Whether you’re buying your first pickup truck or upgrading to a different one, you’re probably wondering about timing.
After all, pickup trucks can keep on running for hundreds of thousands of miles, so in all likelihood, there’s no real rush with purchasing a new one. You may very well have some flexibility in the matter and so the question of when to buy your pickup truck is a pertinent one.
The short answer is in all likelihood October. That’s when potential buyers get the best discounts from dealerships, especially on new pickup trucks. Of course, that’s on average. There are other times in the year when you can also get a great rate.
Let’s consider all best times of the year for purchasing a new – or used – pickup truck. I’ll share with you all of the information I have gathered through a lot of research so that you too will know the reasons behind each recommendation. Oh, and I actually found a good recommendation on the right day of the week in which to buy your next truck, so stay tuned for that too!
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.
Does that mean every October is a good month for buying a pickup truck?
That’s a matter of opinion, and mine would be – yes and no.
Yes, this is when manufacturers roll out their newer models every year. Dealerships basically need to make room for the new trucks so they’re more likely to sweeten the deals on vehicles that they already have in stock.
But not necessarily – because it all depends on what you need. If you’re looking for a good used truck, shopping around and during other times of the year may yield results which will be just as good.
Other times when buying a truck might be cheaper
According to TrueCar, there are other times in the year where you can negotiate sweet deals on vehicles – trucks included.
December is the month where dealerships offer the most discounts on all vehicles. It’s not just their holiday spirit showing up. Salespersons, as well as whole dealerships, have annual sales quotas that they need to meet. Selling you that truck could mean a nice bonus for the salesperson, making her or him more eager to close the deal. That means offering you the best discount possible.
That is actually the day with the highest average discount on cars. Which may sound surprising considering we just said salespeople are eager to meet annual quotas during December.
The secret here is that deals closed on January 1st actually go into the record of the previous calendar year. That means this is the very last day for car salespeople to get the best bonus they can by upping their sales figures for the previous year. It’s like December on steroids, in terms of car price discount.
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.
Black Friday has become a national – possibly international – shopping holiday. Special sales and discounts are also available in the automotive industry and you can definitely make the most of that.
Remember, this is the time of year when newer models begin rolling in, so merchants are likely to offer you a better deal on last year’s models anyway. Black Friday just means you could bring an otherwise low price further down.
What’s the best day of the week to buy a pickup truck
Yes, some days are better than others in every week! Knowing that alone can help you close a sweet(er) deal!
Many people find it easier to get to the dealership over the weekend. After all, it’s their day off work so they have plenty of time to go look at the vehicles and test-drive them.
As always, high demand brings up prices. According to TrueCar, weekends is when dealerships will offer you the lowest discounts. On the other hand, Monday is when you can get the best possible deal.
It’s worth noting that the numbers here are not as dramatic. On a Monday, the average discount is 8.1% whereas it’s only 7.49% on Sundays. So, just half a percent either way. For a new truck costing $50K, that’s about $250.
As for the differences across months, they’re slightly more significant. While TrueCar doesn’t share the specifics regarding pickup trucks, they do say that on January 1st, the average discount on a vehicle was 8.5% whereas, during January’s weekends, they went as low as %5.9. That’s a difference of two and a half percent, which could easily mean over $1000 off or more. Just for timing your purchase right.