The Best Times to Buy a Used Car: Tips from a Dealer

January 18th, 2023 by

When is the Best Time to Buy a Used Car?

best time to buy a car

Buying a car can be stressful, even under the best circumstances — especially for people who might not consider themselves automobile experts or particularly skilled in negotiation. However, cars are often necessary purchases to get to and from school, work, or other activities; they provide relative freedom to travel, and for many Americans, cars can act as an extension of the self.

Cars can also be expensive, especially when looking at newer and luxury models. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all cars are prohibitively expensive. On the contrary, plenty of pre-owned vehicles are available on the market, and there are also several tips you can utilize to get a better deal when purchasing a car.

Continue reading our blog to learn a few tips to make the car-buying process seem more manageable.

When Should I Buy a Car?

Car dealerships operate like virtually any other business in a capitalist marketplace. Dealerships buy cars from manufacturers and individual sellers, and then sales personnel at the dealers turn around and sell those cars to their customers. If every vehicle on a dealership lot is prohibitively expensive, they aren’t going to be able to sell many cars, and the dealer will end up losing money. Because of this, there are frequent sales “events” that vehicle dealers promote year-round that helps entice buyers. But with so many promotions and options available, how can we know when the best time to buy a car is?

The short answer is: it depends. There are several contributing factors that potential car buyers should be aware of before embarking on their car-buying journey.

First and foremost, it helps to have a firm idea about the type of car you want to purchase. If you aren’t sure, consider making a wish list of various features and capabilities and researching to find a vehicle that suits your needs. You may want to ask yourself: Do you want a new car or a pre-owned one? Are you looking for a compact sedan or a spacious sport utility vehicle? All-wheel drive or two-wheel drive? There are so many distinguishing features that narrowing down your choices is imperative.

Also, how does your budget look? If you’re a recent lottery jackpot winner, the best time to buy a car is right now. For the rest of us, however, it helps if good deals and sales promotions are happening to make life a little easier on the wallet. Dealerships frequently run promotional sales throughout the year around holidays, and they also have monthly, quarterly, and yearly incentives to help move vehicles off of their lots. Salespeople are generally more likely to offer you a deal towards the end of the month, quarter, or year, to help satisfy their sales quota.

Related: 5 Tips for Buying a New Car From a Dealer

Best Months to Buy a New Vehicle

The best time to buy a car may also depend on the month. According to John M. Vincent, Senior Automotive Reporter for U.S. News & World Report, a handful of months present ideal or close-to-ideal conditions for car buying: May, October, November, and December.

  • May: In many consumer markets, May ushers at the beginning of “buying season,” which typically ramps once winter’s bitter cold and dreariness have all melted away. Dealerships often have Memorial Day sales, and sales personnel, who maybe had a lackluster start to the year, are looking to improve their sales numbers and head into the second half of the calendar year on a solid note.
  • October: For car dealerships, October unveils next year’s brand-new models. For dealers who want to buy more of the newer models to be able to sell in the coming year, they need to expedite the pace at which they’re selling and moving the current models off the lot. Because of this, October can be a great time to buy a new car, especially if you’re looking for deals on the current, outgoing models.
  • November: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, the ‘beginning’ of the holiday season; for dealerships, November can pack a wallop. Deals may continue for the current year’s outgoing models, and to incentivize shoppers, dealers may also offer some of the best deals you’ll see all year.
  • December: The best time to buy a car for many people is at the end of the year. Dealerships are still looking to sell through their inventory of outgoing models, and it’s the sales team’s last chance to meet or exceed their sales quotas before the new year. Additionally, to take advantage of year-end tax write-offs, many dealerships are prepared to offer good deals on leases, better financing, and potentially even cash-back deals.

Learn More: 6 Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car

Buy a Used Vehicle at Battleground Kia

If you are looking to buy a pre-owned vehicle instead of a newer model, begin your search at Battleground Kia! Our experienced sales team would be happy to help you get into your new-to-you vehicle! Click the button below or visit our website to connect with a team member today!

Posted in Uncategorized