When is the Best Time to Buy a Car

When is the Best Time to Buy a Car

Buy a Car

Are you looking to buy a new car in the near year? Then you’ll probably want to get the best possible deal. 

The price you pay for a car is determined by a whole range of factors. What condition is the car in? What features does it offer? What extra assurances are being bundled alongside the product itself, and how are you going to be paying?

We might consider the location of the vehicle, which often makes a big difference to the price. Be prepared to travel. If you’re in the Midlands, for example, you might consider car dealers in Cannock.

Among the more overlooked factors is the time of year. Let’s consider the surprising impact that this variable can have.

Timing is Everything

It might seem slightly strange that the time of year should matter to those selling a car. But the fact is that price is a consequence of supply and demand. When demand for new vehicles slumps, the seller is motivated to reduce their prices to get rid of existing stock.

This applies especially in situations where the number plates are about to change. If there are still cars sitting in the dealership showroom with the old plates on the front, then these might have to be discounted – because they will be inherently less valuable than those bearing the new plates.

For the same reason, you’ll have greater leverage to negotiate discounts on these vehicles when you know that the new releases are imminent.

The seller might also be motivated by other factors. What if there’s a quota to meet for a given time frame, like a month, or a quarter? By looking to buy at the end of this period, you present the dealership with the opportunity to bump up its figures.

Best Time to Buy New

So, when is the best time to buy a new car?

For the reasons we’ve just discussed, it’s March and September. The change in number plates brings around a spike in sales – and if you find a car on the older plates, it will be cheaper. Generally speaking, dealerships also tend to offer more aggressive discounts at this time of year.

New models are often launched during this period, too. If you want the latest version of a given vehicle, you’ll need to put in your pre-order several weeks before this period. 

If you’re looking for an end-of-quarter discount, the months to look for are March, June, September and December. At the very end of the year, the discounts can be particularly heavy.

Best Time to Buy Used

So, how does this apply in the used market? Well, the trends in the new market tend to have knock-on effects for those in the used market. When motorists buy a new vehicle, they often sell (or trade in) their old one. This pushes up supply, which pushes down prices. Thus, March and September (or slightly after, in April and October) present the best bargains.