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When is the Best Time to Buy a New Car?

best time to buy a new car

You’re thinking about buying a new car but you’re not certain it’s the right time. Sure, if you’re current set of wheels has died on the driveway, then it’s time. But if you’re simply shopping because you got a raise and are thinking it’s time for an upgrade, wouldn’t you like to know if there is a best time to buy a new car? It might help you save a few dollars.

So, when is the best time to buy a new car? Well, it depends.

Obviously, the right timing to buy a car depends on a few things, not the least of which is consideration of your personal financial situation. Does a new car purchase fit into your budget? A review of the budget should also include a check of the auto insurance premiums. The year, make and model of a car can greatly influence your premiums, so a quick check with your insurance agent is always a good idea. Once you’ve confirmed the new expenses fit into the budget, then maybe it really is time to get a new ride.

While the market for cars isn’t an exact science, if you’re in the market to buy a new car, here are a few commonly held good times to buy a new car.

Make your purchase at the end of a month

According to Edmunds, the end of the month is a good time to shop for a new car. You see, most dealerships set monthly goals to sell a certain number of units, if dealer is falling short of the monthly goal the sales team could be more motivated to make a deal. So, the end of the month may increase your opportunities to better negotiate a more favorable purchase price.

If you have time, wait till the end of the year

For a myriad of reasons, dealerships don’t want to carry last year’s inventory into the new year. This is the main reason why Kelly Blue Book says many dealerships offer their best sales at the end of the year.

Car dealerships typically have annual sales goals that are used to set their rate and purchase power with the manufacturer. If the dealership is pressed to make a goal toward year-end in order to reach a target sales count, you could be in the driver’s seat at the negotiating table.

Can you wait until the next model year comes out?

According to AutoTrader, the new model year is normally released during the fall of the previous year, and dealerships try to sell off older model year vehicles before the new fleet arrives. This doesn’t always happen.

Consider this, in the fall of 2020 a dealership will begin to get model year 2021 vehicle in the fall of 2020. This means they will have both 2020 and 2021 model year vehicles at the same time of calendar year 2020. Dealerships will become motivated to move the “old” model year vehicles, providing new buyers another opportunity to negotiate a more favorable purchase price.

Look for holiday weekend sales

Holiday weekend can be a good time to find sales, bigger savings, and when dealers have more incentives like special financing or rebates. According to CARFAX, some holidays you should consider shopping include Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.

Buy at the end of the design cycle

Most car manufacturers redesign their vehicles on a fairly routine cycle. They may even totally discontinue a model. If you are OK buying a car at the end of its design or life cycle, this may allow you to score big savings.

Being OK purchasing one of these vehicles means you likely have to accept the vehicle could depreciate faster

Car manufacturers sometimes redesign, or completely discontinue, certain vehicle models, says Edmunds. This may allow car buyers to score bigger savings at the end of the model’s design or life cycle. However, keep in mind that if a car is being discontinued, it may depreciate faster.

If your buying a car at the end of its life cycle, make sure to do your research to confirm their weren’t any inherent issues that could cost you more money in the long run.


Buy a new car is exciting and can be a lot of fun. However, buying a new car is a large purchase that should be well researched and considered. Remember that with some patience and research, you may be able to find a deal on a new car when the time is right.

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