Here are a few tips for timing your car shopping so you get the best deal.
Shop early in the week. Most consumers shop on weekends when
dealerships are full and salespeople are busy. By avoiding the crowd, you can
get the salesperson's undivided attention.
Make your offer late in the day. If you've done your
homework, know exactly what car you want and are ready to make a reasonable
offer, visiting the dealership near closing time may save you time and
Shop at the end of the month or quarter. Dealers and
salespeople have monthly and quarterly sales goals they must meet to qualify for
certain bonus levels. So the end of the month (or the quarter) is a good time to
Although you can't predict whether the dealers or salespeople have made their
sales goals, it's still worth checking to see if they're hungry to make some
Get deals on outgoing models. Manufacturers
typically roll out new models in late summer and fall, and dealers need to make
room for incoming inventory. This often creates a great deal of price
flexibility. Though a shorter supply of outgoing models may limit your choice of
colors and options, manufacturers frequently offer additional sales incentives,
bringing their prices down even further.
Snag year-end savings. As the new calendar year approaches,
dealerships are trying to meet sales quotas that could reduce fees and taxes on
year-end inventory. Plus, salespeople are trying to meet sales goals that may
trigger holiday bonuses. On top of that, incoming newer models may be in greater
supply, making their pricing more flexible.
Watch the season. 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 summer
days ahead, more shoppers are looking for their next new car, which means
dealers don't need to offer quite as many discounts to entice buyers.