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The Best (and worst) Times to Buy a Car in 2017

last updated October 25, 2017 by

It is a well-known fact of car shopping that certain times are better to shop for cars than others.  When you go to a dealership at the right time, you can take advantage of year end deals, monthly clearances, and a host of other incentives that salespeople are trying to meet.  Going into the dealership at the wrong time can lead to paying thousands of dollars more than everyone else.

Early Birds Get… Bad Deals

If you like to beat the crowds, you might try to go to a dealership during the early morning.  However, this is the worst time to go into a dealership, because there is little pressure on the salespeople to make a deal right at the beginning of the day.

When you start to get later into the day, salespeople are more eager to make deals because they want to make their quotas before they leave for the day.  Making an offer right before closing hours also reduces the amount of negotiation that dealers can do, and they don’t want to tell you to come back the next day because you could always get cold feet.

Always Shop at the End of the Month

Basically, dealerships are under an enormous amount of pressure when it gets to the end of the month.  Many different manufacturers offer incentives if dealers meet different sales numbers, and individual salespeople are paid based on their sales for any given month.  By shopping for a car at the end of the month, you are turning the tables on the salespeople, and you are forcing them to compete for yourbusiness by giving you the best possible deals.

Year-End Savings

Just like at the end of the month, dealers get nervous at the end of the year.  Not only do dealerships have to meet their goals for the fiscal year, but car manufacturers are also under pressure to sell more cars for their shareholders.  This means you can usually get incentives both from the dealerships and from the manufacturers, and you can walk away with great financing terms and a good deal on a car.  Conversely, the beginning of the year is the worst time to shop for a car.  The 2017 models are just now coming out, and you can expect that dealers will be hesitant to budge on their prices for quite some time.

Seasonal Discounts

Believe it or not, different styles of car go on sale at different time.  According to TrueCar, one of the biggest car intelligence companies, SUVs are usually cheapest in the summer, while convertibles are usually on sale during the winter.  This makes since, since people are not always looking to buy a summer-weather car when it might be snowing outside.