Wednesday, January 22, 2014

When is the Best Time to Buy a Car?

It’s the most-often asked questions by new-car buyers as they prepare to shop for their next new car: “When is the best time to buy a new car?”
Savvy new-car shoppers know every 1 percent in possible discounts can be significant—you can save simply by carefully timing when to make your purchase. But the formula to knowing when to buy can be complicated. If you’re shopping for your next new car, here are some new-car shopping tips—and a few statistics—to keep in mind to help you determine when is the best time to buy.
Early in the week: Most consumers shop on the weekends, so dealerships are full of new-car shoppers and salespeople are busy. It makes sense to shop early in the week when there are fewer people on the lot and you can get the salesman's undivided attention.
End of the day: Salespeople are anxious to get home at the end of the day, and may not want to spend hours negotiating over a sale. Keep in mind, this is not the best time to be casually browsing, so if you’ve done your homework, know exactly what car you want to buy, and have a reasonable price range in mind, visiting the dealership at the end of the day may save you both time and money.
End of the month/End of the quarter: Dealers and salespeople have monthly and quarterly sales goals to meet in order to qualify for certain bonus levels. If they’re just short of reaching their goals in the last few days before the end of the bonus period, then there can be an extra incentive to make another sale. However, this won’t matter if the salesperson/dealership has already met their quotas, and you have no way of knowing if they have met their goal.
End of the model year: Manufacturers typically roll out new-model-year vehicles in late summer and fall (but this does vary), and dealerships are trying to make room for them, creating a great deal of price flexibility. While outgoing models may be in short supply (and dwindling as the year ends), and your selection may be limited, manufacturers quite frequently offer additional sales incentives on lingering models, bringing their prices down even further.
End of the year: As the new calendar year approaches, dealerships are trying to meet year-end sales quotas that could reduce fees and taxes on year-end inventory, and sales people are trying to meet year-end sales quotas that may trigger bigger holiday bonuses. On top of that, incoming newer models may be in greater supply, making their pricing more flexible. It’s the perfect combination for new-car shoppers looking to find a great deal on their next new car.
What about seasonal discounts on specific body styles?
Most body styles are well discounted in the months of December and January. These two months demonstrate the highest discounts available all year for convertibles, coupes, sedans, trucks, sport utility vehicles, and even minivans, averaging discounts of 6.6 percent across all body styles in December and January.
August shows another boost in discounts for several body types—most notably wagons, sport utility vehicles, and coupes—supporting the benefit of end-of-summer purchases around the model-year turnover time.
Shopping for a convertible? Statistics show that discounts are deeper on convertibles in the winter months. That’s because dealers know consumers have a greater interest in top-down driving when the weather is warmer, so they’re not as inclined to offer discounts during the summer months. On the other hand, it’s much easier to move those convertibles off the lots in the winter months if dealers put an additional sales incentive on the hood.
When is the worst time to buy a new car?
These historic statistics show that springtime may not be the best time to buy a new car: More people are out and about as winter weather clears, and tax refund checks are warming consumers’ pockets. With warmer days ahead, more shoppers with a little extra cash in hand are looking for their next new car—which means dealers don’t need to offer quite as many discounts to entice those eager shoppers to buy.
So what’s the answer? When is the best time to buy a new car?
While the statistics show the winter months offer the greatest potential discounts, that doesn’t mean you should necessarily wait until then to make your purchase. Remember, as the year wanes, inventories become more limited, so even though great discounts may be available, they might not necessarily be on the exact model you may be shopping for. So if you have your heart set on something, you should think about if the extra savings is worth perhaps missing out on the car you really want.

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