Buying a used car is always a cheaper alternative to buying a new car. While buying a new car means you’re buying a vehicle no one has ever used, it comes with a higher price tag, which is not so with a used car.
Buying a used car comes with the benefit of buying at a lower price, but the common question is, when is the best time of the year to buy a used car?
In a few words, studies show that January, February, and December are the best months of the year to buy a used car. Also, buying a used car in late fall and early winter has proven to be a good investment.
The common reason behind these times of the year to buy a used car is that dealers want to get rid of outgoing model year vehicles to welcome new model year inventory. Studies also show fewer buyers are available during these times that dealers are ready to bit their prices low to drive sales.
Best Times of the Year to Buy a Used Car
Here is a list of best times of the year to purchase your next used vehicle:
According to a study conducted by iSeeCars.com in 2016, taking advantage of certain holidays is a lucrative deal. These holidays include Black Friday, Remembrance Day, and Christmas. The only reason the study could give was that these holidays awaken dealers to their targets, so they want to increase sales by offering enticing pricing.
However, targeting holidays doesn’t mean every holiday is a green light to buy a used car. Some holidays are the worst times to buy a car. These holidays include holidays when families typically gather, such as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Easter Sunday. During these periods, dealers are understaffed than a regular day of the week that even private sellers are busy with family events than their business.
The point here is to target the periods of the year with a higher number of sellers. Having more sellers in the market means more cars to sell out, resulting in competitive prices with incentives.
Month, Quarter, and Year Endings
Dealerships always have their monthly, quarterly, and yearly targets. As these endings approach, they want to hit their sales goals to achieve their best month yet.
Salespeople want to make moves to boost sales during these periods, offering buyers mouth-watering deals. The end of the year is even the best time of the year to get a used car. Besides getting a lower price on the car, you get a better deal on the car loan with an extended warranty and other extras.
Invest During Off-Season
Off- seasons are also an excellent time of the year to purchase a used car. This is because owners want to sell out their vehicles to get a new type in preparation for the coming season. For example, if you’re looking to buy convertibles in the United States, you can focus on winter as demand for these vehicles is usually on the low during this time.
The winter is a good time of the year to purchase a used car. During this time, nobody is willing to be out there test-driving a vehicle, so the demand for used vehicles is usually low in the winter months. On the other hand, the demand for used vehicles goes up during the spring, resulting in higher prices.
The New Year’s holiday is a perfect time to buy a used car as it falls within holidays, it’s winter, and it’s year-end.
When planning to buy a used car, auto shows are always a great target. An auto show is when manufacturers and dealers promote new cars. During this time, more people want to buy new vehicles and sell old ones.
Auto shows have a lasting effect on the market as buyers continue to visit dealers even weeks after seeing their desired vehicles on the auto show floor.
When New Models Come Out
The trend in the market is that owners start trading their old models when new models are released. Hence, a spike in sales usually arises during this period. If you have a specific car you want to purchase, it’s wise to wait until its new model is released. Since owners want the latest technology, many are ready to sell their outgoing models for new models.
Since many owners want to put their vehicles up for sale to buy new models, you’ll come across various cars that suit your choice, coupled with the advantage of price competition in the market, resulting in lower prices.
However, this shouldn’t go without saying you must prepare for the purchase by saving enough money. Though cars will be cheap during these times of the year, many of them are almost new cars with decent mileage.
Rounding it up, buying a used car is a great investment for a few reasons. While it helps save money short-term, you can resell it to make some profit even after using it.
With the right guide on when to buy a used car, it’s easier and cheaper to find a decent car for yourself. The best time to buy a car is during holidays except those when families gather. You can also leverage the period of auto shows in your area to find a good used car.
However, note that buying a used car entails more than it sounds. The used car market in the United States is flooded with various models and trims from different owners. When planning to buy a used car, you’ll come across a variety of cars with different problems that will cost a lot to fix.
Hence, do your paperwork on the car you want to buy, and don’t buy with just visual inspection. Ensure the car fits into your budget and requirements and that you won’t spend much fixing it. For more on buying a used car, go through our dedicated guide on what to look for when buying a used car.