Unless you have an unlimited supply of money, a car purchase will hit your finances more or less. Choosing the right time to buy a car can have a significant impact on how good of a deal you’ll get, and how we’ll you’ll get to check out the car you’re interested in.
In this article, we’ll cover what’s the best time to buy a car depending on whether you’re buying a used or a new car, and depending whether you’re buying from a car dealer or a private seller.
Car Buying Options
There are three options when it comes to buying a car. You can choose to go with a new car, which is the most expensive option, but it includes warranty and a car in perfect condition. The second option is checking out some authorized used car dealer lots.
Many of these sell great used cars that are previously checked and fixed, but they either come with a limited warranty or without one. The last option is buying a used car from a private seller. This is the most affordable option where you can find amazing deals, but it’s the riskies option of all.
Take Advantage Of Holiday Sales
Whether you’re planning on buying a used or new car, the Holidays are a great time to buy a car. This, of course, applies only if you’re planning on buying a car from a used car dealer or an official dealer.
Just like any other retailer, certified businesses use the tactic of sales to attract customers. This doesn’t mean you’ll get a bad car, you’re just taking advantage of the discounts for getting a car you like.
Buying a car shouldn’t be rushed in any way, especially if you’re looking for a used car. First of all, even a 5% discount can be worth waiting for, let alone a larger discount than that. It’s common for registered used car dealers to reduce the prices even more right before the holiday season, so if you can manage without a car until then, it’s highly recommended to wait.
End of The Quarter
When buying a new car, a great time to buy one is at the end of each quarter (end of March, end of June, end of September, and end of December). This is a good time, especially because car dealers usually have a sales goal, and they’re willing to either lower the base price, throw in certain features, or extended warranty for the same price. Although it might seem unethical, you can get a much better deal if you see that the sales team is dancing around you, offering every possible feature just for you to sign the papers before the end of the quarter.
New Model or Redesign Announced
If you’re keen on one specific model, and you’ve heard about a new generation of the same model or a redesign coming as a replacement, there will likely be a discount on the model that’s being pulled off the market. The downside to waiting for this tactic is that there might be a limited supply of vehicles you’re interested in, and you might be limited to what kind of trim you can order.
Unfortunately, this type of tactic doesn’t work for getting a used car because the demand for a specific models doesn’t depend on whether a newer model is released or not.
End of the Year Sale
Many retailers and car dealers alike offer discounts at the end of the calendar year. December is the last month of the year, and for sellers the last chance to increase profits and hit sales goals. Car buyers use this opportunity to get the best deals, but it also means that you’ll need to come prepared because it’s likely you won’t be the only one interested in this opportunity.
Buying From Private Sellers
Buying a used car from a private seller is the riskiest option of all, but it can also be the most rewarding. This requires you to have at least some basic knowledge about cars, and the model you’re particularly interested in so you can recognize the signs of potential issues.
Private sellers list their cars for a number of reasons, one of which may be of a financial nature. In these cases, perfectly good cars are sold for far less than average, only due to the time sensitivity. If you show up just in time, you may leave with a great car that you bought for far less money than it actually costs.
In some cases, private sellers also sell their cars if there’s an issue with them. This is where the know-how comes in handy, and where you can get a vehicle for a fraction of the price with a blown fuse as the only issue why something isn’t working. On the other hand, there are instances where you’ll come across a car with a small issue, but with a huge repair cost. Aside from being able to recognize certain issues with a car, it’s advised to check the ECU for fault codes before buying a car. This small device may save you from buying a vehicle with massive issues that are concealed by symptoms that are common for other faults.
Aside from technical problems on a car, it’s extremely important to verify if the car you’re interested is legal or not. There are various apps that will allow you to check almost any car based on its VIN number, and in a matter of minutes.
In most times, buying a car will have an impact on your budget and finances, and choosing exactly the right time to buy one might be tricky. Although the right time to buy a car is before you actually need it, you might have some time to explore your options and wait a bit to get a better deal if the dealer is preparing a discount on certain vehicles.
The end of the quarter or year is usually the best time to buy a car, mostly because you’ll either pay less, or get more for the same amount of money.