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When Is The Best Time To Buy A Used Car

January, February, and December are the three best months to buy a used car, in that order. According to iSeeCars, in general, late fall and early winter are good times to purchase a used car with a deal.

when is the best time to buy a used car

There's no getting around it: The COVID-19 pandemic that began traveling around the globe in 2020 affected everything, including how we buy cars. Protecting workers from illness meant fewer people in factories and sometimes shutting down manufacturing lines. That led to fewer cars being built but also fewer components for those cars being available as quickly as they used to be. Once the vehicles were built, shipping them around the world became more challenging, whether they were headed out by boat, truck or train.

All of this put a strain on the new car market, which in turn squeezed the used car market. At the end of 2021, average prices were higher than usual for both new and used cars. The supply of used cars at dealerships was more unpredictable than it used to be, so the cars on the lot are moving more quickly. Two years into the pandemic, used cars remain on the lot for an average of 44 days, and they have about 68,000 miles on the odometer. Both of these statistics are an improvement over earlier in the pandemic, when used cars were selling even more quickly.

When you know your mileage is climbing or your family situation is changing, take the time to begin the used-car buying process now. Start your research on features and set your budget, then scope out dealerships and private sales to get the lay of the land.

There is a silver lining for some while the used-car market is tight with many people still working from home. If it's possible, you could sell your car now while you don't have a commute and wait to buy a used car when prices are lower and inventory has rebounded.

You'll want to avoid buying a used car on holidays when people usually get together with family, such as Easter or Mother's Day. Dealerships are more likely to be understaffed, and private sellers will be more focused on family events than selling you a car.

This tip is especially important when inventory is tight and sellers, either private or corporate, want to take advantage of higher prices. On a dry day with good lighting, it's easier to see dents, dings, scratches, rust, bubbling paint and any other flaws the exterior may have. You're also more likely to be willing to take the time to look for these flaws when you're not being soaked by snow or rain.

Convertibles are for top-down fun in the sun, which means they're not big sellers during winter months in cold climates. If you're looking for a used convertible, try buying in the cold season when you have more negotiating power.

If you can time your used-car shopping around the New Year, you can hit several pieces of advice in one go: it's a holiday, it's in the winter, and it's at the end of the year. If you're shopping for a convertible, so much the better.

It almost goes without saying that the best time to buy a used car is when you've done your research. You should check listings to see what models are available in your area, consider which features you want, set your budget and check interest rates. Being prepared is especially important now when there are supply chain issues, low inventory and higher prices on both private and dealership sales.

It may take more time to find a good deal on a used car. But taking this time can be a plus rather than a minus. You might be able to wait out the shortages. Prices should fall over the next couple of years, so keep a close eye on the market and buy the used car you've prepared to buy when you find it.

The best time to buy a car depends on many factors, including your circumstances, the state of your current vehicle, and whether it's more important to get the lowest possible price or have the best selection from which to choose. Because the discounts that sellers offer are generally temporary, it's wise to go in with a clear vision of what you want and how much you can spend so you can act when you find the right deal.

Many deals are limited time offers, especially if they're the result of salespeople trying to make quotas. If you approach a dealership on the last day of the month, they may make an offer that they won't repeat the next day when the quotas reset. Be prepared to encounter time-sensitive deals and negotiations. Know your budget, what you're looking for, and your deal-breakers. If you find the right vehicle at an excellent price, you're ready to act. Similarly, knowing your credit score will help you understand what you can expect in terms of financing.

Many deals are limited time offers, especially if they're the result of salespeople trying to make quotas. If you approach a dealership on the last day of the month, they may make an offer that they won't repeat the next day when the quotas reset. Be prepared to encounter time-sensitive deals and negotiations

If you're shopping for a new or used car in today's difficult marketplace, please see "Car Buying Tips for 2022" for our experts' targeted, data-driven advice. Note that the article below was originally written before the chip shortage when vehicle prices were relatively stable and predictable. If the shortages continue, there may be a so-called "best time to buy" for the foreseeable future. The best time in the current market is when you find a dealer that has the vehicle you want and is willing to sell it to you at MSRP or better, without any additional options that you may not need.

Buyers are always looking for a way to game the system and save money on major purchases. Much of this thinking revolves around zeroing in on the best time to purchase a particular item. Need a new TV? Shop on Black Friday or around the Super Bowl. Need a new winter coat? Shop in January.

It's no different for cars. Ask anyone, "When is the best time to buy a car?" and you'll get answers ranging from the end of the month to "wait until the new models come out." There are as many theories on this topic as there are days in the year. And, oddly enough, there is a grain of truth to many of them.

  • End of month

  • End of the calendar year

  • Best month to buy a car

  • Best day to buy a car

  • End of the model year

  • End of the car's design cycle

  • End of the car's life cycle

  • Three-day weekends

  • Black Friday

  • Best time to buy a used car

Simply put, here's our advice: The best time to buy a car is when you need it and feel ready to buy, regardless of the time of year. Car buying can be stressful, and it can take more than a month to go from deciding what to buy to actually closing the deal. Why add to that pressure by trying to squeeze your shopping into a certain day of the week or a holiday weekend when everyone has the same idea?

When the month is coming to an end, dealers might be a few cars short of a sales quota that would win them a big bonus. Salespeople will have more motivation to make a deal with a buyer and might deeply discount cars, making up any money lost with the bonus. This is the time when you shouldn't sleep on the car deal. Keep in mind, however, that if the sales team met its quota earlier that month, salespeople may not be as motivated to give you the screaming deal you might be expecting. This is difficult to know ahead of time. But if you're in the midst of negotiating and the dealer offers you a super-low price, take a moment to ask your salesperson why the dealer is willing to potentially lose money on this sale. If the reason makes sense to you, and the price is considerably better than your research says it should be, it could be a sign the dealer is trying to make a sales goal.

While the data shows that December is the best time of the year to buy, there are also a few other viable months. In other words, if you need a car in January, there's no need to wait 11 months to get a good deal.

If you need a car in October and want to get the best deal, you might want to wait until December, even though you'll run the risk of having fewer cars to choose from. Waiting will give you more time to do more research on the right car for you. You'll also be able to gather more price quotes.

All the new model-year cars used to debut in the fall, making the end of summer a good time to shop for leftovers. These days, however, there is no unified new model-year season. For example, we see cars from the upcoming model year debuting as early as March of a calendar year. Even so, Edmunds data indicates that the end of the summer is a sweet spot for outgoing model-year vehicles.

Memorial Day: This holiday kicks off the summer buying season and is a solid time to get a deal. It's also when you will have the largest selection of outgoing models to choose from. Shop around this time if you're particular about a certain color or option package.

New car models used to debut in the fall. But these days, there is no single time of year. Vehicles for the next model year can debut as early as the spring of the current year. And some cars don't debut until the spring or summer of their model year. In other words, you'll see some 2022 vehicles for sale as early as the spring of 2021. Some 2022 models, meanwhile, won't show up in dealerships until halfway through 2021.

As we've noted, you'll find many opportunities throughout the year to get a great deal on a new car. Ultimately, the best time to get a new car is when you need one and only after you have completed your research.

When we say holiday season, we mean Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Boxing Day, Easter, and all the bank holidays. Used car shopping during holidays is arguably one of the best times to strike a deal as dealers may have discounted sales events. 041b061a72

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