When is the Best Time to Buy a Car?

Online Loans

May 28, 2020

“I’ll get a new car soon” is something you hear people say often. The hard part: defining soon. When is the best time to buy a car?

OnlineLoans explains some key points to remember when you define soon. Get the best deals on cars and work out the best time to buy a car:

Top Takeaways:
  • You can often get a good deal in early January

  • Salespeople are keen to hit their sales targets around the end of the month

  • End-of-financial-year deals happen in June and businesses can take advantage too

  • Dealerships are keen to get new models in

  • Offending a seller or criticising their cars too much won’t lead to a better deal

  • High credit scores = low interest rates

January is the best time to buy a car

After Christmas and New Year can be one of the best times to buy a car. It’s a slow month for car dealers as most people are recuperating finances and returning to work rather than buying cars. Dealers are often more likely to agree to low deals to increase sales volume.

Private sellers also find themselves in the same predicament: short on cash and needing to get their car sold before work starts again.

January (and all of summer) also brings longer hours of daylight. This means you can avoid inspecting cars in the dark so you’ll be able to see any paint or interior defects much easier.

Shrewd Negotiating 101: Push a seller into a low amount by offering to buy the car quickly. For example, most people go back to work on the Monday after New Year’s Day. Offering 20-30% less than the asking price with the promise of paying and taking the car away before work starts is a good tactic.

The end of the month is the best time to buy a car

Dealers often have set sales targets that they have to reach each month. Often, they struggle to hit those targets in the final days of the month.

Car dealerships sometimes break even on cars sold at the end of the month. They do this if it means they’ll hit their targets (set by the car manufacturer) on the number of cars sold. Of course, the end of the month isn’t applicable to private sellers who don’t have targets.

Shrewd Negotiating 101: Look for salespeople who are extra keen to sell a car. They may be wandering around the yard rather than inside for example. Or they may approach you as soon as you walk in. These staffs are likely behind in their targets and can offer the best deals – if you buy before the end of the month.

The end of the financial year is the best time to buy a car

This time of year sees the highest sales volumes across Australia. Dealers are keen to give their figures an extra boost and offer extras such as extended warranties and accessories.

It’s also a good time for businesses to purchase vehicles under their ABN. Businesses buying cars for professionals or vehicle fleets may be able to gain tax advantages. However, in the turbulent times of the pandemic, the Federal Government’s Instant Asset Write-off Scheme is making things even easier.

Shrewd Negotiating 101: If you’re looking to buy a car around this time, start with a (polite) low-ball offer. Inform the salesperson that if they can’t offer a low price, you’ll think about it and come back in early July which will mean them missing out on a late June sale.

The end of a model year is the best time to buy a car

Aka: a model run-out. When a new vehicle is released, there’s hype, excitement and advertising – especially if the new model is completely revamped. You’ll investigate news on vehicle releases to take advantage here as most manufacturers revamp productions runs after around 5-7 years.

If you can, you’ll be able to get a good deal on outgoing models. Dealer showrooms are always keen to get the latest model in to show customers. To do this, they need to move out the old ones.

Shrewd Negotiating 101: Have a look at what’s on offer at different dealerships of the same brand when a new model is making its debut. You can find out which dealership is struggling to get the new model in. These are often the ones who want to sell the (recently) old models.

When your budget permits is the best time to buy a car

Most people have restrictions and personal circumstances that determine when they need to buy a car. If you are able to wait, delay or bring forward your car purchase, it’s worth taking advantage of the best time to buy a car.

Try a car loan calculator or get an OnlineLoans quick quote to get a clear idea of what your budget may look like. Once you’re ready, you can submit your car loan application online and we’ll help you get your new car.

Shrewd Negotiating 101: If you’re trading in or selling your current vehicle privately, keep the value high, especially at the time you plan to sell it. Most buyers look at service history, paint, interior and tyre condition and features. Get them in good working order and even consider a service before selling the car – and keep the receipts.

When you get low rates is the best time to buy a car

Most cars are bought on finance in Australia – around 90% of all new car sales. Polish your credit report and credit score to get access to lower rates. Make sure there are no outstanding debts or unpaid bills on your credit report as this can lead to higher rates and lower chances of approval.

Shrewd Negotiating 101: High credit scores (located within a credit report) are key to low interest rates. You’ll be able to negotiate better loan terms with a healthy score. View your credit report through a reporting agency like Equifax to get an idea of your credit score.

Best Time to Buy a Car – Bottom Line

Taking advantage of the times listed above saves money. Make your dream car happen by choosing the right model from the right seller at the right time and save thousands of dollars. Dealing with sellers can be daunting but be polite and avoid criticising their vehicles too much. Offended sellers are likely to work against you rather than with you.

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