One of the questions I am asked the most in the car business is when they best time to buy might be. This question is usually in regards to the best time of the month or the best time of the year, but it’s more complicated than that. You will often hear the best time of both the month and the year is the end of each. There are some factors at play and it can be dependent on whether we are talking new or used and whether you need to buy or you just want to buy.
For a given month, there is some truth to the idea that the end of the month is the best time. There are often bonuses for certain number of cars sold for the salesperson, the sales manager, or even the dealership from the manufacturer in a given month. If any of these targets are either achieved or unachievable with only a few days left, then the end the month is irrelevant. Typically, it will be the salesperson that needs a sale most before the end of the month and they have the least control over the price if they have any at all. On the other hand, a dealer may want to get a good start to a month if the previous month was a bad one. The same can be true with the middle of the month. If everyone is behind target for end of month goals in the middle of the month they may be willing to deal too.
There are factors related to new vehicles that impact this as well. Rebates regularly end at the beginning of each month. So even if the sales targets for the folks at the dealership are irrelevant, you might lose out on $500-$1,000 if you do not get a deal done before the end of a month. For instance, for the last few months Ford has been giving us a few thousand dollars at $1,000 increments to apply to certain vehicles. They decided monthly whether to continue them and kept them for about 3 months, but they ended yesterday. Your $19,000 car might have just become a $20,000 car. This might be only relevant if you are really ready to, or need to, buy a car right now.
Another factor (also related to rebates) is when certain model years are released. For instance, F-150’s typically come out at the end of the year while the new Escape model has been out about 2 months already. So a 2017 Escape actually comes out in Spring of 2016 while the F-150 comes out closer to year end. Rebates will begin to really increase leading up to the new model year for each specific vehicle, and especially once they start finding their way to the lots. The manufacturers want those old models off of the lot, so they will increase the discounts to help dealers move them. I’ll tell you why you should beware of waiting too long for those rebates in my next blog post.
Lastly, the end of year question. Yes, there are some extra rebates and yes there are some year end goals, but they are not nearly as strong as what is believed. I believe there used to be more truth to this and it might even be more true at larger dealers who have a lot of volume, but I do not think it is so.
In the end, I’ll call the “end of month deals” mostly true and the “year end deals” mostly false, but as you can see there is a lot more to it!
If you have any questions feel free to comment, call me or text me at 660-342-3715, or just come see me at 1801 N Elson!