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The holidays are over. And while that means that we all breathe a huge sigh of relief that we don’t need to buy any more gifts for anyone else or cook any fancy dinners, it also means that we can’t get any good deals on new cars anymore, or can we? Could January be a good month to buy a new car?

January can still be a good time to buy a new car

If you’ve been planning to buy a new car but got caught up in all of the holiday stress, then don’t worry, you could still possibly score a good deal in the month of January. Although the current stock of 2020 models will be slim to none on most dealer lots, there is still a possibility to get one. And if any dealers still have any lingering 2020 models, you can be sure that they will want to get rid of them posthaste.

However, if you’re interested in a brand where the new 2021 model is more appealing, like a 2021 Acura TLX per se, then you’ll most likely still have to wait when it comes to scoring that major deal that you’re looking for. The reason being that manufacturers typically start to roll out incentives during the middle to the end of the year to clear out the current-year stock in anticipation for the next year. In that case, January is still in the middle of the production cycle, so you’ll have to wait for the discounts to appear later.

Small cars are on display in front of the John Andrew Ford car dealership in Auckland, New Zealand, February 26, 2018. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

January is a good time to buy a used car

On the other end of the coin, if you’re in the market for a used car, then January can be a good month to do so, according to iSeeCars.

Karl Brauer, the executive analyst for iSeeCars, stated, “There is more inventory at this time because it aligns with the most popular time to buy a new car due to dealers wanting to get rid of outgoing model year vehicles to make room for new model year inventory. Additionally, there isn’t as much foot traffic in dealerships at the beginning of the year compared to months with milder weather, so dealers are more competitive with their pricing to drive up demand.”

iSeeCars conducted a study by analyzing over 32 million used car transactions in 2018 and 2019 and reported that the best months to buy a used car were January, February, and December. The actual statistics showed that there were 28.6 percent more deals than average in January, 22.1 percent more in February, and 13 percent more deals than average in December.

Used cars are displayed on a sales lot on June 9, 2011 in San Rafael, California.
Used cars | Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Dealers are still hungry in January

Although the incentives for new cars, as well as the inventory, could be lacking in January, just know that it’s still possible to get a good deal because dealers are still hungry. With the passing of the holiday deals, dealerships are typically empty after the new year, which means that you could have the “pick of the litter” if you plan to set foot in the showroom. Just don’t be surprised when the salesperson you work with is eager to sell you a car, they need to sell cars even after the holidays are over.

Additionally, slower times at the dealership means that you most likely won’t need to wait as long when you do buy a car, which is also to your advantage. As always, do your research beforehand and make sure that you find the car that you want online, and make an appointment with the dealership that you want to do business with in order to get the smoothest transaction possible.


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