Shopping for a new car can be a challenge. In addition to identifying the make and model that best fit your lifestyle, features and accessories can make the decision even more confusing. All of these affect the selling price, and even when the seller is willing to negotiate, it can be difficult to know if you are getting the best possible deal.
As it turns out, the time of year can have a huge impact on the cost of the vehicle. If you want the most leverage, try buying in December. Here’s why.
According to MarketWatch, dealers are being offered incentives from automakers based on their sales volume. The dealer may get a cash discount or the ability to continue selling popular models. Depending on the manufacturer, they may even get a bonus for every car they sell, making it worth selling a car at or below cost if that means adding hundreds of dollars more for every other car that̵
These rates are typically measured by month, quarter, and year. In December, all of these goals come together, and a dealer is more likely to be more willing to lower the price of a vehicle to meet their sales targets before the calendar year ends.
Since the odds are measured monthly and quarterly, it also makes sense to buy at the end of the month or at the end of a quarter – March, June, September and December.
Remember, this approach works best for new cars. Used cars usually don’t have the same quotas or incentives. As trade-in cars increase in value towards the end of the year, you may find the best prices and selections in the fourth quarter.
More anecdotally, you might also find better deals on a Monday compared to the rest of the week, as the lower foot traffic means that a salesperson is likely to have more time to figure out ways to save money.
Worst Time to Buy? Avoid going early in the month. Traders aren’t that concerned with keeping quotas. And avoid Saturdays. With people going to buy cars on weekends, dealers have less time to negotiate and more sales opportunities due to the rush of customers.