When is the Best Time to Buy a Car? Get Great Deals!

When you leave a dealership with a great deal, the sun gets brighter, the flowers bloom, and all of life’s problems go away. Well, temporarily, anyway. But your bank account will thank you for it permanently, and that is what we aim to do in this article: get you great deals by taking advantage of timing.

Of course, if you want to save the most money, you should know how to negotiate. Or, if you do not have the best credit, find the best strategies to lower rates with bad credit. But the easiest way to save money on a car is something anyone can do: go to the dealership at the right time. So when is the best time to buy a car? Read on!

Shop for Cars on a Weekday

When to Buy a Car

When buying from a private seller, it is easy to get lost in their inbox on the weekend. The weekend is when everyone is going to plan meetups and test drives with the seller. Have you heard the famous Mark Twain quote, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect”?

This is a perfect example.

If you want to get a good deal, you cannot do what everyone else does. Instead, plan a test drive with the seller on a weeknight. Odds are, they won’t have any other buyers lined up for the rest of the day.

TRED makes it easy to schedule test drives with private sellers. With just a few quick exchanges on our test drive platform, you can have several test drive times set up.

Now, you might be wondering, does this apply to dealerships? Yes, it does!

According to TrueCar data, average Monday discounts at dealerships reach up to 8.1 percent. The other two best days to buy a car are Tuesday and Thursday with respective discounts of 8.05 and 8.08 percent.

Why are discounts best on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday?

Even though salespeople are the masters of buyer psychology, we can use psychology against them! Buyer traffic is lowest during the week, making a weekday the best time to buy a car. People would rather buy during their free time on the weekend. With fewer customers on the floor, salespeople will have less confidence in finding buyers with deeper pockets. That means they will sell to you for a lower price. Why? They have quotas and sales goals to meet.

Shop at the End of the Day, Month, or Year

When to Buy a Car

To understand why endings are the best time to buy a car, we first have to understand how a car salesman makes money.

We will take our cue from an auto expert and author of carinfo.com, Mark Eskeldon, “ The more you sell, the more money you make, the more bonuses you get.”

So why do salesman feel compelled to sell at the end of anything? Here’s why:

  • End of Day – You might be one of the dealership’s last customers. In their mind, it is the end of the day, and there is little chance of finding buyers with deeper pockets. They might settle for lower prices to pad their sales quota.
  • End of Month – This is when the sales cycle ends. Of course, we must include that the sales cycle could end early in the next month as well. It just depends on the dealership. At this time, they will be more likely to squeak in another sale to reach a bonus or sales goal.
  • End of Year – At the end of the year, manufacturers are trying to close out the last sales of the year. They will push money to dealers to offer incentives to get it done. This is especially true on New Year’s Eve because this is when annual sales get calculated. Imagine, if a salesperson is just two car sales away from getting to the next level of his bonus, he’s going to settle and settle big.

Private buyers are also more apt to sell at lower prices during these times. Near the end of the year, people are scraping funds together to buy presents or a new car for themselves. At the end of the day, people are more agreeable because they lose much of their willpower throughout the day from working and making other decisions. Also, as we said, they probably don’t have any other buyers lined up at the end of the day. Unfortunately, the end of the month does not quite fit with private buyers. Instead, think about what season you are buying. Is it the holiday season? It is a good time to snap up a good deal. Also, who wants to go car shopping during Thanksgiving or Christmas week? You will find fewer buyers to compete with which can mean better prices.

Shop During Tax Season

When to Buy a Car

It is everyone’s favorite time of year. You know, filling out complicated paperwork, giving the government a portion of your income, and hoping you don’t become a random audit target.

During this stressful time, people are more willing to sell their cars for better prices. Sometimes people are looking for extra cash to pay off their taxes. They are willing to take a small loss on their car to get the IRS off their back. Of course, this is a double-edged sword. More people will be ready to buy a new car when they get their tax refunds. Some people will combine their tax refund and the sale of their old car to buy a new car (this is especially true for those who really want the newest model).

Even though tax time is not the absolute best time to buy a new car, you can still easily find great opportunities, especially leading up to April 15th.

Get the Old Body Style

If you’d rather get a great deal and don’t care too much about having the latest and greatest, this is for you. The largest U.S. car makers release their newest models in August and September. That’s why these months are usually the bestselling months compared to others.

During this time, many buyers are looking to upgrade their older model. We recommend keeping a lookout during August and September because you can find a great deal on older model cars. Take this into account: you are helping someone out. You are not just getting a darn good deal but helping someone else get their newer model upgrade!

TRED can make it easy for you to find these deals. When a manufacturer releases a new model, you can use our platform to sort through vehicles by make, model, and year. Not only that, but every car you can find on our platform has been thoroughly inspected using our 150-point inspection system. You can get a great deal and know the exact condition it is in. If that sounds helpful to you, click this link and browse our car selection.

Rainy Days

Hospital emergency rooms have a common prevailing myth: during the full moon, they get busy because people get a little bit crazier. I don’t know if it is true, but this is similar. During rainy days, people seem too lazy to go car shopping. Maybe they don’t want to test drive a new car in the rain. Maybe they think dealerships are busy on rainy days. Who knows? But for salespeople, they will tell you that they feel rainy days bring in fewer customers. During these days, you could find a better deal because salespeople are dealing with fewer customers. Even if they aren’t, they might feel like fewer customers will come in.

It is the same for private sellers. You do not find many private deals happening on rainy days. No one wants to meet up in the rain and test drive a car. Unlike buyers though, sellers don’t care… they just want to sell their car! But you’re not like other buyers because now you know that a rainy day is the best time to buy a car.

Ready to Find a Great Deal?

When to Buy a Car

We hope this article has you decide when to shop for your next car. Of course, the best time to buy a car is before you need it! After that, you might be a little desperate which puts you in a bad position. Instead of being able to walk away from offers, you might take one up just because you need a car. So don’t wait too long!

You could try and navigate the complicated waters of dealerships and private buying, or you can shop at TRED. Instead of waiting for the planets to align, TRED offers buyers an easy way to contact private sellers and get great deals every day. Private sellers list their cars on our platform, and we make it easy for both of you to talk, test drive, and make a deal. If you are ready to find a great deal, you can browse our car selection now.

Timing isn’t just important if you’re buying a car. It’s important when you’re selling, too. If you’re looking to sell your current ride (maybe you need more funds to buy a newer vehicle), we recommend you check out our article on the best times to sell your car.

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