There are many things to consider when buying a pre-owned vehicle. Shoppers are encouraged to do their research, take a test drive, and to always have the car inspected by a qualified mechanic before they buy. But one thing the experts rarely talk about is the importance of timing. Yes, it is possible to save quite a bit of money if you shop for used cars at a certain time. With that in mind, here are a few words of advice that should serve you well.
Best Time of the Year
Manufacturers almost always offer the best rebates and incentives on new cars near the end of the year. They do this because it helps the dealers unload the older models to make room for the new ones. Although the deals are often best for unused vehicles, most dealerships also discount used cars to attract more shoppers. As such, the best time of year to look for a secondhand auto is during September, October, November, and December. And because salesmen are often desperate to squeeze a few more sales in before the end of the year, the longer you can wait, the better.
Best Time of the Month
If you can’t wait for the end of the year, there are ways to maximize your savings within a much shorter timeframe. Because most dealerships use monthly sales quotas and goals to motivate their staff, the end of the month can be a hectic period. In other words, desperate salesmen are far more likely to offer rock-bottom prices during the last few days of any month. After all, their job may very well depend upon the sale. As the buyer, this knowledge gives you quite a bit of leverage in any negotiation over the price of used cars.
Best Days of the Week
For shoppers who desperately need a vehicle right away, there are daily cost benefits. Because weekends are normally when dealerships do most of their sales, bargain hunters shouldn’t expect to get a great deal on Saturday or Sunday. The simple fact is that there are often so many interested shoppers on those days that there is no need for salesmen to lower prices to make a sale. When it comes to weekdays, Monday is normally a cleanup day when some weekend sales are closed. Thursday and Friday may also be busy because more people stop in to browse before coming to buy on the weekend. That leaves Tuesday and Wednesday as the quietest days of the week. Not surprisingly, salesmen are more likely to offer good deals on used cars when business is slow, and traffic is scarce.
One Last Tip
Most experts agree that the most opportune time to buy any pre-owned auto is during the last few days of December. Not only are you more likely to encounter salesmen who are desperate to close a deal at this time, but also the fact that it’s the holidays means traffic will be nearly non-existent.