When Is the Best Time of Year to Buy a New Car?

If you’re planning to buy a new car, then looking for the best deal possible is a good idea. Finding the best deal depends on a few different factors including the make and model that you’re planning on buying, how you plan to pay for the car, and even what time of the year you plan to buy it. But when is the best time of the year to purchase a new car?

Timing is everything

There are a few myths when it comes to buying a new car. One of the popular myths is that you can get a good deal if you buy a car right before the dealership closes and another is that you can get a good deal if you buy a car when the dealership is busy. We don’t suggest following either of those tips because in both cases, you’ll actually end up prolonging the process and even annoy the salesperson while causing yourself more stress.

Instead, time your car shopping process right and visit the dealership on a Monday or Tuesday for the best days of the week. And if you’re wondering what the best month is, then go in October, November, or December, according to Edmunds. The reason the end of the year is the best time to buy a car is that dealers have quarterly sales quotas to meet, as well as monthly goals, so they are a little more pressured to make the sale.

A row of trucks for sale at a dealership.
A row of new Ford trucks are displayed on display at a Ford dealership | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There are other factors as well

In addition to sales quotas needing to be met, manufacturers also usually have incentives during the later months of the year. Have you heard of the “December to Remember” sales event that Lexus typically has? That’s not just a marketing gimmick, that’s actually a call to action because there are savings that you can take advantage of. Also, the new model years of car typically come out at the end of the year, so if you want that 2020 Lexus ES that you’ve been considering, you should pull the trigger soon since the 2021 models will be arriving shortly.

A man inspects a car inside a dealership
A man looks at the sticker price of a new Chevrolet | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Buying a New Car After a Redesign Can Be Costly Mistake

But don’t wait too long

While the last few months of the year is the best time to buy a car, we don’t suggest waiting until the very last day of the year. For example, if you’re planning to buy a 2020 model, then you might want to start looking in October or early November to ensure that the dealer has the exact car configuration that you want. As the new models start to roll in, the older models will start to sell quickly, so the inventory count won’t be on your side.

Ultimately, it comes down to what you’re looking for. If you don’t mind having less of a selection at the end of the year, then you can possibly even score a deal of the year on December 31st. However, if you just need to have that specific color or those specific options, then start searching a little earlier and make sure that you get what you want. Timing is everything.