When Is the Best Time to Buy a Car? A Guide

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Research shows that 78% of Canadians feel that it is impossible not to own a car. What’s more, is that 49% of Canadians say that they would have to look for better pay if they couldn’t afford a car.

If you are currently looking to buy a car, you are likely to have put hours of research into it. The chances are that your focus area is the model and price of the car. However, knowing the best time to buy a car could translate into getting a good deal.

The problem is that most people don’t have a clue about the best time to buy a car. They walk into the car dealership and pay a premium price for a car at the expense of waiting for a better deal.

When Is the Best Time to Buy a Car?

If you not only want to buy a car but also get the best deal possible, here is the breakdown of the best times of the year to buy a car.

Quarterly Sales Quotas

Car dealerships have time-bound targets. They aspire to sell a certain number of units within a particular period. These targets are divided into quarterly sales quotas.

There are four sales quotas in a year. Most car dealerships classify them as follows;

  • 1st Quota-January to end of March
  • 2nd Quota-April to end of June
  • 3rd Quota-July to end of September
  • 4th Quota to end of December

At the beginning of each quota, car sales representatives are not under any pressure to meet their targets. As a result, they will be trying to squeeze the maximum money out of you. Hence, this isn’t the best time for you to buy a car.

Hold onto your money until the last days of a sales quota. At this time, most sales representatives are yet to hit their quarterly targets. As a result, they will be open-minded during a negotiation.

For instance, if you buy a car on December 31st, you are likely to nail the best deal of the year. Car dealership sales agents will be eager to close that deal and meet their annual target.

End of Year Holidays

The end of year holidays is also an ideal time to buy a car. Like other businesses, car dealerships have slow-moving units that have been collecting dust for a while. It makes perfect sense for them to stage end-of-year sales offers to move these units.

Usually, they will use holidays such as New Year’s and Christmas Eve to attract customers. If you go to the dealership on such days, you might get a good car that’s way below your budget.

Beginning of the Year When Buying Used Car

Car dealerships try to sell as many new cars as they can as the year ends. On the other hand, they’ll be looking to sell a lot of used cars at the beginning of the year.

Most car owners tend to trade in their used cars in January and February.  Hence, car dealerships have more inventory of second-hand automobiles. For this reason, they will be trying to sell these units as first as they can.

If you are looking for a used car that is in pristine condition, hold onto your money until the first months of the year for the best deals.

Long Weekends and Major Holidays

You don’t have to wait until the end of the year to get a great car deal. Long weekends and major holidays also present the perfect opportunity for the best car deals.

The holidays that you should target include Black Friday, Labor Day, Canada Day, Thanksgiving, and so on. Car dealerships prefer such days because most people are off work.

The logic behind it is that if you are always held up at work, you wait for such holidays to do things that matter to you. That is why car dealerships target such days, they know people want more time when making huge purchases.

Most importantly, car dealers want to sell as many units as possible during long weekends and major holidays. As a result, they will offer enticing car deals.

Early in the Week

When buying a car, you want the sales agent to pay attention to the negotiation. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen when the car dealership is overflowing with customers. The weekends will not favour you.

Instead, go to the dealership on Monday or Tuesday. You will be among the few people asking questions and requesting test drives.

During these days, car dealers will be looking to end the drought of a potentially slow week. They will be keener to finding a common ground with you. Studies show that you can save up to 0.61 % when buying a car on Monday.

If you need a car loan, financial institutions are usually open on weekdays. They could process it within the least time possible to facilitate the purchase. Besides that, most banks will have low traffic on Mondays and Tuesdays.

When the Manufacturer Discontinues a Particular Model

Car manufacturers always announce when they intend to discontinue the manufacturing of a particular car model. If you like the outgoing model, that is the best time to get a bargain on it. Part of this is because dealerships will be looking to clear the remaining stock of the outgoing model.

When a manufacturer discontinues a specific model, it doesn’t mean the car will not offer great service to you. For example, the current car trends show that consumers are leaning more towards SUVs. With the surging demand for SUVs, some manufacturers are replacing sedans with crossover SUVs.

When there are Incentives and Financing Deals

Sometimes, auto dealers want to push sales of a particular vehicle model. They may partner with financial institutions to offer some type of deal on financing. During such arrangements, consumers will have access to cash-backs, low monthly installments, and so on.

If the car with incentives is practical for you, this is the best time to buy a vehicle. The best part is that you can save thousands of dollars in such deals.

The Worst Time to Buy Car

While there are plenty of the best times to buy a car, there are also some bad times to purchase a vehicle. It doesn’t mean that you will get a raw deal on such days, but you might pay a premium price.

During the Launch of a New Type of Car

When a car manufacturer rolls out a new model, you will pay top dollar for it. The smart approach would be to wait until the surrounding hype goes down. As this happens, the price of the car will also settle down.

In most cases, a new model isn’t worth the money. Its price points change drastically in just over a few months.

After the Launch of a New Model

You don’t want to buy a newly revamped model of an existing car version. The automakers may have added a few features to the old model so that they can sell at higher prices. What’s more, is that the difference between the new version and the old version could be negligible.

Sometimes if you look at a new version of a particular vehicle, it is a downgrade. For example, maybe the older model was tougher and more long-lasting. On the flip side, the new model could offer more tech at the expense of durability and reliability.

In some cases, a new model is difficult to maintain. Maybe auto repair shops are yet to figure out how to repair various components for the new car model. It means that you will pay a premium price for it and incur more costs in maintenance.

As the new model stays longer in the market, parts become more readily available. In addition to that, car dealerships reduce their asking price.

Automakers watch how a particular model is performing during its first days in the market. If the sales are not what they envisioned, they lower the prices. Moreover, you will not be happy if you buy a new car for 40, 000 dollars, only for the dealer to sell it for 35,000 dollars 6 months later.

At the Beginning of the New Month

Buying a car at the start of a new month could also be a bad idea. The sales representatives at your local dealership probably have a new sales target as the month begins. They are not under immense pressure to close a deal with minimum profit margins.

The best approach is to wait until the last days of the month when the sales agents are pushing to hit their targets.

How to Buy a Car

There are several approaches to buying a car. First off, you could pay cash. Apart from that, you could lease to buy or apply for financing.

The only challenge with loans is that financial institutions have reservations. For instance, they will not approve you for a car loan if you have a poor credit score.

Choose the Best Time to Buy a Car and Get Quick Loan Approvals

Your car buy acquisition journey could be challenging, but it should not be impossible. Choosing the best time to buy a car will reduce the financial burden that comes with it. Besides that, a poor credit score should not stand between you and your dream to own or upgrade your car.

We are a large network that brings together leading institutions across Canada. We assist people like you to get the credit they deserve to acquire an asset. Apply today for fast car loan approvals.

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