There are many variables that determine the final price you end up paying for your new car. Knowing how to negotiate is part of the equation, but sometimes it simply comes down to timing (and sales quotas). Quotas are a fact of life that can either work for you or against you. For example, we all know it’s a bad idea to break the speed limit during those last few days of the month since your risk of getting a ticket goes up.
When it comes to getting the best possible deal on your car, the salesperson's quota will be your friend. Choosing the best time of the week, month and year to go into the dealership will determine the final price you end up paying for your car and could save you hundreds, if not thousands. Planning is a huge part of the equation.
During the Workweek
Many people choose to car shop on the weekend which is no surprise since buying a car can take upwards of five hours. The long process makes it tough to squeeze it into a weekday evening if you work a 9-5 so most car shoppers end up going on a Saturday or Sunday. Since the dealership will be much busier on a weekend, the salesperson helping you won't have as much time or incentive to go back and forth on price.
A weekday, on the other hand, means fewer customers and fewer vehicles being sold. That's when it's your opportunity to strike. If you go in on the first few days of the workweek, and especially on a Monday, you'll have the best chance of getting a lower price. Plus, you won't be as rushed to finish up your test drive and make your decision.
End of the Month
Most car salespeople have monthly sales quotas that they need to meet. This explains why you'll occasionally encounter an overly aggressive salesperson that makes you want to take your business elsewhere. The good news is that you can use their quotas to your advantage. Going to buy your car towards the end of the month will improve your odds of getting a salesperson that is eager to move vehicles off the lot and will give you a better price as a result.
It's worth noting that waiting until the last day or two of the month can backfire. According to Bankrate, some sales deadlines don't line up perfectly with the calendar month so the 30th or 31st may be the beginning of a new month. Your best bet will be going in to buy your car on the 26th, 27th or 28th of the month.
Last Three Months of the Year
Alongside monthly and quarterly sales quotas, car salespeople also have annual goals to meet. Tailend months like October, November, and December are the best time of the year to shop for your new car. The approaching year-end sales deadlines overlap with new car models being released and key holidays that both dealers and auto manufacturers try to capitalize on.
New Model Releases
Buying the current year's model as the next year's model is being released can save you serious money. As long as there wasn't a major redesign for the new year, you're getting a very similar car and more bang for your buck. Without a full redesign, a new model year may bring some small changes like new paint color options, but you won't miss out on much by going with the current year. Usually, you'll find new models being rolled out between October and November.
You may despise Black Friday shopping, but buying a car on the day after Thanksgiving is a smart move. Dealerships and automakers will get in on the hype and offer special discounts and incentives just like stores in your nearest mall.
If you're more likely to hide under the covers on Black Friday recovering from your food coma, all hope is not lost. New Year's Eve is another holiday where you'll be able to score a good deal. The last day of the year is where all the sales quotas including monthly, quarterly and yearly come together.