With most things in life, it’s best to act fast but when it comes to car buying, whether new or used, it’s actually best to wait until the last minute. Shopping at the end of the year is one of the most cost effective times to buy a car as dealers make room for the new year’s models. Knowing when to shop and what to shop for can save you big bucks in your next car purchase.
Avoid Car Shopping On Weekends
When trying to get a good deal on a new or used car, you’ll want to shop when dealerships are least busy—this means avoid shopping on the weekend. Shopping when the dealership is least busy gives you the benefit of more one on one time with the car salesperson and gives you the upper hand since there aren’t a lot of customers for the dealer to fall back on. Your sale is more important to the salesperson when there aren’t other customers waiting in line.
Wait Until the End of the Month or Quarter
Car dealerships usually have quotas to hit by the end of the month or quarter in order to make bonuses set by car manufacturers. These bonuses can sometimes make or break a dealership, which can mean big savings to you if the dealership needs to make a few more sales to meet their quota.
Shop End-of-Year Models
Dealers want to get rid of outgoing models to make room for the new year’s models. You can use this to your advantage to save big on current year models.
Wait Until End of Day to Make an Offer
Once you’ve decided you’re ready to buy, make your offer at the end of the business day. Making your offer at the end of the business day gives you the advantage of the salesperson likely wanting to get home and not spend a lot of time negotiating. If you do wait until the end of day, be sure you’re ready to buy so you aren’t wasting your time or the salesperson’s.
Look for Car Promotions
Keep an eye out for sales and promotional events when car shopping. Many dealers will have end-of-year sales to clear out inventories for the new year and to make end-of-year quotas.
Don’t Be Afraid to Walk
If you don’t find what you’re looking for, or the price you want to pay, don’t be afraid to walk. Cars are an investment so don’t talk yourself or let the dealer talk you into something you don’t love. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, try another dealership and don’t be afraid to let the dealer know. You can use other dealerships to your advantage, whether you find a better price at a different dealership or leverage the threat of going to a different dealership to negotiate the price you want.
If you combine all of these tips—make your offer at end of business day, on a weekday, on an end-of-year model, during the last week of the month—you can start the new year in a new car and with a pocketful of cash.
– By Samantha B. Rivers, Editor