It’s been said on more than one occasion that the best time to buy a used car is before you really need one. In other words, if you are considering the purchase of a used car in the near future, then begin your planning now. Do your research and shop for a car that will meet your needs when you have the time. Don’t let the old car fall apart and then rush into a purchase. That’s how you end up with a bad deal, a bum car and a big waste of money.
Planning when to purchase can save money in many ways. There are actually better times of the year to buy a used car than others. There is a right day, month, and even season to buy a used car. Knowing when the right time is can help you get the most car for your money. When that day arrives the potential savings could add up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars off the list price and possibly even a better interest rate. Either-or will save you money over the life of the loan. By using the calendar to your benefit, you’ll find deep dealer discounts and sales incentives that are in your favor.
To help with your planning, here are some of the best times to buy a used car:
Quotas & Incentives
First, it’s no surprise that every car dealer and car salesperson has to strive to reach quotas—weekly, monthly, quarterly, and year-end. Going in on the last day of the month or quarter is a very good way to ensure that you will get a great deal. The salespeople have incentives to meet that are tied to their compensation. That compensation isn’t simply about selling a car on the last day of the month or quarter, but the total number of cars sold during that period. The more cars sold the larger bonus for the salespeople. That incentive means there is a very good chance that you will drive off the lot with a car that you want and one that fits your budget. Besides the discount on the price, you may receive a better interest rate on the loan and maybe a few extras like an extended warranty.
The time of year you purchase your used car also can save you money. As the season shifts from summer to fall, so do the prices on used cars. The further into the year we go the demand for buying cars decreases and prices begin to drop. In fact, it’s a predictable price cycle. From the end of August through the first week of January, the average price of cars drops by 5%.
After Labor Day Weekend the prices start to fall and continue on a downward trend into early January when the prices begin to rise again. If you can plan your purchase at or around December 31, you will probably get one of the better deals of the year. If you can wait until January 1, technically, that used car becomes a year older and its worth decreases as much and you just might get an even better deal.
Of course, planning a purchase around New Year’s Eve or Day could be problematic if, even with the best planning, you might not be able to hold out that long. Car shopping around the holiday weekends throughout the fall can also result in big savings. Holiday weekends are excellent times for used car shopping. You can shop over Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), and even Christmas Eve. Chances are you will find a good deal on a used car that will save you money.
Weather Makes a Difference
One last tip worth mentioning is to shop when the weather is nice and sunny. Rainy days tend to hide dents, dings, and scratches that you may have to fix later on at your expense. If it looks like rain on the last day of the month, go shopping a day or two before but hold off from purchasing until the 30th.
Though buying a used car might not be the best way to use your time, there are better times to buy used cars than other times. Planning the purchase can help you seal a deal in your favor. Plan that purchase for the right day and time of year and you will get the best deal on a used car. If you’re in the greater Phoenix area and looking for a quality used car check out our extensive inventory and contact us today!