Is the End of the Year the Best Time to Buy a Car?

Kristina Kraus
Greater Nevada Credit Union
Some say the end of the year is the best time for car shopping, while others say that it doesn’t matter. I’m here to say that both statements are true.

Yes, you can get a good car deal year round and yes, one of those times is at the end of the year. So what’s the trick? Timing is everything when it comes to buying a new car.  Keep these car shopping guidelines in mind and you’ll be on your way to getting a deal that works in your favor.

The Waiting Game

The end of the year is a good time to buy since dealerships want to meet their annual sales goals. Same goes for the sales people, who may also have an additional holiday incentive, so they are eager to make a deal at the end of the year.

If you can’t or don’t want to wait until the end of the year, waiting to the end of the month can work in your favor, too.  Sales people have goals they need to meet all year round; they don’t just wait until the end of the year to sell. Dealerships also commonly make short-term goals that are monthly.

Going in at the end of the day is also a good time. Although you may be tired from a day at work, so is the salesman. If you have done your homework on the car and you plan to buy, the salesman will be eager to cut a deal that is in your favor because he/she wants to go home too. If they can tell you are serious about buying then they will do what it takes to close you that day.

One of the busiest times of year for a dealership is spring. Holiday expenses have been recovered and tax refunds are rolling in so shoppers tend to have a little bit more spending money for themselves.  You may want to avoid the weekend crowds this time of year and go in during a slower time mid week.

As Long As It’s Brand New

Depending on what you want, buying a new car over late summer or early fall can get you a good deal. During this time, dealerships are starting to get the new-model year vehicles. If you don’t necessarily have to have the latest model and you just want brand new, you’ll be able to get that current year model at a lower cost. It’s a win for you and for the dealer, who wants to make room for the new models.

No Haggle Pricing

Sometimes the whole car shopping thing just becomes overwhelming. Luckily, there are financial institutions that will go the extra mile and help you with getting both a great loan and a great deal. Greater Nevada for example offers Auto Premier, a program that refers you to a dealer that has agreed to offer special member pricing for new vehicles, and special member incentives on pre-owned vehicles. Some dealers even throw in extra perks.

Whether you plan to buy a car today, tomorrow or in six months, remember that car shopping should be fun. As long as you do your homework on both the car, and the dealer, you should be able to get a satisfying deal. 
12/12/14