Finding The Best Time To Buy A Car
Finding The Best Time To Buy A Car

Finding The Best Time To Buy A Car

March 23, 2024

When is the best time to buy a car? This is a question many have posed as they prepare to purchase their next vehicle. If you are in the market for a new or used car, you’re likely looking to get the best deal possible. Data has shown the timing of your vehicle purchase can have a direct effect on the final sale price.

You should also remember there are many car buyers competing for the same car deals. Based on U.S. car sales statistics, approximately 17 million new cars are sold each year. This includes passenger and light SUV vehicles. In 2018 alone, approximately 40 million used cars were sold in the U.S.

To put yourself in a competitive position when negotiating the purchase price, consider the timing of your purchase. Think about the following when deciding on the best time to buy your vehicle.


Is the Best Time to Buy Different for Used and New Cars?

In general, the principles are the same for both used and new vehicles. When car sales volumes are higher, more car owners are usually trading in vehicles. This means a wider selection and usually more promotional incentives for those looking to purchase a used vehicle.


The Fall Season Can Be a Great Time of Year to Buy a Car as Dealers Look to Make Room for New Models.

Dealers are open to offering competitive deals to clear their lots for new models that may be coming in. As some car owners are coming in to purchase the new models, many will be trading in vehicles to help finance their purchase. Dealers will be motivated to sell these trade-ins so their lots don’t get overcrowded.


If it Fits into Your Timeline, Consider Waiting Until December to Purchase Your Vehicle.

Dealers want to avoid entering the new year with a lot full of cars. They are looking to continue clearing their lots of both the newer and older models. Buyers may be able to take advantage of more attractive promotions and deals than what was available earlier in the Fall.

Also, dealers have yearly, quarterly, and monthly goals to meet. Therefore, December is an important sales month for them.


However, Dealers Also Offer Promotions at Other Times of the Year.

If you can’t wait until the last quarter of the year to buy a car, dealers offer several promotional incentives throughout the year. Holidays are the prime time these offers become available.

Memorial Day is known to be a popular holiday for car-buying incentives. Dealers use this holiday to kick off the busiest car-buying season. Because demand tends to be high in the summer, it may not be the best time of year to purchase a car for those looking for the best deal.

Keep in mind that, although promotions may be offered during the Spring and Summer months, they may not be as attractive. In addition, they may not be as plentiful relative to the Fall and Winter months. 

Popular Mechanics highlighted a used car sales study that analyzed 40 million used car sales from 2013 to 2015. Based on this study, the best and worst holidays to buy a used car are summarized below. The evaluation is based on the number of deals (defined as at least 5% below market value) offered on each holiday.


Best Holidays to Buy a Used Car (% More Deals Found On Average)

  1. Black Friday (+33.1%)
  2. Veterans Day (+32.5%)
  3. Thanksgiving (+30.6%)
  4. Columbus Day (+30.5%)
  5. Martin Luther King Day (+29.4%)
  6. Christmas Eve (+28.7%)
  7. Christmas (+21.4%)
  8. New Year’s Eve (+21.3%)
  9. Halloween (+18.8%)
  10. New Year’s Day (+15.8%)


Best Holidays to Buy a Used Car (% Fewer Deals Found On Average)

  1. 4th of July (-28.0%)
  2. Mother’s Day (-27.5%)
  3. Easter (-22.2%)
  4. Good Friday (-21.6%)
  5. Memorial Day (-18.3%)
  6. Father’s Day (-18.3%)

As you can see, the holidays with more deals are found during the fall and winter seasons. In addition, the majority are in the last quarter of the calendar year. This supports the idea that fall/winter is the best time to buy a car. 


Wait for a Day with the Right Weather to Purchase a Used Car. 

Purchasing a used car on a sunny day so you are less likely to overlook smaller scratches or dents on the exterior. 


Mid-Week is a Good Time to Visit a Dealership to Purchase a Car.

In general, outside of holidays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays are the least busy at car dealerships. On slower days with less demand, dealers may be more open to offering a great deal on a car. 


Most Importantly, the Best Time to Purchase a Car is When You Are Ready to Do So. 

No matter what time of year it is, do not purchase a car until you are adequately prepared. Establish a realistic budget for the purchase and ongoing costs of car ownership. For example, consider the cost of ongoing maintenance and car insurance. You want to avoid increasing any debt you may already have.

Also, be ready and do your research ahead of time. That way when the right used car becomes available, you will be ready to purchase it before someone else does.


Contact us at Easton Motors and we can help you find the right car that fits your budget. Our financing specialists will work with you to evaluate your financing options. Get prepared with the necessary information and documentation.

In addition, learn how you can get pre-qualified for a loan for one of the used cars on our lot.

Easton Motors, a trusted used car dealer since 1991, has expanded to multiple locations across Wisconsin, including Adams, Baraboo, West Salem, Wausau, Sun Prairie, and Green Bay. Our mission is to help individuals restore their credit while providing reliable transportation.
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