Car Buying Tips: Timing Your Trip To The Dealership

car dealership with sales signs up on a sunny day.
Time When You Buy Your Car To Get the Best Deal

With the holidays season upon us, many of us are turning our financial attention toward the peak opportunities to score discounts and deals as we look to get gifts for friends, loved ones and maybe one or two things for ourselves. But if you’re looking to give the gift of transportation – is this the right time to buy? We’ve all seen the commercials: A fresh-off-the-line luxury sedan or SUV parked in the driveway with a perfectly placed over-sized red bow on the grill. In fact, some of us may have even seen similarly bedecked vehicles during our daily commute. On top of knowing what car you want, what you’re willing to spend and everything we’ve previously discussed in our tips on common mistakes to avoid at the dealership, one more aspect to getting the best deal on your next car (whether it’s for you or a family member) is making sure you time your purchase to get the best deal possible.

It’s The End Of The (Month, Week, Day) And I Feel Fine

Many of you have probably been told to wait on purchasing your vehicle until the end of the month. And while true, it’s only half the story. Fact is, whether end of month or just about the end of any period, you can use it to your advantage to save. Even if you just time it at the end of the day. Just like you, car salesmen start to check out as their work day nears an end. And when they’re focusing on their exit, it’s a perfect time for you to push for some extras or cuts in cost. Usually, if you can show them the way to a quick close on the sale, they’ll take it rather than try to engage you in a long-term battle of wills and inches. If you appear on the showroom floor full of pep and beaming with energy, you may very well find yourself getting a better deal than if you showed up mid-morning on a Saturday when the sales team has a full day of prospects ahead.

Taking a long-term approach, you can also time your approach at the end of the sales quarter. By looking toward March, June, September and December, you should be able to find dealerships looking to offer more incentives and price cuts to meet sales goals.

Last Year’s Out Before This Year’s In

Another way to time your purchase is to keep an eye on model updates and to look for deals on last year’s model as the new year’s model is released. New-model-year cars and trucks will typically star to appear in the fall of the previous year. For example, 2017 model vehicles are already appearing in showrooms. To make room for these new models, dealerships (and the manufacturers) want to move older models off the lot and ideally in the hands of a new owner and they are usually able to give even deeper discounts to close the deal.

Everybody’s Working For The Holiday Weekends

If you’re up for it, consider timing your buying trip to double-up on opportunity: Holiday weekends like Labor Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day or even Thanksgiving can be savings-bonanzas for car buyers. Many dealerships play into these opportunities advertising huge deals and dales events with automakers frequently offering special financing and cash-back deals to support these events.

A lot of people don’t want to spend their holidays on a car dealerships lot (the car dealers included), but if you can and you’re willing, it may be the opportunity to save you’ve been looking for.

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