Buying a new car is rarely a spur-of-the-moment decision. You’ll usually have thought about it for a while and mulled over your options. Perhaps your existing vehicle is a little old, or it’s no longer suitable for your growing family, or maybe you simply want a change.
It takes time to do your research and narrow down your list of possible makes and models. And when you’re ready to start looking, you might wonder – when is the best time to buy a new car?
We all know the showroom price is rarely set in stone. Dealers are usually willing to negotiate, or at least, throw in some optional extras to clinch the sale. However, there are times when you can get an even better package - you just need know when they are.
Just before new number plate registration
This will depend on where you live. In the UK for example, new registration plates are issued on March 1 and September 1. Many people delay buying a new car at those times because they’d rather have a new plate – so shop for yours just before and you’re likely to get a better deal.
The end of the month
Sales representatives have targets they need to meet. Most are monthly, but they can also be quarterly. If you shop for your new car at the end of the sales period, you may find the price will drop further as dealers are trying to hit their targets.
New model launch
Keep an eye on the motoring press to see when new models of your chosen vehicle are being released. Dealers will be keen to offload the outgoing style so you could get a bigger discount.
Pick your season
Certain types of car are more popular at certain times of year. Convertibles will be more expensive in spring, in anticipation of summer, while demand for 4x4s tends to be highest as winter draws near. Swim against the tide – buy your off-roader in spring or your soft-top in autumn in a bid to get a better price.
End of the year
Few people are focused on buying a new car around Christmas, so December can be a good time to shop around. Similarly, you may find dealerships have decent January sales to boost their figures in the new year.
If you’re buying a used car
Right before and right after new license plates are introduced is the best time to buy a used car. Dealers will want to shift old stock in anticipation of the new, especially if they have limited showroom space.
Afterwards, they often have a glut of used cars as many motorists will part-exchange for a new model and will often be open to more negotiation rather than have them on the forecourt for too long.
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