What Is the Best Day in December to Buy a New Car?

The end of the year is almost upon us and if you’re still in search of a new car, then you may be in luck. December is actually one of the best months of the year to purchase a new car because of the new model year change for most brands as well as a lot of end-of-the-year deals that you can take advantage of. And while car shopping in December can be overwhelming due to other holiday obligations, here is a breakdown of how to get the best deal on the last month of the year.

Start looking at the beginning of the month

If you’re planning to buy a car before the end of the year, then the first week of the month is a great time to start shopping. Depending on which brand you pick, as well as which dealership you go to, there might still be some 2020 models on the lot that you could get a good deal on. You might be tempted to pull the trigger if you find a good deal during this time, and you should if the numbers work out and you find the exact model you want. However, patience is a virtue if you’re willing to drag out the car shopping process during December.

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Keep the communication “juicy” throughout the month

If you have a specific car that you want to buy and a dealership that you want to work with squared away, then the trick is to keep them “on ice” for the remaining weeks of the month. According to Ari Janessian, a Youtuber and auto broker, you should keep the communication with your salesperson “juicy” in the sense that your follow-up conversations with them should give the hint that you are serious about buying the car, but are waiting for the best deal possible.  

Santa Claus sits in a car
Santa Claus sits in a car | Photo: Patrick Pleul (Photo by Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images)

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The month goes in thirds

The reason why playing the “waiting game” in December works so well is that the month is basically split up in thirds, or every week and a half or so. The manufacturers typically won’t give dealers that many incentives during the beginning of the month, but as the month goes on, the pressure to sell the remaining old stock, as well as the pressure to get the ball rolling on the new models, goes up as well. So keeping the conversation lively with your salesperson throughout the month may work in your favor as the pressure for them to sell rises and so do the incentives.

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A man inspects new Toyota cars on display | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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The real magic will happen in the last week

Now that you have the car picked out, the deal mostly structured, and the salesperson calling you almost every day to come back to the dealership, it’s a good idea to set an appointment with them on the week of December 26 to 31. That last week of the month is crucial for dealers to sell cars and close their books by the end of the year and, believe it or not, your car deal could do wonders for them.

If anything, set an appointment for December 31st and come in at around noon. As long as they have the car that you want in stock and are ready, you could literally get the deal of the year, especially if they are slow. If you can’t make it on New Year’s Eve, then most incentives usually expire on January 2nd or 3rd, so you can still saunter into the dealership with a hangover and make a good deal. Just make sure to ask them for a bottle of water and coffee.