When is the best month to buy a car?
If you have the flexibility, you can find extra savings buying a car at the right time. It’s always a good idea to get prices from several car dealers, but if you time your purchase you can get even bigger savings.
Some months are actually better than others for getting a deal. Here are some factors throughout the year to put in your calendar.
The best month to buy a car is December, with especially good deals during the week between Christmas and New Years. Dealerships are empty and salesmen need to hit their monthly, quarterly, and year end sales goals.
Months with Holiday Weekends mean dealership events
Six months of the year have holiday weekends like 4th of July and Labor Day. Dealerships know customers have an extra day off on these weekends to go shopping so they create promotions to entice visitors including cash-back deals or special financing. Many dealerships that are normally closed on Sundays stay open during holiday weekends (unless barred by state laws).
Many dealerships also have weekend incentives for the salesmen who are able to sell the most vehicles. This sometimes means they are willing to offer bigger discounts to you in order to reach their company bonus.
On most holidays, dealerships will be open and hungry for car shoppers with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas. But in the days following both of those two holidays dealerships typically run big specials that make up for lost time .
September and October have End of Model Year deals
In September and October, many manufacturers are trying to get their old models off the lot to make room for next year’s models. Car buyers always want the latest model, especially if there are significant changes like a new body style, so dealers are under pressure to sell off old models.
Related: Infographic of the best time to buy a car
Wait till salesman get their quotas
Most people are aware that waiting until the end of the month to buy a car is a good strategy because salesmen have monthly sales quota to meet. But did you know that salesmen also have quotas at the end of each quarter as well?
Timing your purchase until the end of March, June, September, and December could mean you catch dealers when they are eager to sell in order to earn a bonus check.
December has End of Year discounts
Car salesman and dealerships also get sales incentives at the end of the financial year. Couple that with the holiday week between Christmas and New Years and you get one of the best weeks of the whole entire year to buy.
When is the worst month to buy a car?
The Spring is the worst time to buy a car for a few reasons.
Warmer weather means people finally get outdoors to do the car shopping they’ve been putting off during the winter. And in April, some people see tax refunds as a financial windfall that could be spent on big purchases like a new car. There are also no holiday weekends to drive dealership traffic (except Easter which is not known for car sales).
More car buyers means salesmen don’t need to offer as many deals to entice visits. So March and April are the worst months for deals.
Breakdown of Best Deals by Month
|Month||Month Savings Rank||Key Dates|
|February||Good||President's Day Weekend|
|March||Poor||Tax Refund Deals + End of quarter|
|May||Best||Memorial Day Weekend|
|June||Average||End of quarter|
|July||Good||Fourth of July Weekend|
|September||Best||Labor Day Weekend + End of quarter|
|October||Good||Model Year End Closeout|
|November||Good||Black Friday + Cyber Monday|
|December||Best||Holiday Week + End of Quarter + End of Year|