Missed Buying a Car in December? No Worries

It is true that the deepest discounts on new cars are available in December.

Shoppers who miss those end of the year sales can still find good deals on new cars throughout the year. Car prices can fluctuate based on the time of week or the time of month. If you are interested in a used car, you still have a few months before the deepest dealer discounts are available in April.

Recession Changes the Game

Not long ago, September was the ideal month to buy a new car. Manufacturers release their new models in the fall, so new car dealers need to clear out last year’s model as fast as possible to make room for new stock.

The recession has shifted things a bit for car dealerships, though. New cars are still released in the fall, but dealers are not selling as many cars from the previous year as they had in the past. Since it is more difficult to clear out last year’s inventory, dealers are having to offer even deeper discounts in December than in September.

Save More at the End of the Year

The reason that dealerships are so anxious to clear the older cars from their lots in December is because as soon as the calendar turns to the next year those cars are going to seem much older to customers. Dealers want to try to keep their stock as current as possible.

A lot full of cars that were new a year ago makes a dealership seem stagnant and the inventory seem stale. Shoppers who can take advantage of December deals could potentially save thousands of dollars on cars that are not very different from the brand new models.

Spring is Best for Used Cars

It’s too late to get in on December deals this year, but that is no reason to despair. The used car market is still headed toward its deepest annual discounts. Used car dealers tend to offer their best discounts during April, just before the spring and summer rush.

Since the dealers expect to do brisk business in the summer, they need to open up space on their lots for the new inventory they will take in. Most used cars are only a few years old and still have many of the same features that new cars have. In many cases, the used car is still under the original warranty.

Typical Discount Timing Throughout the Year

New and used car discounts follow a distinct pattern through the year. Savvy shoppers will wait for the right time in the cycle. Dealers will usually be open to bigger discounts at the end of the week, so Saturday is a good time to shop around.

The end of the month is also a ripe time for discounts as salesmen scramble to make their monthly commission quotas. Even if you can’t wait for the end of the year, you can still save some money on your car purchase if you can be patient and time it right.

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