Buying a car should be taken seriously and with care, especially as they are not cheap to buy or lease. Whether you go through car dealers or shop online with used car sites, finding the right time to buy is as important as knowing the car type you want.
There is an ideal time to buy a new or used car, which is helpful to know when shopping for one. When is the best time to buy a car? Are there peak times you should avoid and slower times in the week or during the year that are best for getting a bargain?
This guide is your treasure trove of information when buying a car. Use this guide to refresh your knowledge on when to buy. We want to make sure you get the best value for your money!
1. Look for car deals at the end of each quarter
Despite your hunt for a new or used car, approach car dealers at the end of each quarter. There will be dealers with quarterly sales targets that need to be reached, and as they get closer to them, they’ll be more likely to offer a cheap deal to help meet that target.
Car prices will have more wiggle room at the end of each quarter, so be brave when asking for a discount.
2. Look to buy after the release of new plates
There will be a point where new plates will be released, which means the previous-plate cars will be discounted even if they’re fairly new cars. They may also have excess stock of some models they’ll want to get rid of sooner rather than later.
As car buyers, you’re always in a good position of power, so take advantage of it!
3. Purchase a vehicle on a Friday
Pop into the showroom or see the car on a Friday when purchasing a vehicle. This time of the week tends to be the quietest for purchasing a new car, and so you’ll likely get staff members that are more attentive to you and offer good deals to meet their targets that have been set.
Car shopping is a strategic effort that you’ll need to play right to get the most out of your money.
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4. Find discounts between October to December
Discounts are always available – remember that! Whether you’re shopping with car dealers in person or looking online for a used car from a private seller. There will always be an opportunity for your money to go further, and never be embarrassed to ask for a discount.
If you’re looking to buy a car any time towards the end of the year, the best time to buy a car is between October and December. Why? Discounts! Many of these car dealerships will be looking to improve their sales figures, and discounts will bring in the customers.
They’ll also have newer models coming in for the New Year, so it’s beneficial for their car sales to get rid of old stock as quickly as possible.
5. Check for deals between Christmas & New Year
There are certain times of the year when there are going to be more considerable savings to be made. This is usually around Christmas and the New Year. The best time to buy is often around the holiday and seasonal times of the year due to the Christmas spirit that some businesses and individuals will have for others.
For car sales, it’s often a great time to get great bargains, especially as dealerships are likely to be quieter.
6. Buy an old model when the new one launches
If you don’t need a brand new car, you have a bit more flexibility in what models will be available.
A good way of taking advantage of the deals that may be available would be to shop for the cars that become ‘old’ once a new model launches.
7. The last day or two of the month
The best day of the month to shop for cars will be the last day or two of the month. This is when the dealership will do everything to finalise new car deals.
Take advantage of the car dealer’s desperation! They wouldn’t think twice about doing the same to you when it comes to getting the most money out of a sale!
8. Buy at the release of facelifted models
For many car models, the manufacturer will tend to release a line of ‘facelifted’ models. This could be a change to the design or the internal features that are a step up from the previous advertised model.
That said, make the most of these models that have become less desirable due to the newer releases. They might not even be that older in comparison, but they will be much cheaper as a result.
9. Buy an off-road vehicle in the summer
These cars will become much cheaper for off-road vehicles when the weather is good. For the UK, that’s primarily in the summer, but you may find pockets of the year when the sun is shining; therefore, this type of vehicle is a little cheaper.
10. Looking for a used convertible?
Convertibles are one of the most expensive, regardless of whether they’re a new or used car. During the summer months, they are significantly more expensive due to the warmer weather, making a soft-top roof more appealing for drivers.
If you’re after a used convertible, it’s best to shop during winter. It sounds counterproductive, as you’ll want to use them most in the summer. However, car prices will be a lot cheaper during this time of the year because the demand is lower.
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When is the best time to buy a brand new car?
For brand new cars, the best time of year to buy is during October, November and December. These are your safest bets for profitable months as car buyers.
For a new car, these dealerships will likely have a few instances in their sales quotas that they’ve not reached fully towards the end of the year. So during this time, they’ll want to close the margins by selling new and used cars at a cheaper rate.
When is the best time to buy a used car?
September and March tend to be the best for buying a used car. This is due to the new number plate formats being released and the old ones becoming less desirable. This is the best time to buy a vehicle that’s used!
What is the cheapest month to buy a vehicle at car dealerships?
The cheapest months to buy a car from the car dealerships specifically would be September and March. This is often the best time for used cars as many new plates tend to be introduced at this point.
For other times of the year, October, November and December are good times, especially if you’re looking for both new and used car options.
Finding the best time is about knowing when new stock has come in, and what car makes and models the dealer is trying to get rid of.
What’s the best day of the week to buy a car?
The best day of the week to buy a car is Monday. Mondays aren’t always the best for most working, but if you can get it off work, this will hopefully save you some money on your next car.
Why should I not buy a car on a Saturday?
Buying a car on a Saturday is the wrong move because it is one of the most popular days out of the week to buy a car. It’s the weekend, so most people tend to be free. It’s also when car deals will be more fixed and are less likely to budge on what they’re offering.
Better times of the year to approach are holiday weekends, the end of the year, or shopping events like Black Friday.
Do you pay VAT on pre-registered cars?
For pre-registered cars, the car has been bought by the dealership, which means the VAT is reclaimed if the vehicle is sold within 12 months. According to the ‘stock-in-trade‘ rule, the VAT is charged when the car buyer purchases the vehicle.
For used cars, you shouldn’t need to pay VAT on the vehicle.
Who knew that buying a car had so many secret tips and tricks to the trade? When buying a car, refer to these top tips that will hopefully help you save some money on a new vehicle. The best time to buy a car will depend on the year and what type of car you’re after.