Whether you’re looking for a new or used car, the end of the year can be a great time to get the best deal on a new vehicle. Before you start shopping, understand how the buying process works and why the end of the calendar year is the most cost-effective time to shop for a new ride.
New model years typically arrive at dealerships in the fall. That means that the dealership will often discount outgoing models to make room for new inventory. If you’re looking at purchasing a new vehicle toward the end of the year, buying last year’s model may net you the best price. If the manufacturer has made minimal changes to the model, you’ll likely see smaller discounts compared to models that have been completely redesigned, which often have steeper discounts and additional incentives to help move inventory.
Car manufacturers often support dealerships by providing attractive financing and cash-back deals toward the end of the calendar year. Manufacturers want the newest models on dealership lots so they’re more likely to offer deep discounts to consumers. Research has shown that December offers the steepest discounts from vehicle manufacturers – sometimes up to 6% off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). These savings, coupled with dealership incentives and negotiating power, can help you save big bucks on your next vehicle.
When shopping, understand that salespeople often have monthly, quarterly, or even yearly sales targets to hit, and achieving these goals often results in rewards or bonuses. As a buyer, you can use this information to help negotiate a better deal. Ultimately, by waiting to purchase a new vehicle until the end of the year, you’re giving the salesperson a chance to hit their goals before the year ends.
Despite the deals available, shopping at the end of the year may have some drawbacks. If you’re looking into last year’s models, you may have a limited selection to choose from due to low inventory. Dealerships typically offer better incentives to move older inventory off their lots, which may result in fewer options for you. If you’re looking at last year’s model to get the best deal but can’t find one with all the features you want, see if the dealership is willing to negotiate the price on a newer model with all the bells and whistles you want.
So, how should you maximize your savings when shopping for a new vehicle? Check out these tips for getting the best deal.
While shopping for a new vehicle can be stressful, buying a car at the end of the year can help save you money on your purchase by maximizing dealership incentives and utilizing your negotiating power. Ready to start the auto buying process? Learn more about our low-rate auto loans.
Kelley Blue Book® is a registered trademark of the Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc.