When’s the Best Time of Year to Buy a Car?

Buying a car is a big investment for most and as with all larger investments, you want to know how to get the best deal. So this raises the question, is there a best time of year to buy a car? And if there is, when is it? Although there are many differences of opinion on exactly when the best time to buy a car is, there are certainly some factors that are worth bearing in mind if you’re in the market for a car.

Seasonality of the Car Industry

It does seem that the month in which you choose to buy a car could have a sharp effect on the price, as seasonal factors have an impact on the car market. In general, sales of new cars are slow during the months of May and June and November and December when people are waiting for the new registration period, so shopping during these months will work in your favour.

The last few days in June are a key date because these are the last days of the registration period and dealers will be trying to sell stock to make way for newly registered cars. The same goes for December before the new registration plates appear, although other buyers will also be very aware of this at this time of year, so June may be the better option to avoid crowds and competition for the vehicle you want. These dates also coincide with end of quarter for most dealers, so that also gives an added incentive to the dealer to sell.

New Models on the Market

Even if you aren’t a car enthusiast or are buying your first car, it’s worth staying up to date with all the latest motoring press and keeping an eye out for news of forthcoming new models or updates for the New Year. The arrival of a new style of car will often mean the outgoing model is no longer such a hot commodity, meaning it will be available at a reduced price. Car companies and dealerships want to close the year with strong sales. They also want to get rid of the prior models that are taking up space, so this is yet another reason why they are motivated to sell in December.

Type of Car

The type of car you’re in the market for will also influence what you will pay, depending on the time of year. For example, buying an SUV (jeep) will work out cheaper in the summer as they’re in less demand than during the winter months. Also, if you are in the market for a convertible you will likely pay a lot less if you buy it in the winter as opposed to in the height of the summer.

Dealership Stock

Your ability to get a deal may be based on whether the dealer has a lot of cars currently in stock or not. If they feel that they have too many they may be willing to strike a deal in order to get rid of some excess stock. Dealers often also clear out old stock in expectation of a forthcoming flood of cars. With limited space on the forecourt, they’ll often take a lower price to make way for new arrivals. However, it is difficult to know ahead of time when dealers are experiencing such a situation. But if you're just browsing and find a dealer to be overly friendly and extremely enthusiastic, it is probably a good indicator. Don’t be pressured into a deal, but if the price is considerably better than your research says it should be, then you could be on to a winner.

Another thing to note is that showrooms will be quieter on weekdays so it is better to shop midweek than at the weekend when dealers will be busier, and cars will be in more demand. But this is as much for your headspace as for hunting deals.

Whatever you end up deciding on, AIG will ensure you have the best possible insurance policy, with great prices on comprehensive and third party & theft car insurance policies.  Get a free online car insurance quote with us today, check out our car insurance FAQs, and if you are under 27, check out our young driver car insurance policy.

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