When Is the Worst Time to Buy an SUV?

Considering the fact that SUVs are currently the most popular body style among car shoppers today, it’s no surprise that you may soon be in the market for one. And we wouldn’t blame you considering there are plenty of new SUVs like the Toyota Venza, Ford Bronco, and the Acura MDX that hit the market this year, and there will be plenty more to follow. And if you are in the market, then you might be wondering when the worst times are to shop for an SUV.

When an SUV is in high demand

When you’re shopping for any new vehicle, the same rules typically apply no matter what body style you’re interested in. But if you’re in the market for a newer SUV, like a Toyota Venza for example, then you might not want to go shopping until after it’s been out for a few months.

Brand-new SUVs, especially those making a comeback like the Bronco, are typically in high demand when they hit the dealership showrooms, so your chances of getting one are usually pretty slim. It’s all a game of  “supply and demand,” so we suggest waiting to get your SUV of choice if the demand for it is really high.

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At the beginning of a new model year

This point piggybacks off of the last one in the sense that if you are looking for a brand-new SUV that just hit the market, or if you have your eye on an existing nameplate, then you might want to wait until the next model year altogether. Not only are automakers typically shaking off any production oversights in terms of mechanical and electrical issues that sometimes pop up with new models, but dealers are also looking to make a killing on charging top dollar to customers that can’t wait it out.

2021 Ford Bronco models in blue, yellow, and red sit on a hillside
2021 Ford Bronco models | Ford Motor Company

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Shopping in the springtime

While most dealerships will have large sales events for every holiday of the year, it’s typically recommended that you wait until the last quarter of the year to do your car shopping and not in the springtime. Depending on the automaker, most new car model years hit the showroom floors during the last three months of the year, which means that dealers will be focused on getting rid of their current stock.

So if the particular SUV that you like has a 2021 model that’s going to be the same as the forthcoming 2022, we suggest shopping for that current model right before the new one comes out. You could save thousands.

car dealership lot with a white jeep and other cars with model years and prices highlighted
Car shopping | MediaNews Group for Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Don’t shop after recent credit inquiries

One bonus tip from Yahoo Finance is to not shop for an SUV after you just had your credit checked. For example, if you went to one dealership and applied for a loan but didn’t like the rate, you will then have a 14-day grace period to shop for another loan or two, which will altogether count as one inquiry.

However, if you apply for a loan and then apply for another after a month or two, then you will have multiple hard inquiries on your credit report, which can affect your score and the chances of getting a lower rate negatively.