We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
So you’re in the market for a new car? Naturally, you’ll be looking to get the best car at the best possible price. Does the month that you purchase a vehicle make a difference? Is one month better than another? We’ve got the info that can help you get the best bang for your buck and make car buying a bit easier.
Data indicates that the best month for buying a car at the lowest price is in December- more specifically the end of December.
If you don’t have six months to wait to buy a car, don’t freak out. There are a lot of factors that go into the “best” month to buy. And there are plenty of other times you can get a great deal.
Keep reading and let us break it all down for you.
December The Best Month to Buy a Car
There are a few reasons why December ranks as the best month:
- Christmas Sales
- Sales teams trying to meet the year-end quotas
- Old inventory needing to be moved to make room for the new inventory
- Old models being replaced by new models
As a general rule, waiting until the end of the month is an excellent time to buy a car, because salespeople will be pushing to reach their monthly quotas. Waiting until the end of the month of the end of the year can result in some highly motivated sales reps. (Bonuses are often attached to meeting these goals.) Also, managers will need to clear out their lot to make way for new inventory, and new model years have devalued last years’ model.
While anytime in December is a great time to buy, much like Halloween candy is discounted the day after Halloween, you can expect car sales to be even better the week after Christmas.
How Much Do Car Prices Drop When New Models Come Out?
New car models typically come out in autumn before the new calendar year. So If you buy the previous year’s model when the new model comes out, you can expect to see some savings.
How much of a drop in price will depend mostly on how long the new model has been out.
According to the Senior Analyst at KBB.com, you can expect the initial drop to be between 2 to 4 percent. However, as get closer to the end of the year, that savings can be anywhere from 5 to 10 percent.
You may also be able to negotiate a lower interest rate for last year’s model. Keep in mind, though, that even though the car is new to you when you want to sell that car in the future, it will be worthless because it is “older.”
Also remember that waiting until the new model year comes out can mean that the older model will be harder to find in a specific color, or with the options that you prefer.
This applies to purchases made in December, as well. “Best” time might not mean the “cheapest” time to buy for you. If you are the kind of person who wants a specific color or set of options, the price may not be the only consideration.
When is the Best Month to Buy a Used Car?
The best time to buy used coincides with when new models are being released: October through December. Sometimes a new model will come out as early as August, so be on the lookout.
As more people trade in their older model for the new, or old leases come back in, there are more used cars available. Supply and demand can work in your favor here to get a better price, as there are more cars on the lot.
Once again, wait until the end of the month if you can, to take full advantage of sales teams pushing to meet quotas.
Even for a used car, if you can wait until the end of the year- all the better.
Is July A Good Month To Buy A Car?
As dealers gear up to have new models released in the coming months, car discounts get better. July will be one of the better discounted months.
As always, if you can manage to wait at least until the end of August or even October, you will probably be better off because this is when new model years are released.
An exception to the “wait to the end of the month” rule would be on the 4th of July. Holidays typically have good sales on cars with Independence Day having some of the better discounts.
What is the Slowest Month For Car Sales?
There is a drop in consumer spending right after Christmas (duh, they spent it all on gifts.) As well as, most people also don’t want to be shopping outside for cars in the winter.
This makes January and February typically the slowest months for car sales.
Discounts are usually not as good in the first months of the year.
This doesn’t mean these are bad months to purchase a car, just information to consider.
A slow month may even mean more time to negotiate, and sales reps in a drought who are more motivated to make a sale.
What Month Has the Highest Car Sales?
The highest selling month for car sales is harder to pin down if you look at the data.
Spring usually sees an uptick in sales, as well as the Fall. This may be due to the better weather, as well as people not being on vacation for the summer yet.
It is interesting to note that in the last five years or so, December is trending as one of- if not the highest- months for car sales.
What Is The Best Month For You To Buy A Car?
Only you know the exact needs and circumstances for buying your next car. Weigh the options when it comes to saving money and getting the vehicle that meets your needs and desires. Then you can determine when is the right time to buy a car for you.