If you are planning on getting the best deal on a used car through a dealer, there are patterns and surveys done throughout automotive history that prove there are better months and public holidays to buy a used car. Unlike private sellers, dealers usually have specified times of the year when they promote their stock at reduced prices.
While there are certain months that dealers offer mark-down prices like January and February, there are also special public holidays within those months that offer even better deals such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the third Monday of January. Likewise, there could be the chance of a slightly better deal if you buy throughout the working week from Monday to Thursday as opposed to Friday through to Sunday when more people are available to cruise the car yards. However, if you’re thinking about reserving a car a day or two before the sale, then going in to buy it on the sale day at a discounted price – think again. Dealers don’t do business like that (unless you know one personally who will help you out). They are after every dollar right up until the day of the sale, so if you want the best deal on a car you’ve been looking at, you’ll have to get up extra early on the day and beat the mobs to be first through the gate when they open.
The best months of the year to grab yourself a used car bargain are January, then February, and dropping down to half the deals being offered is December in third place.
The best specific days of the year to get an even better deal on the used car of your dreams are Martin Luther King Jr. Day (every third Monday in January), President’s Day (every third Monday in February), and New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day.
If you’re looking for an ex-demo new car which has a couple of thousand miles on the speedometer, then January is the month when new car dealers are wanting to get rid of last year’s models to make way for the new year’s inventory. The same applies to ex-rental cars.
Check out the graph below for the Top 5 times of the year and percentages of deals offered to buy a used car.
On the flip side, the worst months to get a bargain are June, July, and September. While the worst celebrated days to find a bargain are the Fourth of July, Father’s Day, and Memorial Day. That shouldn’t stop you from researching as much as you can, keeping an eye on the used car market, and test driving the cars that interest you the most. This way you are well prepared when the deals begin. However, it’s not all doom and gloom for those months with slimmer deals. These dates don’t mean anything if you are buying from a private seller – and usually the private seller will be willing to cut a deal for a quick sale at any time of year.