man with motorcycle

Car shoppers that take advantage of sophisticated internet search tools to research and compare vehicles are usually well-positioned to find a good deal on a car or truck. In addition to utilizing one or more online vehicle comparison sites or car-buying services to locate competitively priced vehicles, consumers can find additional savings by considering certain intangible parts of the sales process to get the best deal possible. Among many factors that inform the sales process, knowing when it's the best time to buy a new car can help you get a great deal.

Wait for year-end discounts

Many shoppers know that the best time of year to buy a car is at the end of the year to yield significant savings. Dealerships often offer special year-end pricing to move older models off the lot and meet their annual sales goals. While waiting until the end of the year is a good option, there are other ways to uncover savings while sifting through the many listings you find when searching for a car.

Take advantage of dealership quotas

You can also save a lot by simply waiting until the end of the month. On the last day of the month, you can often find a salesperson who’s more willing to offer deals and incentives so he can meet his monthly sales goals. If you can be flexible in the timing of your purchase, try to shoot for the end of a month that falls at the end of a three-month sales quarter (March, June, September, December). Sales quotas exist for each quarter, and the end of a quarter can further motivate a salesperson to lower a price.

If you don’t want to wait until the end of the year to purchase your next car, you can also visit the dealership at the end of the summer. While year-end deals get the most coverage, next-year’s car models come out during the current year, which means dealers try to move out the current year’s model to make room for the new ones. As such, you can sometimes find a car that, while technically new, is a year old from a model year standpoint.1 According to one industry expert, depending on how many of last year’s models are still in inventory, you could save anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000.2
[1] "5 steps to the best deal." Consumer Reports 79, no. 4 (April 2014): 26-27. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed June 19, 2015).

[2] Interview with car salesperson with over twenty years’ experience selling Fords, Chevrolets, and Oldsmobiles at a leading Ohio dealership. Interview subject requested confidentiality, July 8th, 2015.

The information included in this publication was developed or obtained from sources believed to be reliable.  Nationwide Insurance its related entities and employees make no guarantee of results and assume no liability in connection with the information provided. This publication, and the individual articles in the publication, are for informational purposes only, do not provide a substitute for engaging professional financial advice or legal counsel, and do not constitute professional financial or legal advice. It is the user’s responsibility to confirm compliance with any applicable local, state, or federal regulations.