The Absolute Best Time to Buy a Car

Whether you’re planning your new car purchase in advance or you’re forced into a car purchase because your old car has died, you want to do your due diligence and know how to score the best deal on a new set of wheels. That leads to one question: When is the best time to buy a car? In this guide, we’ll share the best time to buy a car and the best month to buy a car to get maximum savings. Given that car prices have surged during the pandemic, you’ll want any savings you can get.

When is the Best Time to Buy a Car? | Metromile

Best time to buy a car throughout the year

When it comes to the best time to buy a car, there are some times throughout the year that are more advantageous for consumers than others. Why? Because many car dealerships and their salespeople have quotas to meet. They want to get rid of their inventory and meet their goals. 

The best time to buy a car throughout the year includes:

  • The end of the month. Head into the dealership the last few days of the month to grab a great deal. You might get a generous deal if the salesperson wants to meet their quota. You can check out the price online ahead of time and arm yourself with information before heading in for negotiations. 
  • The end of the year. Toward the end of the year, people are busy celebrating the holidays. Car dealerships are ready to ditch their inventory ahead of the new year. That’s why going into a car dealership between December 26 and December 31 could get you the best savings possible. You may get up to 10% in savings or more. If you want to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a new car, go in on the 31st for likely the best day/date to buy a car. 
  • The best month to buy a car is in December. If you’re looking to zero in on a specific month, December is the best month to buy a car. As noted previously, you get the year-end deals but also Christmas and holiday incentives. 

The best day to buy a car is Monday. Have you ever had the Monday blues? Well, that can translate to business and sales too. Car dealerships and salespeople looking to kickstart their week may offer heftier discounts on this day more than others, especially considering many buyers come in on the weekend instead.

Best time to buy a car: holiday edition

People often think of spending the holidays with family, friends, or on vacation somewhere. But did you know some holidays are also the best time to buy a car? It’s true, but some holidays are better than others. If you’re ready to buy a new car, here are the holidays that matter most. 

  • Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving aka Black Friday is basically a consumer holiday at this point and could help you slash costs on a car. 
  • President’s Day — this three-day weekend may score you some savings on a car. 
  • Memorial Day — this holiday jumpstarts the summer season and can be a good time for deals. 

Labor Day — the end of summer hits and dealers may be ready to let go of some of their inventory before Q4 hits.

When it makes sense to buy a car?

If you’re wondering when is the best time to buy a car, there are other benchmarks to consider as well. For example, if the car has been discontinued recently or there’s been an announcement that the vehicle will no longer be manufactured. 

Of course, you want to look into the reasons why the car will no longer be in production, but it could be one of the best times to buy a car. 

Another good time to buy is at the close of a model year. Car years don’t necessarily match up with calendar years and can have new editions in different seasons. Many new models are released as summer is coming to an end around August or September. So if you’re looking for the best month to buy a car, it could be then. 

Lastly, another great time to buy is if there is a redesign in the works. This means that the current car’s design is getting traded in for a refresh and getting redesigned. Grabbing the current design before it retires may lead to some savings.

Best time to buy a car that’s used

Due to the pandemic cars have been in high demand. On top of that, there’s a chip shortage so there’s less available in inventory. These factors have led used cars to be the hot commodity of the moment, with some used car prices up 30% or higher. In this climate, you want to know when the best time to buy a car is so you can not pay such a high premium. 

Typically, the fall months between October and December can get you the best savings on used vehicles. As noted above, many new models get released at the beginning of summer, so many drivers opt for trading in their used vehicles in order to get something new. 

This influx of new inventory could mean good news for you. It’s also the final quarter of the year and businesses want to close the year strong and get rid of inventory to make space for the coming year.

The bottom line

Buying a new car can be stressful and exciting at the same time. In this economy, it can be quite costly too which is why knowing when to buy a car is a key aspect of getting the most for your money. Remember, the end of the month, the end of a quarter, and the end of the year are your best bets for car savings and incentives. 

If you’re looking for even more ways to save, switching your car insurance might be the right choice. Using pay-per-mile car insurance, it’s possible to pay a low base rate and a small amount for the miles you drive. Wondering how much you could save? Get a free quote with Metromile and try it out for yourself. 

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.