The best time to buy a car… is when you need a car!
Depending on who you ask, the art of knowing when to buy a vehicle can sound like an elaborate science. Some sources will tell you the best month to buy a car. Other sources will tell you the best week of the month to buy a car. Heck, there are people out there who will recommend the exact hour of the day to buy a car.
All of these tipsters mean well, of course. After all, they’re just trying to save you some cash by passing on some advice. The only problem is that this advice can make you miss some prime car-buying opportunities.
Let’s take a look at why waiting for a car isn’t always a great idea.
The general principle behind waiting to buy a car is to try to meet the salesperson when they’re rushing to fulfill a sales quota. While I’m sure you might get a few extra bucks if you happen to walk in the dealership at the right time, the salesperson isn’t the only one deciding the price of your car. Automotive makers love to knock hundreds or thousands of dollars off their vehicles at a time with special deals, but only for limited windows of time. These deals don’t always line up at the end of the month or year either, so the decision to wait on a car can actually cost you more money if you aren’t careful.
Moreover, waiting for a supposed best month to buy a vehicle means you’ll miss out on all the sales events that happen before then. These can include Black Friday, Memorial Day, President’s Day, and loads more. Honestly, there’s such an even distribution of sales and deals throughout the year that it’s hard to say there’s one “best” time to buy a car.
Aside from price, there is one other big disadvantage to waiting to purchase your car: the available inventory. If you really are waiting to catch a car your salesperson needs to move off the lot, you’ll get just that: a car your salesperson needs to move off the lot. That doesn’t mean you’ll get a bad car, but it does mean you’ll have way less choice in deciding what you will get.
Your only alternative at that point is to wait until the next model year of vehicles. But even then, you’ll be paying more cash for the newer tech. And if you decide to keep waiting to buy a car after that, then… well, you can see how this becomes a vicious cycle.
In the end, if you need to get a new car, talk to your salesperson right away. Even if you don’t want to buy the car that minute, you’ll at least be in touch with someone who knows all the upcoming sales and deals available. Remember: any salesperson wants to sell cars all the time, not just specific times of the year. You’ll undoubtedly find a good deal with some persistence, but your salesperson can’t help you until you get your foot in the door.
If you need a new car, the best advice is to start the search as soon as possible. Even if you get your car well before December, just think of it as Christmas coming early.