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When is the best time of the year to buy a car?

Is there ever a right time to buy a new car?

Well yes, timing is important when buying a car and knowing the right time can actually save you a fair bit of money.

If you’re buying from a private seller, there’s unlikely to be a good or bad time. Private sellers don’t have targets to meet, other than the price they want to achieve. If you’re buying this way, keep an eye on prices a few months before you actually buy – if they’re heading down, you may want to wait. Heading up, and it’s prudent to buy sooner.

But if you’re buying from a dealer then they are definitely more flexible on price which will be affected by supply/demand, targets/deadlines and seasons.

So what are the best times to buy a new or used car?

Here are some points to consider:

1) Convertibles are most expensive during the summer months when everyone else is trying to buy one – so shop around in the winter when demand is low and dealers will be quiet.

2) Off-roaders are cheapest when the weather is good. So if you are looking to buy a 4×4 this year, then anytime from now and over the summer months is the best time.

There will be plenty of deals around and unless you are reading this blog (!) not many people will know that this is the case. Prices will start to rise in Autumn and Winter so if you can, start looking now!

3) If you can wait, buy at the end of each quarter.

It’s not uncommon knowledge that car dealers work to sales targets. They usually run on a monthly or quarterly basis, so shopping towards the end of the month – and especially towards the end of March, June, September and December – can see dealers being a bit more flexible and willing to offer discounts to get a sale across the line.

4) If you want to buy a car later in the year, aim to buy between October and December. These are particularly good months as many dealers experience a slump in trade when people are focusing on Christmas spending and not cars. They also want to clear the way for models arriving in the New Year.

5) The best time of the month to buy in is the last day or two, as the dealership will do everything they can to complete a sale and make their monthly figures look good.

So even better if you can wait until the last day or two of the month, at the end of the quarter!

6) Go into the showroom during the week – avoid weekends. Dealerships are always quietest during the week – this means the staff will be more attentive and more likely to offer discounts in order to meet weekly targets.

7) Buy the previous generation car at the launch of the new one. The older version will drop in price and many dealers will be offering good deals in order to make room for new cars.

8) Look to buy after the release of new plates. The previous-plate cars will be discounted with the arrival of the new ones, or there may be an excess of new stock, or a run-out model, that allows leverage for a good deal.

9) Find out when a car is due for an update or replacement.

If you’re looking at a few different models, do some digging to find out when the current generation of each one was introduced, or if a new version or significant update is just around the corner. Manufacturers usually entirely replace a model roughly every seven years – as well as introducing a ‘facelift’ approximately half-way through its time on sale.

Some facelifts are more extensive than others and some are concerned more with visual changes than updating much under the metal. The possible savings are greater if a full replacement rather than just a facelift is imminent, but you should also be able to secure a discount on ‘pre-facelift’ version without much difficulty.

10) Take your time.

Buying the latest model as soon as it’s announced seems tempting, but there are reasons to be patient. Despite manufacturers’ best preparations, it’s not unheard of for the first few cars to come off a new production line to suffer from teething problems, which are then resolved after a few months. That said, it’s a good idea not to wait too long – buy a car within its first year on sale and you can be sure of getting the latest in-car entertainment and connectivity technology, as well as the most fuel-efficient engines available.
11) Keep an eye on the market. If new or used car sales are struggling then that can give you even more leverage against a dealer, as they’ll be working harder to complete sales.
Take note of these tips and do your own research. Don’t rush out and buy the first car from the first dealer because you’ll end up spending much more money than if you take your time and do your research.

We hope this has helped you.

If are looking to buy a new car and are wondering what you’ll get for selling your current car, click here and enter your details to get a free valuation. Wondering when is the best time to sell your car or even how to go about selling your car? Here is a quick article outlining your options and their pros and cons.


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