Best Time to Buy a Car – Five Easy Ways to End of the Year Deals

dealership year end sales

In case you forgot the date, just turn on the T.V. the manufacturers are all too eager to remind you, the countdown is on!  Is it true that that right now is the best time to buy a car?  Perhaps.  While most dealers do not anticipate December to be a big sales month, they do look to roll out every car to hit their year end numbers.  With a little patience and some flexibility you can drive away saving some green.

Right now dealers are jockeying to be the top dawg.  They look to hit month end and more importantly year end bonuses and for the big guys the bragging rights of being number one.  Fancy trips for Dealers and Managers are on the line and of course lots of cash.  If you are able to hold your ground you may be able to grab some of this gold.

How to get the best deal.

1.  Do not fall in love with the car.  It is a hunk of metal.  Remember the dealer down the street has the same one.

2.  Shop online, call around and get some prices over the phone.  Remember they want to hit their bonuses, so dealerships will do all that they can to get you in the store and make a deal.  If you do the leg work from your home you can save time driving around and have a better chance of keeping the dealers honest because they know you are calling the competition.

3.  Be flexible.  The most popular car is not going to have the big discount.  If you are looking for a deal go to the Sale rack.  You may not get your top color but if saving money is your number one priority, color should take a back seat.

4.  Time is on your side, for now.  If you have no plans for a New Year’s Soiree, go buy a car.  Showrooms are not flooded with sales potentials, so the manager’s will want to take what they can, even if they loose a few bucks.

5.  Like the Gambler said, know when to hold em, know when to fold em.  Up until the ball drops, walk away, keep your poker face, tell them you need to do better but don’t say how much.  They will drop and when they do ask them for $500 more.  When they stop moving the dial, you have hit rock bottom.


If you are looking for an entry level model, chances are you will not see thousands in savings but the bigger tickets, Acura and Range Rover are slashing up to $5,000, as well as the larger sedans, think Chrysler 300, are where you will get the best “deals.”  Traditionally trucks offer thousands off, Chevy Avalanche and Ford F150 are taking up to $4,500 depending on your location.  Remember to look at all the options, lease and finance.  Cash is no longer king.  As the profit margins grow smaller in the car business, dealers have asked manufacturers to offer finance or lease cash to entice you.  The dealer makes a small profit from you taking a loan (think hundreds).  Depending on the price at which he sold you the vehicle for, he may need this cash.  Take the money from the manufacturer if it is in addition to the traditional rebate.  You should be getting a simple interest loan which means there is no penalty to pre-payment.  Dealers will ask that you keep the loan for up to 3 months so they do not get penalized from the bank, after that pay it off or refinance if you’re offered a better rate from another lender.

The most important thing to remember when shopping for a car, no matter what time of year, is to have fun.  Do not give into sales pressure.  Let me repeat that, do not give into sales pressure.  If you do, you will second guess your decision because it wasn’t done on your terms.  You are in the driver’s seat.  If truth be told, the best time to buy a car is when you are comfortable with the deal.


About woman

I am a thirty-something-five. I still look at grown-ups and marvel at how adult they are. I have one husband and one baby boy and I feel fortunate for every misstep and every leap because it is that path that brought me to them. I have a Master's Degree in Acting from DePaul University and I wish that I used it more. Something that I am working on. I lived in 5 different states only to end up back in my hometown. Wine was really introduced to me after I promoted a wine and jazz festival in the Northwest. I moved home to run my father's flagship automobile dealership which he owned for some 40 years before his retirement. Until recently I was spending a lot of time searching for myself. I kept greeting the day making plans to change the next one (my dad always told me I was a procrastinator). Now it seems I have found a fire. The futures so bright...