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The Worst Times of the Year to Buy a Car

last updated January 24, 2015 by

Buying a car is a huge decision. There are a lot of questions to be answered when buying a car including, the type of car, whether you purchase new or used, whether you lease, finance, or pay in cash, and which features you want.

Another big decision to make when purchasing a car is when to buy. Continue reading for a list of three of the worst times to buy a car.

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Spring

Spring may not be the best time to buy a car as many people have more money in their pockets from tax returns. With more people in the market for a new car, dealerships don’t have to offer as many discounts and incentives this time of year.

Rather than spring, a better time to buy is the winter months, especially the end of the year. Many dealerships need to off-load their inventory to make room for new models and dealerships and sales people are eager to meet quotas. Because of this, dealerships often offer year-end sales, making this a perfect time to buy a car.

If you cannot wait until the end of the year, you may get a better deal by buying at the end of the month or end of the quarter. Also, try shopping on a slow day. Early in the week, or on a rainy day are often good shopping days.

You may also be able to take advantage of outgoing model sales after the dealership brings in the new model year vehicles in the late summer or early fall.

 

When your credit or bank account balance is low

Having excellent credit gives the buyer much more negotiating power. Having a large down payment is also a huge help. It is ideal to have a down payment amount that equals at least 20% of the price of the car.

Surprisingly, more often than not, the shoppers that go into dealerships with bad credit are also the same shoppers that do not have a sufficient down payment.

Many consumers decide to buy a car based on their finances in the near future. Maybe they recently paid off several debts so their credit should be improving or they are getting a new job with a higher salary. Consumers should wait until there financial situation has actually improved or buy based on their current finances. Buying when your credit or income is low can increase your monthly payments or jeopardize approval all together.

 

On impulse

Shoppers who buy on impulse, generally don’t allow themselves enough time to completely think through the purchase.

Researching before buying a car is important, knowing what you want and how much you can spend before hitting the dealership. Online research has made car shopping easier and a very important part of the buying process.

With internet car shopping so simple these days, the average person visits only 1.6 dealerships before buying a car. That is a lot less in comparison to 10 years ago when the average person visited 5 dealerships.

Another benefit of online shopping, once a consumer picks out their car preference online, he or she can call the dealership saying, “I wanted X car for Y price.” The dealership may even deliver the vehicle to the consumers’ home, completely eliminating the need to visit the dealership at all.