Money Saving 301
March 11, 2024

The Best Time to Buy a Car

There’s More Than Just One Best Time to Buy a Car

Happy Smiling Man Driving a CarThese days, car buying can be a long, painstaking, and expensive process. While the ability to shop for cars online has made buying a vehicle a bit easier, there's still a lot of fluidity in the auto industry when it comes to finding the best deal on a car purchase.  

The biggest question buyers usually ask is how to know when the best time to buy a car is. Unfortunately, the answer can vary according to the day, month, and year, and also depends upon which dealership or website you visit.

By limiting car shopping to a few key times throughout the year and paying attention to advertised deals, you'll have the best chance to save big on cars.  

Monday is the Best Day of the Week to Purchase a Car

The best day of the week to buy a car is generally Monday. Why? Well, because other people who could be in the market for a new car are likely at work. This means that a dealership's sales team will be super attentive toward anyone who comes in on Monday to buy a car, which will make the process faster and easier. You can possibly receive a better deal in the process too.

At the very least, dealers could be in a good mood from a weekend of lucrative car sales and might be more inclined to spend more time with their clients or throw in some extras to entice you to purchase, like free oil changes or car washes, and most importantly – a potential lower loan amount!

May is the Best Month to Buy a Car

What’s the best month to buy a car? Some months are better than others when looking to buy a car. May is a great month for buying a car because it marks the start of summer – the busiest buying season for auto dealers. The beginning to middle of May is also when Memorial Day sales will start to be advertised, and you can often take advantage of this sale well before the holiday actually arrives.

The End of the Calendar Year Offers Many New Car Deals

Although May is a great month for buying a car, additional months that offer the best car deals include October, November, and December. Car dealerships set up sales quotas that they usually separate by year, month, and quarter. As the year comes to an end, a dealership will typically focus more on its annual sales goal. If it's coming up short of the goal, then the dealership will start advertising more tempting offers to make its sales quota.

Dealerships also want to display the newest cars. If they still have old models to offload, then they'll be more likely to make you a deal to get one off the lot and into your garage to make room for the newest (and most expensive) vehicles.

Keep in mind that getting a good deal means that you'll more than likely have to choose a car that's available from the dealership's current inventory. You may not be able to select your favorite color or get all the options you want, so it's best to be flexible in your expectations.  

If you can't wait until the end of the year to get a car, then visit car dealerships at the end of the month or quarter. This is when you might be able to take advantage of a bonus opportunity on the purchase price or an additional incentive.

Buy During the Holidays

All those holiday-themed commercials encouraging you to buy a car aren't false advertisements – you can, indeed, save big on cars during the holidays. The sales offered by car dealerships often feature large discounts when compared to what you would pay during other times of the year.

The best holidays for car purchases are:

  • Presidents Day
  • Memorial Day
  • The Fourth of July
  • Labor Day
  • Black Friday
  • New Year’s Eve

If you can make it work, New Year's Eve could be one of the best holidays for purchasing a new car. Salespeople who are close to making their sales goals and are trying to earn a nice holiday bonus may be especially willing to give you a good deal.

Buy at the End of a Model Year

Along with buying a car at the end of the calendar year, keep an eye on when vehicle models reach the end of their model year. This is the time when car companies start bringing out new versions of their vehicles. And, when the new versions roll out, dealers want to offload last year's models as soon as possible, which means offering discounts and other incentives on the rest of the inventory they have on an older model.

Consider Your Personal Finances & Credit Score

Of course, ultimately the best time to buy a car is when your finances allow for it. That means creating a budget to figure out how much you can afford to spend on a car down payment as well as on the monthly payments.

Sometimes a dealership will offer zero-percent financing to qualified buyers who have a good credit score. To check your credit score for free, log in to your (or create a new) Pocket360® account. Check your credit score to see if yours qualifies you for the best terms and rates. Next, search for installment loans online. Depending on your credit score, even those with bad credit may be eligible for installment loans.

Car Buying FAQ

Why is it so hard to buy a car right now?

There are a variety of factors that may lend to the increasing difficulty of buying a new car – higher interest rates, inflation, and availability. It’s easier to find some models and get a good deal on your purchase, but at the same time, there are some models that are scarce and might require paying over the asking price. Make sure to do your research and try to be a bit flexible.

Is there going to be a good time to buy a car?

Many people have postponed purchasing a new car as prices and availability have been an issue. Since the pandemic, however, the selection at dealerships has grown, meaning more deals will be available moving forward.

What is the cheapest month to buy a car?

Most car buying takes place in the summer. Even though June is the first official month of summer, May can feel like summer, and it marks the busy season at car dealerships. Memorial Day takes place in May, and dealerships start rolling out holiday deals even before Memorial Day weekend.

With a Check `n Go or Allied Cash Advance installment loan, you’ll automatically have free access to the TransUnion CreditView Dashboard® inside of P360. Availability restrictions apply as you must register for the service with TransUnion. Registration is not automatic in the P360 account you must confirm your registration with TransUnion through your P360 account.

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