Ford released its aluminum-body F-150 for the first time. These light half ton trucks had such superior gas mileage that many truck owners chose to switch to them. Which meant two things:
- The market was flooded with relatively new second-hand trucks.
- Competitors selling half ton trucks like the Ram 1500 or Silverado 1500 had to lower their prices significantly to get customers.
Other times when buying a truck might be cheaper
January 1st may be the day with the highest discounts – but its followed by bleak winter months during which discounts plummet. Dealerships focus on selling the latest models, marked up for the new year, and you may find it very difficult to negotiate a discount.
Come springtime, things warm up again. Memorial Day marks the big sales discounts day. Watch for those and you may get a great price on a new pickup. The rest of summer is better than winter months, in terms of price cuts, but not as good as Memorial Day itself.