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When is the Best Time to Buy a Car?

April 27, 2017
Buyer Friendly

While haggling over a new vehicle is a right of passage in Canada; some people hate it, some people love it; the price of your new vehicle is determined by more than just rhetorical mastery and mind games.  Obviously, the make, model and options of the vehicle you are looking at are the main determinants in price; but timing is key.

Shop near the end of the month.  Its not just a season that makes a difference in price; it is the day of the month that could play a big role in the deal you negotiate.  The last two days of the month usually give consumers the upper hand.  Car dealers and salesmen are under pressure to meet their monthly quotas, which will allow buyers a chance to push hard for more incentives and discounts.  Its not like they will give you a free truck because it is close to the end of the month; but they will be more flexible in their negotiations.  

Time of day can make a difference.  After you’ve done your shopping around, the best time to negotiate a final price is late in the morning because traditionally this is the slowest time for dealerships.  Another time that may be favourable is just before closing as there may be pressure to finalize a deal.  

New models out? New deals are out.  New models come out in the fall; this presents two opportunities.  First, with the addition of new models also comes the addition of new features. Therefore, shopping in the fall gives you a chance to get in on these new features.  It can be pretty disappointing when you buy a new vehicle and a week later the newer, better version comes out.  By waiting until the fall you can ensure you get the newest model with all the bells and whistles for that year.  The second opportunity is that you can buy the previous years model at a reduced cost.  There is only so much room on the lot and as soon as the new model years are brought in the previous model year has to move fast.  

Spring cleaning your garage? Don’t make room for a new car just yet.  Spring is usually the worst time to buy a car, yet it is often perceived as the most exciting tome to buy a vehicle; the snow is gone, summer road trips ahead, the sun is sparkling on all the new vehicles in the dealership lot.. the dealerships are aware of this perception and that is why spring is the most expensive time to buy a vehicle.  Try resisting the urge of spring car shopping; it could save you a few thousand dollars.

Use these timing tips and your superior negotiating skills and you will be well on your way to getting your new vehicle at the best possible price.

Starting your spring cleaning?  Don't forget your car: Spring cleaning for your car.

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