What is the best time to buy a new car?

There’s never a bad time to buy a new car – but have you ever wondered what the best time is? For most people, buying a car is a significant investment – in fact it’s often the second biggest investment people will make after buying a home. So follow our advice and you’ll hopefully grab yourself a bargain.

It’s important to give serious consideration to the make and model best suited to your motoring needs, before you go full speed ahead into the actual browsing and purchasing process. This can be a long and often frustrating stage of buying a new vehicle, dealing with numerous car dealerships, all the foot work you need to do, and finding the time to do it. However, the feeling of driving away with a car you bought for a great price makes it all worthwhile.

So once you’ve identified the perfect vehicle, how do you pick the perfect time to buy? Understanding the trends of car sales can help you snare a bargain, so here are the best times of year to go bargain hunting:

End of the month or quarter

Dealership sales targets are often set on a monthly or quarterly basis, so getting your timing right (i.e. the last day of the month or quarter) could result in a good saving. To reach their targets, dealers may be more inclined to negotiate and cut you a deal.

Of course, different dealerships see varying degrees of traffic. While some salespeople may be run off their feet all the time, others may present an opportunity for a bargain. It’s about judging each case on its own merits. If you turn up and the showroom is heaving with people, you’re probably going to struggle to negotiate too much. If it’s empty, you have your chance.

End of Financial Year Sales

Buying before June 30 is always a logical decision, as the end of the financial year usually means sales. Whether you’re buying whitegoods, furniture, clothing or cars, retailers will be offering bargains to get old stock out the door, to make way for the new stuff.

While many people are wrapped up in buying new clothes and tech gizmos, car dealerships can be forgotten. If you aim to buy a new car around the end of financial year, you can save money and stress as you avoid the masses heading to the department stores. Prices are slashed and lower interest rates on financing are offered to get those cars off the showroom floor.

As car dealers are often under pressure from their bosses to ‘sell, sell, sell’ at this time of year, you can probably afford to negotiate a little harder. But as ever, try to pick your moments, and don’t just automatically assume you’ll be able to drive 10% off the list price.

Christmas and New Year

The fireworks over Sydney harbour bridge signals the start of a new calendar year, making the previous year’s new car models a little ‘old’. This presents another big opportunity, with dealers keen to shift their stock and make way for the latest releases.

While the rest of the country is working off a hangover, your effort in doing the footwork around the car yards can seriously pay off. And unlike in June, you might also find there are fewer people in the market for a new car, with the focus on Christmas gift spending on smaller ticket items like phones and gadgets.

While others blow their budgets, look to save money in the lead-up to December and you could bag an unexpectedly good deal on a new motor.

Tips for getting a great deal on a new car

Walking into a car dealership can be intimidating, and that fast talking salesman is certainly not making you any less anxious. Here are some tips on buying a new car when you walk into a dealership:

  • Do your research! Know the exact model of car you want, its bells and whistles and general price
  • Research the car dealers in your area. Many are close together – aim to visit several in a day
  • Be firm with your pricing: Be prepared to walk away if the price isn’t right – the right deal will come
  • Try to get them to throw in free bonuses like floor mats, but don’t feel pressured to pay extra for these things
  • Don’t feel pressured with buying their in-house finance: Often these are underwritten by third parties and it pays to shop around

Following these tips will set you on the right track to finding a new car bargain. Good luck!

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