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When is the Best Time to Buy a New Car?

By: Jeff Youngs, 8/10/2012
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At some point, the cost of maintaining your old car, in terms of money, time and missed work, makes buying a new car an attractive proposition, even though keeping your old car is almost always the less expensive option. If you've decided that it's time to buy a new car, and you have the ability to choose when you can get one, there are several times when car dealers are ready to make great deals.   
Buying a New Car at the End of the Year
At the end of December, car companies and car dealers are trying to sell as many vehicles as possible to boost unit sales and revenue numbers for the year that is coming to a close. This push for sales comes at a difficult time for consumers, the people who have just spent lots of money during the holidays and whose time is dedicated to seeing family and friends, relaxing at home while the office is closed, or traveling. If you can wait to buy a new car at the end of the calendar year, you should have no trouble getting a great deal.
Buying a Car at the End of the Summer
As summer draws to a close, car companies are switching production from the current model-year vehicles to next year's cars, trucks and SUVs. Neither the auto manufacturer nor the dealer wants a bunch of leftover vehicles sitting on the lot when the flood of new vehicles arrives, so this is a good time to take advantage of extra rebates and incentives designed to clear out the old cars and make room for the new cars.
Buying a New Car at the End of the Month
At the end of each month, salespeople and dealers are trying to move as many vehicles off the lot as possible in an effort to qualify for bonuses from the auto manufacturer and to maximize their paychecks. As a result, car buyers can strike great deals as each month comes to a close.
Buying a Car at the End of the Day
If you have your financing pre-arranged, you know what car you want and you know which dealer has it in stock, it's a good idea to go and buy the car about an hour before the dealership is scheduled to close. The salespeople want to go home. The finance and insurance people want to go home. The detail people want to go home. Everyone wants to get you into your car and shut down for the day. They're tired. You won't encounter much resistance to a fair offer.
Other Good Times to Buy a New Car
Buying a car when the weather is too cold or hot, or during a rainstorm or snowstorm, is a good idea because most people stay home and the dealer is eager to sell vehicles. Consumers should also consider buying a new car when rebates are offered, or when low-interest financing is available.
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