Buying a car is a big step that requires a lot of consideration and planning. You’ve probably done your research around models and safety features, but have you considered the best time to buy a car? If you visit the dealership when they are extra motivated to make a sale, you could save a substantial amount of money. Read on to learn the best time to buy a car so you can drive off the lot with extra savings in your pocket.   

When Is the Best Time to Buy a New Car?

If you’re buying a new car, timing your purchase correctly can help you cut costs. Consider visiting the dealership during the following times to secure a great deal.  

Early in the Week

If you’re looking for a bargain, buying a car early in the week, ideally on a Monday or Tuesday, is your best bet. Dealerships are usually quiet on these days, as most customers do their shopping over the weekend and return to work on Monday. When the dealership is slow, representatives have more time to help you negotiate a good deal. However, if your dealership is closed on Sunday, avoid going on Monday and stop by later in the week when there are fewer people.  

End of the Model Year

If you’ve decided to buy an old model, waiting until the new model is on the horizon can help you save money. Manufacturers typically release new models in the fall, making it a good time to shop discounted vehicles before they’re replaced. Some dealerships even offer extra incentives to customers shopping for old models. There are exceptions to the rule—sometimes new vehicles are released as early as March. If you see the newest model being reviewed in the media, that’s a good sign that it’s about to debut. Remember to research incoming models before purchasing an older one, just in case the new model is cheaper.   

End of the Calendar Year

Most representatives discount vehicles at the end of the year to hit their yearly sales quotas. Representatives are eager to sell from October to December and might offer you a great price or bonus incentives when you stop by.  

When is the best time to buy a car - person handing off keys

End of the Month

Just like sales representatives have yearly quotas, they also have monthly quotas. While shopping at the end of the year and month can result in the most savings, if you need a car before the fall, you can still secure a deal by shopping at the end of one of the summer months. If your salesperson hasn’t hit their quota for the month, they’ll likely offer you a good deal on a vehicle. If you need a car quickly, test drive the car at the beginning of the month and close the deal at the end. Some offers are good for a few days into the next month if you need time to deliberate.  

Holiday Weekends

If you have a three-day weekend on your calendar, you might want to pencil in a trip to the dealership. Most stores have big sales over holiday weekends, which means bigger savings but also bigger crowds. If you want to save time, test drive the car during the week and close the deal over the holiday weekend. Going the day after a long weekend might yield the same savings if the deals haven’t expired.  

Black Friday 

Black Friday deals used to last one day, but now some dealerships dedicate a week or even a whole month to Black Friday events. Most dealerships will offer hefty discounts on their vehicles, especially older models, during Black Friday. They also discount cars because Black Friday marks the end of the model year. Doing a little groundwork, like test-driving some vehicles before Black Friday, can make shopping on the big day a lot smoother.  

When Is the Best Time to Buy a Used Car?

If you’re in the market for a used car, we recommend shopping during the end of the year for the biggest selection at discounted prices. The new car buying season peaks from October to December, meaning that an influx of just-traded-in used cars is available at that time. You can also save money while shopping at the end of the year when representatives are trying to hit their yearly quotas.    

Don’t forget to secure insurance for your new ride before you hit the road. If you’re looking for affordable coverage, The General has a policy for you. Everyone is welcome at The General, even drivers with imperfect records and credit scores. Want to learn more? Read some of our five-star reviews or explore more car buying tips on our blog.