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Is There Really a Best Time to Buy a Car?

Most people think that they can find the best deals if they wait until the end of year sales when auto dealers are discounting prices to meet their year-end sale goals (which happens to also be the best time to shop for auto insurance as well (at least for most states). And while there are year-end discounts, that’s not the only time you should be looking! If you understand how dealerships operate with discounts for the end-of-the-year sales, you’ll be able to take advantage of bargains at specific times in the year.

Auto dealerships motivate their salespeople by encouraging them to meet their quotas to increase their commission, or to exceed their sales goals and earn their bonuses. And not only is there a year-end goal, smart dealerships will breakdown the numbers to create a daily, weekly, or monthly number for their employees to push for. This is where a smart consumer looking for a great deal on a car can really save.

At the end of the day, when sales and business are winding down, if a dealer thinks he/she has a serious customer, that will be reason enough to keep the doors open while trying to close the deal quickly. In doing so, they may throw in additional discounts so that they don’t have to drag out negotiations or keep their employees longer than they have to. These late hour sales can result in some waived fees, good discounts, and quicker processing. A tricky, but slightly risky way to use the end of the day strategy is to go on a holiday, where employees at the dealership may be chomping at the bit to get out as near closing time as possible so they can make it on time to their family events.

If bargaining after work hours isn’t your idea of a good time, you can also use the same strategy to try and get discounts at the end of the month. Monthly sales goal deadlines will be fast approaching, and those dealers will be trying their best to get your commitment on a sale, especially if they still have yet to meet their goals. Even if they have reached their quota, there’s still pressure to exceed that amount because that’s when their bonuses kick in! Who doesn’t love extra money?

If you’re looking for a new car that doesn’t have to be the newest or most recently released model, then late Summer and Fall will be a good time to hit the dealerships. This is when they typically receive the new inventory and will be more willing to offer discounts on this year’s model, since next year’s new fleet is also on the lot. You can take advantage of this “out with the old, in with the new” mentality that the dealerships operate by when trying to get a discount. However, if you’re determined to get the newest model, you may not be able to get the best pricing, and you will probably pay closer to the sticker price.

Of course, as a part of your monthly payments, you’ll want to think about what type of new car will also not cost you too much for auto insurance coverage and maintenance. Although new cars can usually have higher insurance premiums, it’s not always true. It depends on the make and model of the car, the safety ratings, risk of being stolen, and the cost of repair or replacement parts. Make sure that you’re factoring in your auto insurance payments and the regular maintenance costs so that you will be staying within budget and truly feel like you made the right choice.

Remember, your best bet is to hit the dealership any time that the demand for a car is low, even dependent on the weather, that way there will be more motivation for the dealers to try and make a sale and give you a deal!

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