We’ve all seen the commercials – on Christmas day, a wife opens her presents to find a shiny car key inside. She runs outside to discover a beautiful new vehicle sitting in the driveway with a bright red bow on it against a snowy background.
This may seem like a great gift for your significant other, but is it actually a wise financial decision to purchase a car around the holidays? Does it matter what time of year you buy a car? We’ve compiled some information to help you work through the pros and cons of shopping in different seasons and months.
If you were planning to surprise your significant other with their dream car this holiday season, you’re in luck. According to the data, the best month to buy a car is, in fact, December due to end-of-year sales and incentives. Shopping at the very end of December or the first day of January can save you upwards of 8% off the MSRP, according to TrueCar.com.
The end of the year also corresponds to the end of the yearly sales period, so many car dealerships and salespeople are eager to meet their sales goals. This may mean that they are willing to offer you packages with additional perks that include free oil changes, car washes, or discounts on accessories to seal the deal.
If you wait too long into January, though, discounts drop off by the end of the first week. If you want to shop the sales, be sure to plan ahead.
Shop End-of-Sales Periods
If you’re reading this at a time that is nowhere near December and you need a new car, don’t fret. Car discounts fluctuate throughout the year.
Car sales associates and dealerships often have sales goals to meet at the end of every month and the end of every quarter. Every three months marks the end of the quarter, so heading to the dealership near the end of March, June, and September can also help you find great deals.
If you can’t wait until the next end-of-quarter, the end of the month is the next best thing. There are always targets to hit in sales, and the month-end typically marks a push to get in sales to hit targets during the last remaining days.
Shop End-of-Model Year Sales
What if it’s the middle of the month, but it’s the only time you have available to go car shopping?
Shopping near the end of the model year can get you discounts on outgoing car models. In the fall, new models of cars debut on the market, making last years’ vehicles old news and ripe for discounts. Many car dealerships will be eager to get old models off the lot to make room for the incoming ones. This means you can access great discounts on MSRP, low APR financing, and great incentives for helping take those vehicles off the dealers’ hands.
Shop Holiday Weekends
Memorial Day, Fourth-of-July, Labor Day, and other three-day weekends often bring with them various deals on cars. If you’re thinking of purchasing a car and a holiday weekend is coming up, holding off on closing until that weekend may allow you to take advantage of perks and significant savings.
Don’t Succumb To The Pressure
If the end of December is nearing, or the end of the sales quarter, you may feel stressed to commit and purchase a vehicle to obtain the best deal. This can lead to potentially ending up with a car that may not be your perfect fit.
However, the great thing about shopping for a car is that there will always be a new target for the salespeople to hit. As we discussed, throughout the year, car discounts fluctuate, meaning there’s always an upcoming opportunity to optimize your discount.
To avoid this pressure, it’s a good idea to start shopping before your ideal purchase time.
For example, if you know you’d like to close a deal on a car at the end of December, start test driving, applying for loans, and comparing makes and models early on in the month. Give yourself ample time to research your options, so you don’t end up swayed by the incentives and discounts.
Prepare For Your Purchase
No matter what sales, incentives, or cash-back options are being offered, one of the most consistent ways you can get a good deal on a car is to start shopping early and shop for a car loan before you head to the dealer.
Finding out the best APR you can obtain on your ideal loan and getting pre-approved for a few loans not only helps you stay grounded amidst the shiny bows, sales signs, and advertisements but gives you even more bargaining power when it comes time to purchase.
You can start by checking out the competitive auto loans that Baton Rouge Telco offers below.