When is the Best Time To Buy A Car? Be an Smart Buyer

Last Updated on March 15, 2014 by Amir Arif

Are you planning to buy a new car this year? If yes, then you should play “The waiting game”. This game will make it easy for you to get the best deal for your car. Though we don’t like to wait yet we are able to catch a cost effective deal if we have patience.

It has been observed many times that people don’t purchase car carefully. In case they buy a car at a right time then they are in a position to save thousands of bucks from this purchase. It is advisable to make the right selection at a right time and this purchase lets you to save your hard earned income.

Here are some tips that make it simple for you to get the best car at a cost-effective deal.

Buy a Car At the end of Month


We all know that sale staff has been rewarded with money and perks by dealership and automakers when they hit their target of selling specific number of vehicle during a given time frame. According to National Automobile Dealers Association’s Consultant, Steve Emery, incentives are offered by automakers and dealers. Normally, automaker recognizes effort of their sale staff on quarterly or annually basis, though monthly sale goals are also given. Each dealership also offer incentive program for sale manager and staff. Emery says, “They’re like contests and can take place over a month.The incentives for the sales staff works in a stepped manner- if you sell 10 cars you get a $500 dollar bonus all the way up to, let’s say 15 cars gets you $1,000.”

Emery advises buyer to visit dealerships at the end of month just to know whether the dealership is highly interested in a deal or not. When a buyer gauges that sale persons are ready to make a deal at buyer’s term because they are desperate to hit their monthly or quarter target then he should try to make the most from this situation. He would be able to get massive discount on the price of car. In addition, a sale person is also ready to go without lengthy process that must be followed by a buyer while buying a new car.

“The first place to start is the end of a particular month,” Emery says. “Cars are sold on a 30 day cycle, so during the first few weeks, the sales staff are less inclined to work hard to sell you a car. They’re taking a breath from the hot end of last month, and letting you browse. Then at the end of the month, when they’re in a hurry to sell, they’ll offer everything.”

Emery also explains that there is a possibility that  automaker changes his incentive program without making announcement during mid-month “If a car isn’t selling as strong at the beginning of the month, the automaker can say to the dealerships ‘lower the lease price on this car.’ The automaker doesn’t have the time to advertise it, but the dealership will take care of it.”

Wait a little more, Buy a Car by the end of Quarter


Although an automakers and dealership offer incentives to sale staff if it meet up  their specific target yet they offer huge quarterly incentives. Emery gave an example of Nissan that set mega quarterly goals for the dealership with “All-or-nothing” attitude.. “They ask dealerships to hit one lofty sales goal by the end of a quarter, offering them a huge bonus. But if they’re one car under that, the dealerships get nothing,” He says. “Those months which end on a quarter are big deals.”

Wait till the End of year, The best Time indeed


If you are not in hurry and looking for an exceptional car deal then wait till the end of year. December is a month when dealership tries its best to meet up their annual sale goal. If they meet these targets, they can accept mega bonuses and incentives from automakers. Incentives of quarterly targets are bigger than monthly while annual incentives are the biggest. Dealership tries to sell more cars during December as it  wants to hit number target set by automakers.

“Automakers have a plan and they commit to a certain number of models per year,” Emery tells. “They can’t tweak that very much, so it gets important to sell off all the models they can.”

Meeting up number target is not the only reason that pushes dealership to get impatient for a deal. There is another big reason; they need to arrange some space for new model-year vehicles. Automakers bring new model every year. When a new model comes, a dealer might find it difficult to sell the older model in the upcoming year. Therefore, they drop price and offer some incentives to buyers at the end of the year.

An important thing that every car buyer must keep in mind while purchasing car at the end of year is that he has to pick at the leftovers.  “Cars, colors and packages will be limited since all the good stuff sells first,” warns Emery. “If you’re looking for a mass market vehicle, and color isn’t an issue, then the end of the year is a great time.”

There would be fewer options to choose from since many vehicles have been sold. Buyer has to go for less-competitive. During this period, sale staff has to make a deal according to your settled terms.

Don’t want to wait longer? When to Buy then?


In case you are not ready to wait longer then it is better for you to seek a deal after summer or during fall. It is a time span when new model year hit the dealerships and they are passionate to kick start good deals.

“When the new model comes out, you can easily get a deal on the last one, but you have to balance the discounts on the old model with the features of the new one,” advises Emery.

The buyer must not buy a car in the spring, the worst time to buy a car. This is the busiest time for showrooms since plenty of buyers are ready to buy new models since they have got their tax refunds. You won’t be able to make a good deal with dealers during this time.

Start Your Car Search Six Month Before a Purchase


It is also suggested by Emery to start searching for a car six month before you actually buy a car. You are advised to find the best dealership through an online sale department.

“Send them an email saying you’re not looking for a car right now, but would like to be notified of any incentives in the future,” Emery says.  It would be great if you make the most from sales groups like Costco or USAA, which are ready to notify you whenever dealers offer discounts and sales.


In short, you are able to get a good deal at the end of month, better deal by the end of quarter and the best deal by the end of year. In case it’s difficult for you to wait then buy a car after summer or during fall.

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