When it comes to securing either a new or nearly-new vehicle, one thing’s for certain – doing your homework can help you to find a financially attractive deal. That includes researching the most cost-efficient time to buy. So, what is the cheapest month to buy a car? Let’s take a look…
What is the cheapest month to buy a car? – Used vs. new cars
If you’re looking to bag a brand-new car, look to the annual sales peaks of March and September, as this is when car registration plates change.
Dealerships work to quarterly sales targets, meaning the end of March, June, September, and December can be good times to head in for both new and used cars, as you’ll likely be able to negotiate a great deal from associates looking to hit their personal and business targets. Avoid the following months, as targets will typically have already been met, meaning sales associates have less impetus to negotiate.
Ideally, head into dealers in February and August. As the months preceding the sales peaks and quarterly targets, there may be great deals on offer in anticipation of both. Plus, by heading in with time, you’re allowing yourself the chance to shop around and negotiate without time constraints.
It’s slightly more complicated when it comes to finding the cheapest month to buy a used car. The following advice is pertinent for those seeking nearly-new and used cars.
When’s the best time to buy a used car – factors to consider
Registration plates changeover
As detailed above, registration plates change in March and September. Dealers will be experiencing an intake of company and privately-owned cars returned for the newest models, which they’re likely to want to shift off their forecourts. As such, salespeople might be more flexible with accepting lower prices in an attempt to move this stock of nearly-new and used vehicles on.
Think about timings
The summer and the end of the year are quieter times for used car dealerships, as people opt to spend their money on holidays. You may be able to take advantage of lucrative deals to secure a used vehicle at these times – in fact, dealers may already have advertised discounts to draw in buyers. Bank holidays like Boxing Day and Easter Monday can often have attractive sale events, so keep your eyes peeled for these.
Consider seasonality of vehicles, too – you can look for 4x4s in the spring and summer months, when there’s less demand, and convertibles in the autumn and winter.
Take into account that most individuals get paid at the end of a month, meaning that the beginning of the following month will be less busy for dealers, who’ve benefitted from this scheduling and consequent purchasing. Avoid busier days like weekends, and hit dealerships mid-week if you can. You may find that Friday afternoons are the best time to hit dealerships, as salespeople may be looking to make weekly targets.
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